US company OceanGate is offering commercial diving expeditions down to the Titanic. Tourists will share a submarine with marine researchers. But the tickets don’t come cheap.
She is the most famous ship in the world — and the most famous shipwreck, as well. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t heard the tragic story of how the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg the night of April 14, 1912, and sank less than three hours later.
Only the most wealthy passengers could afford tickets for first-class cabins on the ocean liner’s first — and final — trip.
In 2019, those with vast coffers can roam the decks of the Titanic once again. A US company called OceanGate is planning several trips down to the Titanic this summer, with seats in its deep-sea submarine going for $105,129 dollars (92,000 euros) a piece.
That’s the equivalent of a first class ticket on the ship’s maiden voyage, adjusted for inflation.
The long-term mission, spread out over several years, is conceived as a “longitudinal survey to collect images, video and sonar data” and will “provide an objective basis to assess the decay of the wreck over time and help document and preserve its submerged history,” according to OceanGate.
Stockton Rush, founder and CEO of OceanGate started the business nine years ago when he wanted to go on a deep-sea dive and realized he couldn’t rent a manned submersible.
He decided to connect the idea of underwater tourism with important scientific research.
“The future of our planet lies in the ocean,” Rush told DW. “So I looked at it from a business perspective. What will people want to do that has value? There are wrecks that are more important and less surveyed than the Titanic. But there’s nothing that comes even close in terms of awareness.”