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TRAVEL & LEISURE

These Underwater Expeditions Will Let You Explore and Document the Current State of the Titanic

Because everyone's fascination with the historic wreck will go on.
By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2020
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These Underwater Expeditions Will Let You Explore and Document the Current State of the Titanic

Because everyone's fascination with the historic wreck will go on.
By Sarah Ward
November 15, 2020
  shares

It has been more than two decades since James Cameron, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet recreated one of the deadliest ship disasters in modern history. You know the one. Titanic also launched a lifetime of folks standing at the bow of boats and exclaiming "I'm the king of the world!", and made the world endure a Celine Dion song that, as the lyrics promised, would go on.

As well as snagging a huge bag of Oscars and big, big bucks at the box office, the film did something else: reignite public fascination with the 1912 sinking. If you've ever watched and wondered what it'd be like to see the real thing, then wonder no more — because you can become a 'citizen scientist' on a new series of underwater expeditions to the famed wreck.

Commencing in 2021, underwater exploration company Ocean Gate Expeditions will be taking fascinated seafarers down to the famous ship on ten-day journeys. They'll dive almost four kilometres deep into the North Atlantic Ocean in a titanium and carbon fibre submersible — accompanied by experts, naturally — to peer through the vessel that went down on its maiden voyage, taking more than 1500 people with it.

This isn't a tourist trip, however. Ocean Gate is planning six missions as part of an overall Titanic survey expedition, and anyone who'd like to go along will need to apply. If you're successful, you'll be trained a mission specialist — and you'll be asked to help document the current state of the sunken passenger liner, including via laser scans and 4K video that will be combined with high-resolution images to make a 3D virtual model of the ship.

Primarily departing from the coast of Newfoundland in Canada from May–July 2021, with more missions planned in 2022 as well, these undersea trips don't come cheap — even though they're motivated by scientific and record-keeping aims. You'll need a cool US$125,000 per person to make the voyage, which includes one submersible dive to the ship. Of course, it's hardly surprising that plunging deep into both the ocean's depths to visit a famed wreck costs a massive stack of cash and then some.

This isn't the first time tours have been offered — indeed, presumably using some of the loot his romantic drama pulled in, James Cameron has made the journey multiple times — but only a small number of people have seen site in person since it was first discovered in 1984. "More people summit Everest in a day than have ever seen the Titanic," says Ocean Gate Expeditions president Stockton Rush.

Top image: NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island via Wikimedia Commons

Published on November 15, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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