In 2021 you'll be able to visit the Titanic in real life, but it's going to cost you


  • Image via OceanGate Expeditions
With crowded tourist areas no longer offering the appeal they once did, companies are looking at new boutique vacation options that appeal to adventurous travelers. In 2021 one company will take brave travelers to new depths with public tours of the Titanic wreckage.

OceanGate Expeditions is offering six expeditions this coming summer. Each trip will include an exclusive submarine tour of the wreck where guests, in groups of three, will spend up to 10 hours exploring the site more than 12,000 feet underwater. The untethered Titan submersibles can fit three passengers and two crew members.

  • Image via OceanGate Expeditions
OceanGate is stressing the scientific nature of the trips, on which they refer to the guests as "citizen scientists" and "Mission Specialists." The expeditions will capture laser scans, sonar and 4K video of the shipwreck that will be used to create a photorealistic virtual 3D model. The "citizen scientists" will partake in the documentation process after being trained by OceanGate experts. The goal of the research is to document the decay of the ship. In recent years, the rate of decay has picked up, causing concern among historians and scientists.

“The Titanic Survey Expedition is the culmination of a vision to give more people a window into our deep oceans and access to the historic Titanic site,” says Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, in a prepared statement. “The support of Mission Specialists is vital to our multi-year exploration, research, and digital preservation effort. They will have the unique opportunity to serve in active expeditionary roles alongside oceanographic scientists, archaeological researchers, and Titanic expedition veterans throughout the missions. This team will document this historic site for generations to come.”

OceanGate will use its Titan submersible for the expeditions, the same vehicles the company has used for other "citizen scientist" excursions. The carbon-fiber and titanium submersible can dive to depths of over 13,000 feet, the deepest of any five-person sub. A proprietary real-time hull health monitoring system uses co-located acoustic sensors and strain gauges for real-time data on the structure's integrity throughout every dive. This system provides ample warning detection, allowing the pilot to return to the surface if any issues arise safely. 
The Titan submersible in the Bahamas - IMAGE VIA OCEANGATE EXPEDITIONS
  • Image via OceanGate Expeditions
  • The Titan submersible in the Bahamas
The Titan submersible is the culmination of a seven-year collaboration between OceanGate and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab. The Titanic expeditions had been planned to take place last year, but a 2018 lightning strike severely damaged the submersible, delaying the required crewed testing.

Reportedly costing $125,000 per person, the week-long Titanic expeditions may be outside many people’s budgets, but OceanGate is planning multiple other offerings, including trips to a collection of wrecks off the coast of New Jersey, visits to hydrothermal vents and dives along the coast of Croatia.

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