The giant, vertical airship powered by natural energy and dubbed the Aircruise, is a hotel in the sky designed to carry travellers in style and luxury.
It is many travellers' desire to reach out a tiny aeroplane porthole and touch the clouds.
It could soon become a reality with a giant, kite-shaped airship that may herald a new era of luxury transport.
On the Aircruise - a towering airship packing 330,000 cubic metres of hydrogen gas, capable of lifting 396 tonnes - travellers will be able to float through the clouds, literally.
Design company Seymourpowell has unveiled a new transport concept, the Aircruise - a giant, vertical airship powered by natural energy and designed to carry travellers in style and luxury. Photo: Seymourpowell
Design director Nick Talbot says guests aboard the airship can “bathe in the clouds” standing on an open air promenade deck, the size of a standard football field.
Mr Talbot, who has worked on the interiors of the world's first private spaceship to be launched by Virgin Galactic, said the concept of Aircruise is almost a romantic, philosophical statement.
In Brisbane this week to address a conference on Tourism Futures, Mr Talbot said the Aircruise was born of his desire to create the antithesis of a hurried, crowded passenger jet.
With London-based design and innovation company Seymourpowell, he set out to challenge the traditional mode of air travel on the premise "slow is the new fast".
"It kind of intuitively felt like a bit of a shame that the act of travelling seemed to be becoming devalued. It was all about just getting there," Mr Talbot said.
"We looked back at the very romantic days of travel with big ocean liners [that] were unbelievably elegant and delightful ways to get around.
"And the journey itself was in fact the destination."
Airships had their heyday in the 1930s with the famous German zeppelins, until the ill-fated Hindenburg, but there has been renewed interest in the concept with advances in materials and clean propulsion technologies.
"We thought, 'How can we reinterpret that for the 21st century?"' Mr Talbot said.
The result was the silent and pollution free Aircruise, towering 265 meters from base to tip, which could theoretically ferry 100 guests from London to New York in a leisurely 37 hours, occasionally dropping down to a few hundred feet to allow travellers to "smell the roses".
"None of us know how to stop, but there is a slow move - hundreds of millions of people just want to slow down a bit and actually enjoy life," Mr Talbot said.
"This is about accessing that [desire] to ... actually enjoy the journey.
The Aircruise combines solar power with a primary hydrogen drive for a cruising speed of around 145kmh.
It straddles the concepts of a cruise ship and a hotel floating 12,000 feet in the air, with 50 rooms, including a penthouse and four duplex apartments.
"There is a three-level cocktail bar at the bottom of the ship, with a thing that we call a Moon Pool - effectively it's a transparent floor - so on sunset you can sit there with your chums, sip a cocktail and look at the earth passing by underneath you, like [you're] a goddess," Mr Talbot said.
The Aircruise will also house six flight crew including two flight engineers, while 14 support staff will operate the hotel.
The airship will virtually leave no carbon footprint. Four envelopes, which extend from the main cavity of the airship will contain 330,000 cubic metres of hydrogen gas, and will be fitted with solar panels.
Seymourpowell's early Aircruise designs attracted the attention of Korean giant Samsung Construction and Trading - the primary contractor of the tallest man-made structure the Burj Khalifa in Dubai - who commissioned Seymourpowell to produce a detailed computer animation.
The challenge is now to create a building material to support such a large structure in the air.
"If they could do that they would have developed a whole new way of constructing buildings," Mr Talbot said.
Tourism Futures conference convenor Tony Charters said the Aircruise concept was particularly significant for Australia.
"We're in an era where it is crucial is to make us think about what the future options might be for accommodation and transport," Mr Charters said.
"Air (travel) is a very important source, particularly for a country like Australia, as it is our lifeline to our markets overseas."
But he acknowledged that cost is the key inhibitor here.
"The price of carbon and the price of fuel will be very important in those financial decisions," he said.
"But I hope it will help the Australian industry push forward with creative and innovative ideas."
Mr Talbot will hold a brainstorming session and workshop in Brisbane on Thursday with several tourism operators and Tourism Queensland.
"I don't know if Aircruise will ever be built," Mr Talbot said.
"The fundamental reason for the project was just to get people to think about the way we travel and the way we're going to travel in the future.
"Even if it isn't an Aircruise maybe it will be something else - some other mode of transport - that sort of captures the spirit of Aircruise; much more gentle, much more delightful, and just a bit slower.
"I hope it happens, but who knows."