How to Visit the Titanic in a Submersible

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If you are fascinated by the ill-fated tale of the luxury cruise ship the RMS Titanic, which crashed into an iceberg during its first transatlantic journey back in 1912, then you may want to visit the ship's wreckage located off of the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. This is a time intensive and expensive trip but it is also a once in a lifetime experience you will never forget.

Things You'll Need

  • Long johns
  • Slippers
  • Fleece jacket
  • Wool hat
  • Gloves
  • Camera
  • Seasickness pills
  • Look into upcoming expeditions run by Deep Ocean Expeditions, which is the only tour company granted permission to visit the Titanic's resting site. This site is considered restricted territory and is off limits to the public in any other way. The trip is costly, ($40,000 a person) but the opportunity to see such an important piece of history first-hand will be priceless.

  • Be prepared to wait a while; visits the Titanic are few and far between and you may need to be patient until one becomes available. These are scientific explorations that require much planning and are led by prestigious scientists. Each expedition lasts about two weeks.

  • Plan to begin the journey from St. John, Newfoundland. You will need to reserve your own travel arrangements to get to this originating point where the tour starts.

  • Be prepared to board a boat with 15 other passengers (and with two submersibles on board) to travel the 380 or so miles off the Newfoundland coast to get as close as possible to where the ship's remains lay. This boat will be your resting point for the journey. Once you reach your destination, small groups of passengers will be taken by submersibles to view the wreckage site. The timing of each submersible dive will vary depending on weather conditions and can be postponed at the last minute, so it will be difficult to plan much in advance.

  • Limit your food and drink consumption before going down in the submersible, since bathroom access is very limited as you venture to the ocean floor.

  • Dress in layers since the temperature inside the submersible will change as you get deeper down. The expedition company recommends wearing long john underwear, gloves, a wool hat, slippers and a fleece jacket so you will stay warm enough during the coldest points of the journey down under.

  • Expect the submersible to be lowered by crane into the ocean, where it will begin its descent about 2.5 miles to the bottom of the ocean. (The vessel may rock as it is released into the water, so you may feel a little seasick for the first hour or so, but you can expect this feeling to pass quickly.)

  • Expect slow going. The ship contains two submersibles that usually are lowered down at the same time. Each one holds only a few people at once, so the ship will be docked for several days or more until each small group of passengers gets to complete its dive.

  • Expect it to take 8 or more hours in the submersible to get down to the wreckage, view it from different angles and then return back up to the ship. As you get deeper underwater, the color of the ocean will change from green to blue and finally to black at the deeper portions where no light gets through (unless you dive at night, which occasionally happens depending on the weather conditions).

  • Bring a camera or video camera so that you can capture this unique journey to look back on later. You will have lots of opportunity to take photos and film the remains of the ship. In the submersible, you will be in a small room that will offer front and side views of your descent to the ocean floor.

  • Know that when you reach your destination, you will see the ship up close, including the Titanic's bow, stern, bridge and promenade, most of which are still relatively intact. You will also see remains from sections that were destroyed when the boat hit the tip of an iceberg and eventually sank, taking many of its passengers with it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Bring seasickness pills or a seasickness patch, since you may need it during the submersible dive.
  • The timing of the trip is approximate since there is no way to control how long it will take to complete all of the dives. Therefore, you will need to keep your return trip home flexible.
  • Keep in mind that there are only a handful of submersibles capable of descending all of the way down to the Titanic's resting site, so this is a truly unique opportunity.
  • Read all you can about the Titanic's history before you go, so you will have a true appreciation of what you will see.
  • Remember that passengers are prohibited from touching anything at the Titanic wreckage site. This journey enables you to look only, and not to try to salvage any remains.
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