In little more than a century, we humans have figured out how to make the most death-defying, bucket-list-worthy experiences relatively safe. With only a sense of adventure, a modest level of physical fitness, and the right disposable income, ordinary folk can explore Mount Everest, journey to “Mars,” and even vacation aboard the International Space Station. Now, one luxury expedition travel company is promising a much, much deeper experience — literally.
This June, EYOS Expeditions is offering the first-ever opportunity for well-heeled travelers to visit the deepest part of Earth’s oceans. The one-of-a-kind expedition will journey 35,853 feet down to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Paying travelers will spend roughly eight days as “Mission Specialists” (although no actual work will be required) with the Ring of Fire Expedition. The submarine dives will last as much as 14 hours. The one-way descent covers more than seven miles and takes more than four hours. The crew will spend another four hours exploring the bottom of the Pacific Ocean before beginning the more than four-hour ascent back to the surface.
EYOS Expeditions teamed up with Caladan Oceanic to use the company’s flagship Limiting Factor submersible. The undersea vessel features a 90mm-thick titanium shell that’s been pressure-tested to nearly 46,000 feet with zero physiological stresses. It has already descended the Mariana Trench five times and is among the world’s only submersibles capable of multiple dives to that depth.
Because of this near-crushproof design, passengers experience no change in atmosphere. EYOS claims the sub’s interior is actually quite peaceful and relaxing. Mission Specialists can kick back in one of two comfortable seats and take in the underwater scenery via three large viewports or multiple high-definition surround cameras. They will serve as fully integrated crew members who can oversee research work, help with film production, assist with sonar navigation, or do nothing at all.
To visit Challenger Deep is a rare experience indeed. EYOS Expeditions founding partner Rob McCallum confirms, “This is the most exclusive destination on Earth. Currently, only three manned expeditions have ever been made to the bottom of Challenger Deep and more people have been to the moon than to the bottom of the ocean.” To put a finer point on it, more than 4,000 climbers have summitted Everest, and 562 have journeyed to space. The number of humans who have reached Challenger Deep? Just seven.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience is available for $750,000. EYOS Expeditions is only accepting three Mission Specialists on a first-come-first-served basis.
If you’d rather explore the oceans on your own, the Triton 1000/2 MKII personal submarine is available for the low, low price of $2.7 million.