For mind-blowing futuristic concepts, they don’t come much more daring than Earth 300. Designed to entice the brightest minds for exploring and countering climate change, this spectacular vessel will be a floating scientific centre par excellence.

Words: JAMES SINCLAIR Photography: EARTH 300

For mind-blowing futuristic concepts, they don’t come much more daring than Earth 300. Designed to entice the brightest minds for exploring and countering climate change, this spectacular vessel will be a floating scientific centre par excellence.

Words: JAMES SINCLAIR Photography: EARTH 300


Longer than the Titanic at almost 300 metres and measuring 45 metres at its widest, the super-yacht will support a panoramic observation deck on its bow, fore and aft deck helipads for transporting passengers, and an array of high tech submersibles for exploring the seas at depth. Envisioned to resemble Earth, a vast 13-storey science sphere will be stationed towards the stern as a functional technological platform for exploration and innovation at sea, comprising 22 scientific laboratories and housing 160 scientists whose principal mission will be to discover means of combatting climate change.

Earth 300 is hugely ambitious, but that’s precisely the point according to the man behind it. Aaron Olivera, who hails from Gibraltar and is currently based in Singapore, envisaged an awe-inspiring concept that would galvanise public interest in solving one of the biggest threats to our current survival. Olivera, who is also a keynote speaker at this month’s SUTUS summit in Marbella (see pages 72 – 76 in this issue), describes it as “this generation’s Eiffel Tower. It has been been designed to capture people’s attention but also their hearts and imaginations. If we want to make big, bold changes we need everybody’s help, and we mean everybody, all ages, backgrounds and even all types of intelligences.”


Such a valiant vision will be exorbitantly expensive to realise, with the nuclear powered megayacht expected to reach in the region of $700 million to build. Consequently, Earth 300 will not only be the world’s premier ocean-going laboratory for scientists, researchers and environmentalists, supported by a crew of 165, but will provide berths for 40 VIP guests, 20 of whom will each pay an estimated €1 million for the privilege of a 10-day cruise, residing in luxurious quarters.

When asked if he believes the affluent are likely to support Earth 300, he answers defiantly: “100 per cent! There are many reasons for this. Firstly, we are glamourising science and placing scientists on a pedestal – if we are to survive the future we need to respect, elevate and celebrate science. Secondly, never before have the well-heeled had a chance to contribute to a good cause and participate in an incredible adventure at the same time. Thirdly, 80% of profits generated from the project will be channelled back into science, so this is a self sustainable business model. Fourthly, they will be helping the world learn about real science and sustainability in real time as this will be a ship that will beam all of its activities and findings around the globe so it can inspire waves of bold new thinking, inventors, scientists and explorers who will help ensure the survival of humanity for generations to come.”

The project already has an enviable lineup of backers, including IBM, Triton Submarines, EYOS Expeditions, and RINA, an international leader in maritime safety. The only propulsion technology that Earth 300 will pursue is one that is emissions-free. They have therefore considered the molten-salt reactor, an advanced atomic technology which is radically different to traditional atomic power, which is being devised by companies like Thorcon, Moltex, and the nuclear innovation company founded by Bill Gates. However, Earth 300 remains open to the use of other emission-free technologies.

Salas Jefferson, founder of Iddes Yachts, is the man responsible for the eye-popping structure with a radically aerodynamic look. “Aaron was adamant that the design had to inspire,” said Salas Jefferson. “When one walks into the sphere, now housing the scientific city, and feels the action of all the ongoing scientific works, we want them to be inspired to become an alchemist of global solutions.” The vessel will count on the most advanced computing capabilities and everything discovered on board will be shared with the global community, proliferating the enthusiasm to expedite promising strategies.


The inspiration for the concept followed a revelatory diving incident for Aaron Olivera in the Maldives back in 2015 where, instead of finding an iridescent coral reef teeming with fish, he found himself staring at “unattractive, greyish white bleached corals” as a result of excess carbon being absorbed into the sea. “I had always been inspired by the voyages of Jacques Cousteau on Calypso,” reveals Olivera, “and said to myself, why not bring the smartest and brightest scientists and explorers and place them all on a futuristic vessel equipped with an unprecedented level of technology.”  “The oceans are dying,” says Salas Jefferson. “Having been born in Palma de Mallorca, I’ve seen it first-hand in the Mediterranean. Now is the time to reboot, reconnect, and redirect our planet’s destiny.” 


For human beings racing towards an increasingly uncertain future with rising temperatures causing havoc with the world’s weather systems, loss of habitat, and species decimation, it has never been more important to find solutions to these problems if we are ultimately to survive as a race. “We are living in a pivotal moment in human history and facing the greatest challenge to our civilisation since the dawn of humankind,” says Aaron. While Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are focusing on the Moon and Mars, he is concentrating his efforts here at home on the blue planet.

There may be future benefits from establishing colonies on Mars but, as Aaron Olivera succinctly points out: “Our planet is the biological pinnacle of the galaxy; we have an indescribably beautiful planet that we are privileged to call home; it’s really a perfect planet so I believe we first need to live in harmony with it before perhaps we deserve to get a second one.”

“Our oceans keep us – and our planet – alive,” agrees Salas Jefferson. “Earth 300’s mission is to protect our oceans and ensure their heath for generations to come. Space may be the future, but today, Earth is our only home.”