Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin 2018

The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on the morning of 15 April 1912. The ship sank after colliding with an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 people died, making it one of the deadliest commercial maritime disasters in modern history. In 1912, a trip on this passenger liner was the ultimate in luxury travel. And more than a century later, people are still fascinated by the ship. Now tourists with a lot of money to spare can once again get the chance to see the Titanic's up close. The London-based travel company Blue Marble Private begins dives to see the wreck site starting in May 2018. Interest in the 20th century's most famous passenger liner has remained high since Robert Ballard, and his team discovered the remains of RMS Titanic almost 32 years ago.

The chance to see the Titanic up close may be one of the last opportunities to visit. A 2016 study claims that a recently discovered extremophile bacteria might eat away what's left of the famous shipwreck in 15 to 20 years. The cost to see the shipwreck site is $105,129 per person. Blue Marble Private's offers an eight-day journey that sets off from Newfoundland, Canada, and will transport visitors in a purpose-built, titanium-and-carbon-fiber submersible to the mighty vessel's final resting place, more than two miles below the surface of the Atlantic. The first voyage to the site is already fully booked, despite the experience costing a staggering $105,129 per person. Blue Marble Private declares in its press release that this price is the equivalent after inflation to a first class passage $4,350 on RMS Titanic's inaugural voyage from Southampton, England, to New York. Included in the cost of the ticket clients which are known as Mission Specialists will learn to assist the expedition team in the submersible and aboard the expedition yacht. There will be three potential days of diving, with dives lasting three hours. Passengers will get the opportunity to spot unique and wonderful bioluminescent critters during the 90-minute descent. Three hours of exploring the remains of the 882-foot long ship. While diving clients get the chance to see the deck, the bow, the bridge and the cavern where the grand staircase in the ship was once located. There'll also be the opportunity to explore the massive debris field of the Titanic which is home to numerous artifacts strewn across the ocean floor, nearly undisturbed for over a century. During the dive, the crew may also conduct 2D and 3D sonar scans or search for one of the ship's giant boilers, or the enormous propellers, and other landmarks of this famous ship. There are also further missions planned for the summer of 2019. The company may face some competition. Los Angeles-based luxury concierge firm Bluefish is also taking reservations for Titanic expeditions for the 2018-19 season but has not yet confirmed an itinerary and price.

This is certainly an opportunity of a lifetime, but the thought of diving that far into the ocean is not for everyone. For Titanic fans that are not ready for deep sea diving, they might opt for a life-size replica of the ship that is being built in China. There is also Northern Ireland's Titanic Museum. The famous vessel was built at Belfast's shipyards before hitting the ocean for the first time on its journey down to Southampton.

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