After more than 100 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, the Titanic could welcome visitors next year.
Two different luxury tour operators — Blue Marble Private and The Bluefish — are preparing to take tourists to the storied wreckage in 2019.
Blue Marble Private, in collaboration with OceanGate Expeditions, had originally intended to take divers down to the Titanic this year, but had to push back. While testing out the self-contained submersible built for the journey, lightning hit the water and damaged “over 70% of the electronics” onboard, OceanGate's marketing manager Dana Hall told CNN Travel.
Explorers will take part in 11-day research missions, helping scientists operate sonar, navigate and log data. Testing was delayed but the company is confident tours will take place next year. Despite a price tag of $105,129, the first tour is already sold out.
A Titanic dive with The Bluefish will be about half the cost at $59,680. The trip itself, leaving from Newfoundland, will take 13 days to complete with six days of diving down to the Titanic in submersibles. The company has already confirmed reservations with deposits for the 2019/20 diving season.
The timeline for a dive to the Titanic could be closing fast. Oceanographers have said there are microbes on the ship that are eating away the metal hull and the wreck could disappear in less than 20 years.
If it disappears completely, a company in China is working on a lifesize replica of the Titanic that will recreate the terrifying moment the cruiseliner crashed into a glacier.