Only the other day, I wrote about a luxury resort in the Maldives that was offering guests 30-minute submarine tours. Earlier this month, we read about Richard Branson’s Virgin Oceanic project with plans to diving to the furthest depths of the ocean. Well, Branson is not alone on this one. If hi-tech submarines excite you, have a look at the new Triton 36,000. Okay, so the Triton 36,000 does not look like your regular submarine. And it certainly is not as sleek as Branson’s underwater explorer. However, the new Triton is less concerned with appearance than with functionality. The star attraction on this new sub is a special, clear, watertight dome over the pilot and co-pilot’s seats. Created by Rayotek Scientific, this dome has a special quality: as the submarine dives deeper, and exerts more pressure on the dome, the dome becomes stronger.
Built out of a special material called borosilicate glass (soda lime), the dome is specially built to allow the Triton to plunge to the deepest parts of the sea. The building of the dome was a long-drawn process which involved slow and careful heating and cooling of the raw materials. It apparently took some eight months to build.
The submarine has been built with the aim of exploring the deepest part of our planet’s deepest trench – the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. The submarine has been built in such a way that it can reach the bottom of the ocean in a mere 75 minutes by travelling at a speed of 500 feet per minute. Yes, submarine tours could soon become the in-thing in luxury travel.