A New Age of Adventure: Deep Sea Tourism Could Soon Become Real

Source: Popular Science/Sarah Fecht - April 18, 2017 in Adventure

A New Age of Adventure: Deep Sea Tourism Could Soon Become Real
Photo: Rafael/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Stockton Rush wants to take explorers into the deep sea. Not just scientific researchers or military personnel, but regular (well, wealthy) travelers on a quest of discovery. But don’t call them tourists.

“We call them mission specialists,” says Rush. Whereas “most people envision tourists as someone who just shows up,­ does something, and then heads home with a bunch of pictures,” Rush’s customers will engage in ocean exploration first-hand—a point that went over well at the Explorers Club in New York City, where Rush was giving a talk.

His company, OceanGate, Inc., has been carrying “mission specialists” and other paying clients to sunken ships and underwater oases since 2009.

There are plenty of submarine excursions for tourists, including OceanGate’s Antipodes and Cyclops 1, but none can dive below 6,500 feet—less than half the average depth of the ocean. But when Cyclops 2 debuts in November, the company says it’ll be the “only privately owned submersible in the world capable of taking 5 crew members to depths of [13,000 feet].”

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