Updated: Jun 19
Curious about submarine travel experiences? Here's everything you need to know...
What is submarine tourism?
Is it really a travel experience?
Who is paying for this type of experience?
How much does a submarine experience actually cost?
History of submarine tourism
Training of crew members
Best destinations for submarine experiences
What is Submarine Tourism?
Submarine tourism lets you embark on extraordinary journeys beneath the surface, granting access to underwater realms once exclusive to divers and scientists.
Inside the submersible vessel, large windows offer panoramic views of coral reefs, colorful fish, and even haunting shipwrecks. These modern submarines boast advanced technology, ensuring your safety and comfort while connecting you closely with the marine environment.
Is it really a travel experience?
Absolutely! Submarine tourism is indeed a real and exciting form of exploration that has captured the imagination of adventurous travelers around the world. You might be surprised to learn that there are people who are genuinely passionate about diving deep into the ocean without actually diving themselves. That's where submarine tourism comes in!
Think about it: not everyone is a certified diver or comfortable with the idea of scuba diving. Yet, they still have a burning desire to witness the captivating beauty that lies beneath the waves.
Submarine tourism provides the perfect solution. It allows individuals to embark on remarkable underwater journeys, offering panoramic views of vibrant coral reefs, schools of tropical fish, and even historic shipwrecks—all from the comfort of a secure and cozy submersible vessel.
Who is paying for this type of travel experience?
You'd be surprised! It's an experience sought after by a diverse range of people. You'll find curious tourists, families looking for a unique vacation activity, nature enthusiasts eager to witness marine life up close, and adventure seekers craving that extra thrill. These individuals are willing to invest in the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the hidden depths of the ocean and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Of course, there are also professionals in fields like photography and filmmaking who see submarine tourism as an incredible opportunity to capture stunning images and footage of underwater landscapes, marine creatures, and other mesmerizing aspects of the marine environment. It allows them to share the wonders of the deep sea with the world and bring attention to the importance of marine conservation.
Oh and yes, right now this experience is mostly accessible for those with a luxury travel budget.... for now.
How much does a submarine experience cost?
The price of submarine tourism can vary depending on various factors. Destination plays a significant role, with some locations known for their exceptional underwater experiences commanding higher prices. The duration of the tour, the level of luxury provided, and the specific offerings of the operator all contribute to the overall cost. It's important to research and choose a reputable operator that prioritizes safety, sustainability, and an unforgettable experience for their guests. A quick search of experiences offered by tour operators around the world showed us the pricing examples below:
OpenGate Expeditions offer a tour 12,0000 feet down to the Titanic wreckage starting at $125K per person.
The Nautilus offers a tour just 6 feet under at Catalina Island for under $50 per person.
For $160 per person Atlantis Hawaii will take you 100 feet below the surface.
For a cool $125K you can charter your own submarine for an entire week (cost includes the crew). They'll even suggest itineraries in Malta, Italy and Greece to explore - and have the submarine meet you there.
Love cruising? Some of your favorite 6 star cruise lines have their own submarines taking you almost 1000ft below wherever the ship is sailing that week.
While submarine tourism may not be within everyone's reach due to financial considerations or other factors, it's undeniably a remarkable and captivating way to explore the mesmerizing depths of the ocean.
History of Submarine Tourism
The concept of submarine tourism can be traced back to the mid-20th century when visionary individuals began exploring the idea of providing non-divers with the opportunity to experience the wonders of the underwater world. One of the pioneers in this field was Jacques-Yves Cousteau, a renowned French oceanographer and filmmaker. His invention of the Aqua-Lung, a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, revolutionized diving and sparked interest in underwater exploration.
In the 1960s, commercial submarine tourism started taking shape with the introduction of the first passenger submarine, the "Le Suroît." This innovative vessel allowed tourists to venture beneath the surface, offering them panoramic views of marine life and underwater landscapes without the need for diving gear. The success of Le Suroît laid the foundation for the development of larger, more advanced submarines specifically designed for tourism.
As technology continued to advance, submarine tourism gained popularity in various parts of the world. Companies and operators started offering unique underwater experiences, showcasing the rich biodiversity, historical shipwrecks, and captivating geological formations found beneath the waves. These immersive journeys captured the imagination of travelers who sought a different perspective on the beauty and mysteries of the deep sea.
Over the years, submarine tourism has evolved in terms of vessel design, safety measures, and environmental consciousness. Modern submarines feature spacious viewing windows, climate-controlled cabins, and cutting-edge technology to enhance the overall experience for passengers. Additionally, a strong emphasis is placed on responsible tourism, with operators taking steps to minimize the ecological impact on underwater ecosystems.
Today, submarine tourism has become a global phenomenon, attracting adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts, and those with a curiosity for the unknown. Travelers now have the opportunity to explore breathtaking underwater destinations in various corners of the world, creating memories that last a lifetime. From the crystal-clear waters of the Maldives to the iconic Great Barrier Reef and beyond, submarine tourism continues to captivate individuals, providing a unique window into the hidden wonders of the deep sea.
As we look to the future, ongoing advancements in technology and a growing awareness of marine conservation will likely shape the evolution of submarine tourism. Striking a balance between providing unforgettable experiences and preserving the fragile underwater ecosystems will remain a priority for the industry, ensuring that future generations can continue to explore and appreciate the breathtaking beauty that lies beneath the surface. Thankfully, strict regulations are in place to minimize ecological footprints, including no-touch policies, maintaining safe distances from marine creatures, and avoiding fragile areas like coral reefs.
Training of Crew Members
You might wonder, who operates these magnificent underwater vessels? Well, the crew members responsible for running the show undergo extensive training focused on passenger safety and satisfaction. They receive specialized education in submarine operations, emergency protocols, navigation techniques, and underwater communication systems.
Many crew members even have backgrounds in marine biology, enriching your experience by sharing their knowledge about the mesmerizing marine life you encounter. Some are even ex-military (Navy).
Destinations Best for Submarine Tourism
Where can you embark on a submarine adventure? Several destinations offer breathtaking underwater experiences:
1. The Maldives: With its crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, and stunning coral reefs, the Maldives is a prime spot for submarine tours. Dive into a world of colorful tropical fish, graceful manta rays, and the chance to encounter gentle whale sharks.
2. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia As the world's largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its biodiversity. Submarine tours here take you on a mesmerizing journey through stunning coral formations and allow encounters with a wide array of marine species.
3. Hawaii, USA Hawaii's waters are a haven for marine life, including sea turtles, dolphins, and majestic humpback whales. Submarine tours in Hawaii reveal underwater volcanic landscapes, vibrant reefs, and the opportunity to observe marine creatures in their natural habitats.
4. Iceland Known for its dramatic landscapes, Iceland also offers unique underwater attractions. Submarine tours here allow you to explore enchanting underwater volcanic formations, discover underwater hot springs, and encounter fascinating marine species like puffins and seals.
Micronesia is a diver's paradise, boasting an abundance of shipwrecks due to its strategic location and historical significance in World War II. These wrecks provide a captivating underwater playground for both divers and submarine enthusiasts, offering a unique opportunity to explore history while immersed in the breathtaking marine environment.
6. The Red Sea, Egypt The Red Sea in Egypt is a sought-after destination for shipwreck enthusiasts, and one of its most iconic wrecks is the SS Thistlegorm. This World War II cargo ship rests on the seabed, providing divers and submarine explorers with a unique chance to witness its well-preserved artifacts, including trucks, motorcycles, and wartime supplies, creating an immersive and historically rich experience.
So, if you're seeking an extraordinary adventure that connects you intimately with the wonders of the deep sea, consider embarking on a submarine tour.