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Leesburg man believes his idea could herald vacation experience of the future

Andrew Barber is launching an idea known as “dry land cruising.” Courtesy Photo
A Leesburg man is predicting his idea for a vacation experience, one that mirrors an ocean cruise but happens on dry land, will become a reality within the next decade.

Andrew Barber, founder of Discover Land Cruising, said he's come up with several concepts under the umbrella of what he is calling “dry land cruising,” and he's hopeful that major players in the RV, cruise and IT industry will be interested.

“I think this idea is inevitable, and I haven't seen anyone else talk about it specifically,” Barber said.

The idea is passengers would travel across the country by road, enjoying sightseeing excursions. Land Cruising would employ driver-less vehicle technologies, already a reality in some states.

The bulk of the traveling would happen overnight in company-owned mobile staterooms, yet to be designed, but envisaged by Barber as state-of-the-art hybrids between a cruise ship cabin – but bigger -- and a luxury RV. They would stop each day at a chain of hospitality hubs near cities or other points of interest. The so-called hubs would boast the same high-caliber amenities and services as cruise ships.

A typical land cruise might travel between Miami and Vancouver, visiting eight or nine cities along the way. Cruising at sea could be an additional option, with guests connecting to Caribbean or Alaskan cruises before or after the dry land experience. Trips overseas, to Australia for example, are also proposed.

Barber said the technology needed for land cruising is nearly perfected and that his “goal is to help the vacation industry embrace it now rather than compete with it later.” People traveling across the U.S. tend to spend a lot of the time driving behind a wheel, but by using driver-less cars and traveling overnight there would be no need, he said.

Barber has degrees in science and archaeology and has worked for an aerospace trade association in the D.C.

He said his inspiration for the idea came from enjoying cruises with his wife. The couple has been on six cruises and liked the idea of seeing lots of ports and cities and being surrounded by five-star luxury. Barber was planning on writing the idea in a blog but was advised by friends to refine it and make it into something potentially marketable.

Barber see his role as introducing his concepts to major companies with the hope of “marrying million-dollar industries,” rather than leading the project himself, he said.

“I would be delighted to work as a consultant on this, or as an employee,” Barber added. “I'd rather be doing something hands on. I don't expect to lead it.”

He has consulted with an intellectual property lawyer to try to protect his idea.

Barber has sent out a 30-page proposal for his idea to RV companies, cruise companies and IT companies that are working on driver-less cars. He said he is hoping for some quick replies and that he garners attention from people who have more resources.

“This is the type of thing I could see someone like [SpaceX founder and tech titan] Elon Musk saying he would like,” Barber said.


When we finally get back to having an EPA that cares about doing something about carbon in the atmosphere, proposing a bunch of gas-guzzling RVs running around American highways will probably be a hard VC sell.  Of course, make those RV’s solar powered and you’d have something the next generation might buy into…

Exactly…in fact, think Canadian railroad with the Fairmont hotels along the route. Another “visionary” unencumbered by a sense of history…

So ... a train, basically.

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