DATE : Wednesday 22 March 2017 - 08:00
NEWS ID : 2980
Deep-pocketed tourists will once again get the chance to glide along the Titanic’s deck when London-based travel company Blue Marble Private begins dives to the wreck site in May 2018.
Interest in the 20th century’s most famous maritime disaster has remained high since Robert Ballard and his team discovered the remains of RMS Titanic almost 32 years ago.
However, this could well be one of the last opportunities to visit.
A 2016 study claimed that a recently discovered “extremophile bacteria” could eat away what’s left of the famous shipwreck inside 15 or 20 years.
The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. More than 1500 people died.
$105,129 per person
Blue Marble Private’s eight-day journey sets off from Newfoundland, Canada, and will transport visitors in a purpose-built, titanium-and-carbon-fiber submersible to the mighty vessel’s final resting place, more than two miles below the surface of the Atlantic.
The first voyage is already fully booked, despite the experience costing $105,129 per person.
Blue Marble Private declares in its press release that this is the equivalent (after inflation) to a first class passage $4,350 on RMS Titanic’s inaugural — and only — voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.
Which makes for a nice irony, but is almost twice as much as the $59,000 Deep Ocean Expeditions charged when it last brought tourists to the site in 2012.
So what do you get for your dollars?
A fancy title: Clients are known as Mission Specialists and will learn to assist the expedition team in the submersible and aboard the expedition yacht. Three potential days of diving, with dives lasting three hours. The opportunity to spot weird and wonderful bioluminescent critters during the 90-minute descent. Three hours exploring the remains of the 269-meter-long ship, taking in the deck, the bow, the bridge and the cavern where the grand staircase was once located.
There’ll also be the opportunity to “explore Titanic’s massive debris field, home to numerous artifacts strewn across the ocean floor, nearly undisturbed for over a century,” says Blue Marble Private founder Elizabeth Ellis.
“During the dive, your crew may conduct 3D and 2D sonar scans or search for one of the ship’s giant boilers, enormous propellers, and other landmarks of this famous vessel.” Ellis says further missions are already planned for summer 2019.
Blue Marble Private might face some competition.
Los Angeles-based luxury concierge firm Bluefish is also taking reservations for Titanic expeditions for 2018-19, but has yet to confirm itinerary and price.