By Lale Arikoglu. Photos: Getty.
There have been movies made, museums dedicated to it, and even a Titanic II proposed by an Australian billionaire, yet our fascination with the ill-fated RMS Titanic ship still shows no sign of abating. On Tuesday, luxury British tour-operator Blue Marble announced that it will begin diving trips down to the shipwreck in 2018, allowing adventurous travelers the opportunity to see the historic ocean liner up close.
Before you go and get your fins out, know that space is limited: Only one trip is slated for next year (more are on the cards for 2019), and just nine "adventurers" will be able to participate. Spanning eight days, the expedition will depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland, off the Canadian coast, taking guests via helicopter or seaplane to the expedition support yacht, according the Telegraph. Once there, the first three days will be spent shadowing and assisting the scientists and expedition crew, who are out in the middle of the Atlantic studying the wreck; enthusiasts can also volunteer to learn how to operate the undersea navigation system and sonar, and attend lectures and dive briefs. Sound a bit too in the weeds? Don’t worry—during the latter half of the trip, things become far more intrepid: Three passengers at a time will be guided down by a pilot and crew expert in a specially designed submersible used for ocean exploration (weather permitting, of course), taking them 4,000 meters below sea level to see the Titanic up close, including its deck and sweeping staircase.
Considering that, as Blue Marble’s website notes, fewer people have seen the Titanic than have reached the summit of Everest, it’s not too surprising that the trip comes with the hefty price tag of $105,129 per person. And while that sum clearly covers the sheer scale of organizing such a trip, there’s another reason for the exorbitant number: It’s the 2017 equivalent of what a first-class ticket to set sail on the Titanic would have cost in 1912—$4,350, to be exact—though we do wonder if the accommodation on the expedition yacht matches that of the ship’s first class cabins. It’s not the first time trips like these have been executed, either. For years, marine dive specialists Deep Ocean Expeditions took eager (and presumably wealthy) tourists to see the eerie wreck, but eventually decided to end the tours in 2005—with the exception of one in 2012 to honor the 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking on April 14, 1912.
If the thought of diving thousands of meters below the sea turns your stomach, Blue Marble also offers a variety of equally ostentatious trips, such as journeys through Antarctica, a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ retreat in the Seychelles, and off-piste skiing in Iceland. But if your heart really is set on the Titanic, some way, somehow, you could also just wait for that full-size replica in China to be built.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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