Dutch company U-Boat Worx builds two- and three-person submarines for private and tourist use and has been doing nice business catering to the superyacht owners of the world for the last five years. Recognizing that its aspirations are greater than the number of independently wealthy superyachters, the company has set up a submarine center on the Caribbean island of Aruba aiming to “break open the luxury tourist submarine market.” “By catering to tourism ourselves, we are showing third parties, such as luxury resorts, hotels and cruise companies, what the opportunities are", says U-Boat Worx founder Bert Houtman
Houtman established U-Boat Worx in 2005 and by starting from small series production, U-Boat Worx has grown to be recognized as one of the world's very few suppliers of safe submersibles, and with a unique cost-performance to boot. Houtman says tourists will be able to experience U-Boat Worx three-person submarines under the guidance of an experienced pilot.
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Peter de Hoop, U-Boat Worx Aruba's managing director, has this to say: "For tourists, this is a wonderful opportunity to discover the underwater world in an exclusive way. You do not need a diving license and our guests can chat with each other, while enjoying a glass of champagne."
The price for a ride in the submersible depends on what the customer wants. The dive can be geared completely to one's personal wishes.
The submarine builder from Breda, The Netherlands, expects that the Aruba operation will open the eyes of many businessmen wanting to apply this idea elsewhere in the world according to Houtman.
Taking a trip in a submersible has many advantages over regular deep-sea diving. The guests are in a dry, one atmosphere environment and this means there are no changes in air pressure, regardless of depth. In this way, possible medical disorders resulting from decompression sickness, that can be caused by SCUBA diving, are eliminated.
The electrically powered submersible for three people is equipped with Lithium-Ion batteries for long sailing times. The Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced by the passengers in the pressure vessel is removed by so-called scrubbers, and the oxygen used is also added automatically.
The C-Quester-3, as this submersible is called, can stay underwater for over 96 hours, in case of emergency. There are numerous accessories, such as a safety buoy, a lead weight that can be dropped off, underwater communication, an air-conditioning system, a depth sounder, sonar and optionally video and tracking systems. Safety is guaranteed by a separate classification by Germanischer Lloyd.