Underwater Innovation

Triton Submarines has just delivered yet another first of its kind submersible to its owner. The innovative Triton 3300/6 is the first six-person acrylic-hulled sub ever to be constructed and features the world’s largest transparent, spherical passenger compartment, giving an immersive view to the ocean outside. Hadag talks to Bruce Jones, Triton’s CEO and Cofounder about Triton’s game-changing success and the future of deep-sea exploration…

Up until now, you might have seen characters in your favourite films jump onboard a submarine and travel to the depths of the ocean. In real-life, however, it’s a rare occurrence. For many people, what is an elaborate idea, is for others the pinnacle of real-world, underwater voyages – those with millions to spare! But if a submarine is indeed on your shopping list of technological wants, there is one company ready to fulfil your wishes. Enter, Triton Submarines; the Florida-based luxury submersible company has just delivered their first six-person acrylichulled sub, which can dive to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet), ready to show you the world with a whole different view.

Described as a “salon under the sea,” the luxurious interior comfortably seats its guests while the Tiffany blue exterior – selected specifically by its owner – appears to disappear once placed in the blue waters of the Caribbean and its surrounding islands. After Triton’s success in building and delivering the Triton 36000/2, which achieved the world record for deepest diving sub and only submersible ever certified to unlimited depth, the Triton 3300/6 is yet another milestone submersible that they have added to their portfolio.

Spurred by programming like Blue Planet and many others, the model is one of several that addresses the increasing demand that Triton is experiencing from both mega-yacht owners and the hospitality sector for larger capacity submersibles that allow families or groups of guests to partake in experiences that generate unique shared memories.

Here, Triton’s CEO and Co-founder, Bruce Jones, fills us in on what could very well be the newest, most-wanted feature in hospitality…

Hi Bruce! The Triton 3300/6 is a gamechanging construction. Though it has taken two years to build, can you remember a time when building such a vessel was nothing but an idea?
For years, the technology was not available to build a sub like the Triton 3300/6. The passenger sphere requirement was too big and too thick to be built. So, we helped our acrylic supplier develop new technology that made larger spheres possible. Not only is the Triton 3300/3 the result, but our new ultra-deep diving subs, the Triton 7500/3 and the Triton 13,000/2 Titanic Explorer are also now possible.

Triton has conquered every ocean in the world, from the freezing arctic to the deepest points in the Red Sea and even manned descents to the Titanic’s wreck – with so much ticked off the list of feats, what other dives or journeys do you still hope to achieve in the coming years?
In many ways, we’ve reached our ultimate goals. We’ve built the deepest diving sub in human history, which is the only sub ever built with “unlimited diving depth” certification. We have taken it to the deepest spot in the ocean, Challenger Deep, at 10,932 meters, on 10 separate dives. We have gone around the world and dived the deepest spot in each of the five oceans. The Triton 36,000/2 has broken a score of records. I’m not sure what we do for an encore but we are continuing to innovate and to introduce new models.

Triton’s achievements to date, have made it into history books, scientific journals, and global broadcasts. On a personal note, which of your accomplishments has meant the most to you, and why?
Conceiving of the Triton 36,000/2, finding a buyer, designing the sub, building it and making it an unqualified success, all when people said it was impossible.

What do you believe are the reasons for the positive growth, interest and demand for submersibles?
I think the interest is driven by more disposable income and more interest in the oceans; more people understanding privately owned subs and their capabilities; owners discovering they can become a hero with family and friends by offering a rare and unusual educational adventure underwater.

“Sub-marine tourism” still lends itself to elite and wealthy. Do you have any plans to offer submersibles or experiences that are more “affordable”?
We have built a revolutionary transparent-hulled sub, the DeepView 24, that can carry 24 paying passengers on dives to 100 meters. The worldwide tourist submarine fleet carries about one million passengers per year and allows virtually anyone to experience the underwater world on hour long dives that are quite affordable. We have six tourist sub DeepView designs that range from six-passengers up to 66-passengers.

Beyond recreational purposes and documentary filming, submersibles are being used for marine research and ocean advocacy too. Was this ever the intention and how does it affect your future builds?
We have certain submarine models that are built specifically for research and underwater filming, and we continue to add more and more capable new subs and optional equipment to allow scientists and film-makers to break new ground in their endeavours.

Are submersibles the future of luxury hospitality – how do you see this form of exploration developing over the next decade?
I think a Triton sub established at a sea-side resort provides interesting market differentiation by offering a unique experience to guests. We expect this concept to catch on and to provide Triton with many future sales while introducing people to the sub-sea environment and promoting environmental stewardship.