Deep Sea Adventures: Submarines on Expedition Cruise Ships

Discover the exhilarating world of submarine excursions on luxury expedition cruise ships. Learn about the unique offerings from top cruise lines, important safety considerations, and get a peek into the underwater adventure that awaits you. Dive deep into this comprehensive guide to ensure your journey is safe and unforgettable.
June 22, 2023

Expedition cruises have been pushing the boundaries of luxury and adventure, and one of the latest trends is the inclusion of submarines. These seafaring vessels allow passengers to explore the underwater world in a way few ever get to experience, offering nearly 360-degree views of undersea scenery and diving almost as far as 1,000 feet below sea level​​. However, not all cruise lines offer this exciting feature, and the experience comes with pros and cons.

Submarines on Cruise Lines: The Current State

Not all luxury expedition cruise ships have submarines. For instance, Silversea removed the submarine feature from its ship Silver Endeavour due to operational complexities​​. However, when the conditions align, a submarine ride in destinations like Antarctica, Greenland, or the Caribbean can be a thrilling experience​​.

Several cruise lines currently offer submarines as part of their expedition experience:

  • Scenic Eclipse I and Scenic Eclipse II: These yacht-style expedition ships each have a six-passenger submarine (a U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7) capable of diving up to 984 feet below sea level. The submarines, named Scenic Neptune and Scenic Neptune II, offer tours that cost $795 for a 40-minute ride​.
  • Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris: These ships house Viking’s yellow submarines, also made by U-Boat Worx. Named after the Beatles, these submarines seat six passengers plus a pilot and were originally included in the fare. However, for bookings made after April 1, 2023, the excursions have become optional and cost $499 per person​.
  • Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit: These vessels, the first two expedition-specific ships for Seabourn Cruises, each have two U-Boat Worx submarines. These submarines come with advanced technology including a 4K underwater video camera, an internal video recording system, custom leather upholstery, a Bluetooth stereo system, and a Champagne chiller. A 45-minute dive costs between $500 to $900 per person​.

Safety Considerations and Protocols for Submarine Excursions

When considering a submarine excursion during your expedition cruise, it’s important to prioritize safety. As thrilling as these submarine adventures can be, they also come with risks, and these should be fully understood before deciding to partake in such an experience.

Individual Health and Comfort

Passenger health and comfort are paramount. Submarines are enclosed, pressurized environments that can induce feelings of claustrophobia. Passengers with a history of discomfort in enclosed spaces or a fear of being submerged underwater should consider their tolerance levels before booking an excursion​.

Mobility also plays a key role. The act of boarding a submarine can be physically demanding, requiring a level of flexibility and mobility. As such, these excursions may not be suitable for passengers with mobility issues or those who have difficulty with strenuous physical activity.

Wrapping Up: The Future is Under the Sea

The evolution of submarine excursions on cruise ships is a testament to the human spirit’s endless pursuit of exploration and discovery. As we delve deeper into the blue, we uncover the mysteries of our planet’s underwater world, bringing us closer to nature while also pushing the boundaries of luxury travel.

As we look to the future, we can expect technological advancements to continue enhancing these underwater explorations. From reaching greater depths and improving visibility to increasing accessibility and prioritizing environmental sustainability, the future of submarine travel on cruise ships holds a sea of possibilities.

So as you plan your next cruise vacation, consider diving headfirst with Scott and Thomas into this extraordinary experience. Remember, adventure is just beneath the surface.

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