It may not soar through the galaxies like the famous Star Trek spaceship, but the Earth 300 could soon be making waves of its own. A superyacht still in its concept stage, it not only looks stunning but will be created for one primary mission: to help save the planet. Small wonder that the man behind Earth 300 refers to it as the Starship Enterprise of the seas, given its advanced onboard technology and journey of discovery.
When built, the megayacht will be a floating laboratory housing hundreds of scientists and climate experts who will travel non-stop around the globe conducting research. That’s the grand vision of Aaron Olivera, the Singapore-based entrepreneur who crafted the blueprint for Earth 300, which is expected to launch in 2025.
Aside from being visually stunning, Olivera’s design also demonstrates a commitment to fighting climate change. Yet, why would you build a superyacht to save the environment? “The oceans absorb most of the carbon on Earth, making them the planet’s beating heart. We will die if the oceans dwindle since 70 per cent of the oxygen we breathe comes from the oceans,” says Olivera.
Olivera compares Earth 300 to the Starship Enterprise, built for scientists to explore new planets. It will initially run on green synthetic fuels, but Olivera intends to retrofit it with a molten salt reactor to achieve zero emissions.
Onboard will be a community of scientists, explorers, entrepreneurs, artists, activists, and pay-as-you-go as well as non-pay-as- you-go guests. “The figure has not been finalised, but is likely to be around US$1 million (S$1.36 million). It is not about luxury, since 80 per cent of the profits will be re-invested in science.”
The ship is likely to cost up to US$700 million to build and will take three to four years to complete. Most of the funding is expected to come from traditional banking sources, but private investors and selected corporations may also contribute.
When built, Earth 300 will be equipped with 22 state-of-the-art labs that will help combat climate change both at sea and ashore. “The vessel will serve as a floating computer that will allow participants from all around the world to take part in the journey. It will be equipped with the latest technologies, and it will have the smartest, brightest, and most diverse minds on board,” adds Olivera.
On his wish list of VIPs to invite are marine biologist Sylvia Earle, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Michelin-starred seafood chef Angel Leon. “Clearly, adventurers will be the first in line as this will offer them the experience of a lifetime, participating at the cutting edge of science while positively impacting the world.”
Olivera describes Earth 300 as a concept yacht with a science, innovation, and research platform that will pursue landmark scientific discoveries. In an unusual move, the platform will make all of its discoveries and research publicly accessible in real-time. “We want to collaborate with everyone as that is the only way to dramatically accelerate solutions to market,” he pledges.
Jacques Cousteau, a renowned French explorer who conducted underwater research in the 1950s in a former British Royal Navy vessel called Calypso, inspired the entrepreneur. Why the name Earth 300? The 300 figure works on several levels, including the 300-year vision for humanity.
“Long-term visions inspire long-term, sustainable thinking. Historically, the ancients thought in terms of 10 generations, so 300 years represent that, as does the fact that the vessel will be 300m long, and we will be taking 300 private guests on a complimentary journey every year.”
Once built, it will hopefully be on a non-stop navigation course, cruising the high seas and spreading its planet- saving message worldwide. On its maiden voyage, the vessel plans to circumnavigate Antarctica, a trip that has only been done twice before. Don’t forget your thermals!