A ticket for the deep-sea dive will cost an average of €97,000
Lying in total darkness four kilometres under the sea, the RMS Titanic is the latest trendy location for unique travel experiences - if you can afford it, that is.
Almost 105 years ago the RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg just four days into its maiden voyage from Southampton, sinking deep into the Atlantic Ocean 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
Since the discovery of the wreckage in 1986, multiple dives have been made to the ship, with deep sea expedition companies first offering tourists the chance to visit the site in 1998, although after 2005 the service was stopped due to a lack demand.
Now however, several companies have picked back up the trips, including a London-based operator who has scheduled trips to the historic wreckage from next year.
Blue Marble Private will take nine people deep into the ocean on an eight day journey to the ocean floor, with passengers reaching depths of 4,000 metres in a specially designed titanium and carbon fibre submersible.
Guided by a crew of experts, the nine adventurers on board will sail over the ship’s deck and should even be able to glimpse its still recognisable grand staircase.
A 12 hour dive in darkness
The estimated dive duration is to be approximately 11 to 12 hours, and seven inch thick acrylic view port will be your window to the undersea world. Beyond 250 metres all traces of sunlight will be gone and you will be immersed in total darkness.
To conserve power, the MIR submersible descend without external lights. However the pilot will, at times, switch them on to observe passing marine life.
Passengers will spend roughly six hours exploring the wreckage, and are advised to expect sightings of solemn reminders of the loss of more than 1,500 lives, such as ladies shoes or ship bags.
Bluefish, a Los Angeles tour company, is also planning to offer a dive to the Titanic next year, with participation limited to 20 divers per expedition.
Fewer people have seen the Titanic than the number of people who have been in space or to the summit of Mt Everest.
It's a high price for once-in-a-lifetime exploration
The cost of one ticket for the Blue Marble Private trip costs £86,500 (€97,800), a significant number which is meant to represent the cost of a $4,350 ticket (adjusted for inflation) that a first-class passenger would have paid to sail on the Titanic’s maiden voyage in 1912.
A Bluefish tour has a similar price, with passenger quarters onboard described as "while not lavish, will be comfortable and spacious. Meals will be first-class, prepared by a western chef and highlighted by the occasional Russian specialty dish."
Don Walsh, an American oceanographer who has taken part in previous dives to the Titanic, told The Times that people should be free to visit the wreckage as they wish.
“The fact is that it’s not being preserved,” he said. “Titanic is being slowly devoured by metal-eating microbes. In another century, the wreck as we now see it won’t be there. For the same reason that we visit the coffin of an Egyptian pharaoh in a museum, why shouldn’t we dive two miles to see this ship?”