Tours of the Titanic's wreck starting from N.L. next year

A model of the wreck of the Titanic at an exhibit in Washington, D.C. Photo from Getty Images

On the evening of April 14, 1912, Cape Race, Newfoundland received distress signals sent out from the Titanic after striking an iceberg some 500 kilometres from the island’s coast. Over a century later, the Canadian island will play a new role in the ongoing history of the doomed ship as it becomes the starting point for underwater trips to the Titanic wreck.

Starting in May 2018, London-based travel company Blue Marble Private will begin eight-day treks to the Titanic wreck site that will launch from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The luxury trips, done in collaboration with OceanGate Expeditions, will take nine “Mission Specialists” at a time 4,000 metres down into the North Atlantic in a submersible specially designed for the deep water dives.

“Guided by a crew of experts, you will glide over the ship’s deck with a glimpse of where the famous grand staircase was once set, capturing a view that very few have seen, or ever will,” the luxury tour company’s website reads.

The first voyage to the Titanic wreck is fully booked at a cost of $105,129 USD per person, CNN reported. According to Blue Marble, the price is the equivalent, after inflation, of the $4,350 cost of a first-class ticket on the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage, which set out from Southampton, England.

Travellers will join a team of scientists and specialists who will conduct an annual survey of the wreck, and will learn how to assist the team in their work both on the yacht and in the submersible.

“Qualified individuals join the crew as mission specialists to support the mission by helping to underwrite the expedition and by actively assisting the team aboard the submersible and the ship in roles such as communications, navigation, sonar operation, photography, and dive planning,” the OceanGate website reads.

Another expedition for 2019 is being planned, according to Blue Marble. And an American company, Bluefish, is also taking reservations for Titanic expeditions in 2018-19 but the itinerary and price haven’t yet been released.

If you’d like to see the Titanic wreck up close and personal, you might want to start saving now. “Extremophile bacteria” is eating away at the remains of the wreck at a rate that could destroy it within 15 to 20 years, according to a study released last year.