The Vinpearl resort in Nha Trang, Vietnam, is currently the only one in the world equipped with a submarine capable of combining the tourist experience with environmental education. Through its large panoramic windows and with maximum comfort, passengers can admire shipwrecks, animals, coral reefs and an incomparable underwater spectacle, with the aim of raising awareness about the plight of our oceans and the rapid and widespread decline of coral reefs and marine life.

The Triton DeepView 24 submarine has been designed and built by the team from San Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, ​​of the American company Triton. It has a modular structure capable of transporting up to 24 individuals to a depth of one hundred meters for 30-minute missions at a price of $60. It is silent, without carbon emissions or effluents and is a clear example of environmental tourism, where fun is combined with the discovery of the planet and its challenges.

New Horizons

As the Moon and space exploration are back in fashion, the real new frontier is the seabed

Thus, while the Moon is back in fashion and Mars is also part of the space exploration plans, the real new frontier yet to be revealed is the seabed. Between underwater tourism itself and exclusively recreational initiatives, there are also flourishing projects whose main purpose is to make citizens aware of the need to deepen our knowledge of the ocean depths, to protect the marine ecosystem and, consequently, life on our planet. The submarine of the Vinpearl resort in Nha Trang, in Vietnam.

Triton Submarines

The truth is that there is still a lot of work to be done, given that at the moment humanity has only explored 5% of the underwater depths. Among the most active figures in this regard stands out Fabien Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who died in 1997, whose figure is perhaps the best known and most charismatic in the field of marine exploration. His documentaries won three Oscars and Fabien therefore represents the third generation of a dynasty inextricably linked to deep blue.

The project of the French explorer and activist consists of the construction of a kind of International Space Station of about 400 square meters at a depth of 18 meters, designed to accommodate scientists and tourists. Or, as he prefers to call them, aquanauts, since life under water is very similar to what astronauts experience. The feat occurred to Cousteau after the longest continuous voyage ever carried out under the sea, 31 days in immersion.

Project Proteus

Fabien Cousteau wants to build a kind of International Space Station 18 meters deep 18 meters

It will be called Proteus™, after the eldest son of Poseidon, guardian of knowledge and shepherd of the sea, and it was presented last year during the second edition of Sutus, the Space & Underwater Tourism Universal Summit, organized by the Swiss institute Les Roches in Marbella . From September 28 to 30, 2022, the third edition of the event will take place, which brings together pioneering projects for the exploration and safeguarding of the oceans and where the progress of the project can be known.

The first international submarine base should see the light of day in two or three years and will be located off the coast of Curaçao, in the Dutch Antilles. The idea is to build a network of similar bases around the world, to monitor the vital signs of the blue lung of the planet. Once finished, Proteus™ will be a multifunctional marine platform, where research, science and even tourism can be carried out, with missions designed to accommodate up to twelve people at a time.Render of the Proteus project.

However, this will not be a relaxed vacation, the aquanauts, in fact, will be active members of the crew in an experience that will last from 7-10 days to three months. The mission, therefore, will have to be preceded by a period of training in underwater life. Obviously, these expeditions will not be for all budgets, but the price will not be even remotely comparable to what millionaires pay to visit space.

To make the first node of the Proteus™ network a reality, about 135 million dollars are needed, with which to build the connecting submarines, the operations center on land to coordinate the mission and, of course, the base. A considerable but not prohibitive figure, when compared to the 1,000 million dollars spent by Jeff Bezos to spend a few minutes outside the Earth’s atmosphere. On board the station will be laboratories for scientific research, a hydroponic garden and the first underwater broadcast studio to produce and transmit videos.

As Fabien Cousteau himself declared in a conversation with La Vanguardia in 2020, the research and dissemination work he carries out is based on a philosophy that his grandfather taught him: “People protect what they love, love what they understand and understand what they have been taught.”The Pisces VI submarine.

Pisces VI

The underwater eyes of the La Palma volcano

Pisces VI is another of the strong points of Sutus 2022. It is the only deep-sea submarine dedicated to studying the Cumbre Vieja volcano, on the Canary Island of La Palma. In addition, it also offers tourist dives, according to the trend in vogue when it comes to financing scientific projects of this magnitude. In fact, its founder, Scott Waters, assures that “we are beginning to offer immersion tourism”.

And that the next stage will be Tenerife, “the home of a great volcano and the highest mountain”. The new expedition is scheduled for late August and early September 2023. The Pisces VI played a leading role in the weeks of the volcano’s eruption. Due to its design, it was able to analyze the hydrothermal activity generated and the resulting marine life after volcanic activity. This submarine has state-of-the-art samplers, thermometers and analyzers that help your research. 

Previous articleMauritius Island, the paradise island that conquered Mark Twain and Josep Conrad
Next articleMedina of Fez, the magical labyrinth in which getting lost is a pleasure