A few years ago, news began to appear about the first luxury underwater hotel, under construction. Poseidon Undersea Resort, for example, announced that each guest will be given a small personal submarine to explore the underwater wonders of the world. Hotel? Specialized transportation? Did looming a new branch of tourism?
Yes - underwater tourism seems to be the new frontier. Or, as billionaire Richard Branson calls it one of the famous figures who have linked the name of this view, is "the last great challenge to man", having already started the space tourism expansion path.
Since 1986, in Florida waters appear a small accommodation; the building was submerged to a research laboratory geomarine. There is also today, is called Jules (so named after the famous name of Jules Verne, author of magnificent, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which has caused countless readers to dream of underwater splendors of the world) and has only two bedrooms (with portholes very large) and some common areas. It is found 10 meters under water and to reach it you must have at least minimal experience in scuba diving.
Those who dare to live under the water several days are rewarded by the experience of seeing amazing sea creatures passing by the bedroom window, just a few meters. At the time, Jules was unique in its own way, but today we are tempted to see as a precursor of a trend that gradually makes its, place in the modern world of leisure: tourism underwater.
A project of the same type, small, was made by artist Mikael Genberg on Lake Mälaren in Sweden: utter Inn ("Hotel Vidra") offers accommodation in one room (beige building at the bottom of the structure) which is submerged in the waters of the lake, hanging under a colorful box, in the style of traditional Swedish houses that float on the surface.
And then came the turn, the big business, big employers and the million dollar projects.
Poseidon Undersea Resort, located in the Fiji archipelago, had to be opened in 2008, but is still under construction. The project promises to be a luxury five-star underwater hotel, with dozens of sumptuous rooms and suites, restaurant and bar, under water at 12 m depth in a lagoon, which is added 48 bungalows built on the surface - the water and shores of the lagoon.
A one week stay for two people in this place of pampering would cost initially USD 30,000, including four nights in one of luxurious houses and two nights in the surface water. In addition, the ability to have fun with all kinds of activities: golf, scuba diving ... you can even learn to fly a small personal submarine - and that luxurious.
And just like that, we reached the other aspect of underwater tourism: transportation. Perhaps not everyone would be able to spend a stay under water, sleep down by the thought of thousands of tons of water surrounding it, but I think you find much more tempted by the prospect of walking through a life full of mysterious ocean, hardly accessible to ordinary human sight, and even divers.
Scuba diving enthusiasts have seen something more of the wonders of the sea, but even they cannot penetrate too deeply: they are limited by their physiology, the characteristics of the human body has evolved to live on the surface and is not able to withstand pressures the water column at depths of 10-12 m.
Man is, however, able to build vehicles that can withstand high pressures (and enormous), vehicles with which the ocean can be seen up to depths.
Although domestic tourist submersible vehicles have existed since the 1980s, late 1990s until the industry in question began to take off. Current technologies allow the construction of submersible that not only can enter without problems to a few hundred meters depth, but also offers excellent visibility. Place small portholes thick glass dome was made of special materials, transparent, extremely resistant, which makes a kind of small submersible capsules that translucent, ocean views, entering all around.
There are several models for two or three passengers and for different maximum depths: some reach up to 300 m depth, other, more powerful, supports almost sinking to 1,000 m.
(In case you wonder how much such a submarine, know that prices vary depending on the model, between 1.97 million and 2.99 million USD. Yes, it's not for everyone yet, but to be optimistic: we have seen terribly expensive new technologies at their inception and have greatly cheapened over 10-15 years).
British magnate Richard Branson - who will remain, no doubt, in history not because of his wealth (that money have lot of people), but how the visionary who uses this property, engaging in the most daring technological projects of the time - after which was launched in epic space tourism was now rushed in full of promises of underwater tourism.
This year, Branson launched (for testing) Virgin Oceanic, a small vehicle (single room) that looks like a sort of submarine aircraft, the case of titanium and carbon fiber wing and cockpit protected by a quartz dome, can remain submerged without any external intervention for 24 hours and was thought to explore the dizzying depths: 11 km!
That is, the vision of Sir Richard Branson and British engineer Graham Hawkes, the designer extraordinary vehicle will be used to explore the Mariana Pit, the deepest place of Ocean, Earth's ultimate abyss.