Photo courtesy of Walltopia
Just weeks after speculating that a zip-line roller coaster type of attraction might at some point make its way aboard a cruise ship, Walltopia, a climbing wall manufacturer, has actually modeled what its Rollglider product, called a “safe proximity flight,” would look like onboard.
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The company has even produced a fully rendered video, embedded below, showcasing what its zip-line roller coaster hybrid product might look like installed on one of Royal Caribbean International’s Sovereign-class vessels like the Majesty of the Seas. While it doesn’t actually show it running, it does give you a sense for how such an attraction would scale and potentially traverse high above and out beyond the upper decks of a relatively small ship.
In reality, the Rollglider would probably be better suited to a larger cruise ship like Royal Caribbean’s own Harmony of the Seas, the biggest one in the world currently, where it could really sprawl a much longer distance. The pairing of the video-rendered attraction with a ropes course even suggests it could be well suited to Carnival Cruise Line or Norwegian Cruise Line which already have such structures perched on their decks.
Other videos from Walltopia even show variations of how the system can be outfitted. Riders can be suspended in a sitting or flying position, and the product specifications indicate a means for two passengers to be suspended in tandem. Structurally, it even appears to be a very customizable track with the ability to self-support spirals, turns and dips.
I think it’s really only a matter of time now before we see one of these attractions showcased at sea, if only because it seems to be a more thrilling version of Carnival’s SkyRide self-propelled suspended cycling track which has been well received. Norwegian also already has some zip-rails, and this is a natural extension of that concept. Here’s an idea: how about installing this on the new Norwegian Bliss headed for Alaska in lieu of waterslides that would be too cold in the region?
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The only hurdle it would seem would be engineering the Rollglider to work with shifting gravity. That is as any ship rolls, pitches and yaws, the physics of a gravity-propelled system certainly change, and the momentum to complete the course is dependent on many variables that are not a concern in a fixed setting. Still, it could be done with perhaps only some limitations to its operability in certain sea and weather conditions.
I love zip-lining, so sign me up. Come on, cruise lines, let’s make this happen!