For R1.4m, you can travel to the ocean floor and behold the Titanic wreckage
Titanic history buffs with $105,000 (R1.4m) to spare may be interested in an expedition that takes guests to the depths of the earth's oceans and to the watery grave of history's most famous ship wreckage.
After a false start last year caused by testing delays, the Titanic Survey Expedition will launch this winter, giving guests a rare opportunity to explore the remains of the fabled Titanic which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean just four days into its maiden voyage in 1912.
The expedition starts in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada where guests board a support ship that sails to the wreckage site.
Upon arrival at the site, guests will board the Titan, a five-person manned submersible capable of reaching depths of up to 4,000 meters developed by OceanGate.
After a 90-minute deep-dive to the ocean floor, the submersible will explore the site for three hours, gliding over the ship deck, shining the spotlight on the iconic grand staircase, the bridge, and the massive debris field, where relics of the ocean liner have remained undisturbed for more than a century.
COMFORTABLE AND CLEAN, BUT NOT LUXURIOUS
Despite the six-digit price tag (which excludes transportation to and from St. John's), there is nothing luxurious about the travel package. The expedition support ship is described as "comfortable and clean" but OceanGate is quick to point out that conditions "are not considered luxurious."
WATCH | The Titan scanning the Titanic shipwreck
Furthermore, the trip isn't for the traveller who expects to be wined, dined and coddled. Guests may be called upon to assist with pre and post-dive servicing of the underwater vehicle - that is, get their hands dirty.
But for history buffs, science geeks and curious travellers, the trip also provides an opportunity to learn about how to review videos and photos of underwater wreckages, analyse sonar, and conduct 3D and 2D scans of the ship's skeletal remains.
Along with $105,129 - the equivalent cost of a First Class ticket on the Titanic after adjusting for inflation - guests must be 18 years or older and be comfortable aboard small Zodiac boats in rough seas, demonstrate basic balance and flexibility (like climbing a 6-foot (1.8m) ladder and carrying 20lbs (9kg) and complete a one-day Helicopter Underwater Egress Training.
The package includes one dive.