(WJW) — Even 110 years after the Titanic sank, stories and images of the iconic ship continue to captivate audiences around the world. Have you ever wished you could see the ship up close and in person? Well, now you can.
That’s right — you can dive to the depths of the ocean and see the Titanic for yourself.
OceanGate Expeditions, a company made up of undersea explorers, scientists and filmmakers, offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The company says fewer than 250 people have seen the ship — which sits about 2.5 miles below the ocean’s surface — since its discovery 37 years ago.
This is a chance to join that shortlist.
The images below are provided by OceanGateExpeditions.com
What does the 2023 Titanic Expedition consist of?
According to OceanGate, the 2023 Titanic Expedition is an eight-day mission that begins and ends in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
There are a series of missions that will take place in 2023.
Each mission includes up to five 6-8-hour dives.
During each mission, on the way to the dive site, a team of six “Mission Specialists” will take part in the training. The purpose of the training is to become more familiar with the crew, officers, safety procedures, and generally how things work while aboard.
OceanGate explains Mission Specialists are “citizen explorers” that work as a member of the crew and provide support.
What is the goal of the mission?
The mission is to explore the Titanic’s wreck site.
According to OceanGate, this is the company’s third expedition to survey the site. And because of the ship’s size and the scale of the surrounding area, the dives will continue for several more years.
The company describes on its website the job of those taking part: “Throughout your mission, you will actively support the team to help collect images and video, and to conduct laser and sonar scans to collect data to provide an objective baseline to assess the current condition of the wreck. This baseline will be used to assess the rate of decay over time and help to document and digitally preserve the historic maritime site.”
How do I qualify?
There are typically 30 positions available for Mission Specialists each season, according to organizers, and the series of missions typically take place between June and August.
- Must be at least 18 years of age when the mission begins.
- Have a valid passport, be able to live aboard a Dive Support Ship at sea for up to one week
- Be able to board small boats (Zodiacs) in rough seas
- Must be comfortable in dynamic environments where plans and timetables may change
- Be able to demonstrate basic strength, balance and flexibility (i.e. climb a 6-foot ladder, carry 20 lbs., etc.)
More details can be found here.
How much does it cost?
According to the company, the training and support fee is $250,000.
The experience includes training, the eight-day mission, and dives to the Titanic aboard what OceanGate says is “the world’s only five-person submersible capable of reaching 4,000 meters.” Read more about the vessel here. If you’re interested in joining the shortlist, you can reserve your spot here.
Why is the Titanic so famous?
Even though its April 15, 1912, sinking is far from the only maritime disaster (the RMS Lusitania is another high-profile sinking), the RMS Titanic has remained wildly famous for over a century.
By the time it set out for its maiden voyage, the Titanic was already very famous. In addition to being the world’s largest ocean liner of the time (hence its name), the ship was also billed as being “unsinkable.”
All-in-all, about 1,500 passengers and staff were killed in the disaster, which lasted several hours. At the time, the victim count was among the highest in commercial sailing, lending to its shock value. Additionally, the fact that the Titanic sank slowly, allowing for hours of panic, may also add to the mystique.
“The Titanic sank in two hours and 40 minutes, the length of a classic play,” University of California San Diego literature professor Stephen D. Cox wrote for CNN. “… Other disasters were either too big or too small to develop this kind of interest. They happened too fast, or too slowly… There was no time for people to assess their options; to consider what they could do, or what they should do, morally.”
Celebrity also factors into the equation. Some of the U.S. and Europe’s most notable society members were aboard the Titanic, including American socialite Molly Brown, and multi-millionaire tycoons John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim. Both Astor and Guggenheim died in the disaster.
Hollywood has also kept the Titanic alive.
There have been at least 15 film films involving the ship, in addition to countless documentaries. Most notable among the cinematic depictions is 1997’s “Titanic,” directed by James Cameron. The mega-blockbuster has grossed over $1.8 billion since its release, helped catapult the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, and snagged the Academy Award for Best Picture. Céline Dion’s smash hit “My Heart Will Go On” — featured both in the film and on its soundtrack — also remains one of music’s best-selling singles, serving as a musical reminder of the movie and the ship.
It may have been 110 years since the sinking, but the “Ship of Dreams” has yet to be forgotten.
“The disaster has become so invested with mythical status,” writes literary biographer Andrew Wilson in his 2012 book, “Shadow of the Titanic,” portions of which appeared in Smithsonian Magazine. “It’s been said that the name Titanic is the third most widely recognized word in the world, after ‘God’ and ‘Coca-Cola.'”