Travelers can apply to be part of a series of six planned dives to visit the wreck of British passenger ship, RMS Titanic, which is located about 600km south of Newfoundland. Titanic always captures imaginations, because over 1500 people lost their lives when it sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.
The dives are being organised by OceanGate Expeditions, a company of undersea explorers, scientists and filmmakers dedicated to manned exploration of the underwater world. The missions will begin at the end of May 2021 and will collect images, video, laser scans and sonar data to provide an objective baseline of the current condition of the wreck. This baseline will be used to assess the rate of decay over time and help to document and preserve the historic maritime site.
The dives will give citizen scientists the opportunity to participate as active members of the team, known as "mission specialists," for which they will receive hands-on training and continued instruction. There are nine mission specialist positions available on each dive at a cost of $125,000 (€106,000). Those who successfully book a place will get a private cabin on the nine or ten-day sailings, and will help with navigation, maintenance and cataloguing the once-in-a-lifetime historical finds.
The missions will embark and disembark from Newfoundland, apart from the first one, which will embark from the East Coast of the US, and the last one, which will disembark there too. The highlight of the trip will be an eight- to ten-hour dive to experience the wreck in person.
The mission specialists will descend to the ocean floor and soar over the wreck in a submersible, skimming the ship’s deck as cameras and lasers create a detailed 3D model. They will also be given an opportunity to drive the five-person submarine during its 90-minute descent to the wreck, which is located 3800 meters below the surface of the North Atlantic.
Given the massive scale of the wreck and the debris field, multiple missions performed over several years will be required to fully document the wreck of the Titanic. OceanGate is hoping to make the dive expeditions an annual offering, and further information is available on its website here.