Marine

Triton launches spectacular 24-seat DeepView tourist submarine

Triton launches spectacular 24...
The DeepView 24, a spectacularly panoramic 24-seat tourist submarine, has just launched in Vietnam
The DeepView 24, a spectacularly panoramic 24-seat tourist submarine, has just launched in Vietnam
View 9 Images
The DeepView 24, a spectacularly panoramic 24-seat tourist submarine, has just launched in Vietnam
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The DeepView 24, a spectacularly panoramic 24-seat tourist submarine, has just launched in Vietnam
Front on view
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Front on view
Triton didn't skimp on the cool looking red switches
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Triton didn't skimp on the cool looking red switches
Surface communications and battery level readouts
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Surface communications and battery level readouts
The interior is incredibly spacious and offers total panoramic views for pilots and passengers
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The interior is incredibly spacious and offers total panoramic views for pilots and passengers
The DeepView is capable of taking passengers 100 meters underwater
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The DeepView is capable of taking passengers 100 meters underwater
Side controls
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Side controls
Forward thrust requires a surprisingly small 2 x 20-kW electric motor setup
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Forward thrust requires a surprisingly small 2 x 20-kW electric motor setup
The DeepView sub design can be extended in six-seat sections – this Vinpearl customer sub is a 24-seater, but the design can extend up to an incredible 66 seats
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The DeepView sub design can be extended in six-seat sections – this Vinpearl customer sub is a 24-seater, but the design can extend up to an incredible 66 seats
View gallery - 9 images

Triton submarines is the biggest name in deep-sea exploration submersibles, having built the extraordinary DSV Limiting Factor, a "deep-sea elevator" capable of popping down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench several times a week for extended visits.

Now, the company has launched an incredible-looking tourist sub that can take 24 passengers, a pilot and a co-pilot down to 100-meter (328-ft) depths in air-conditioned comfort, providing panoramic views of the aquatic world through colossal 5.5-inch-thick (140-mm) acrylic windows. Where other subs offer restricted views, this thing is very close to a giant transparent tube, like a glass walkway through an aquarium, tall enough to stand in.

The DeepView 24 is the first of a range of DeepView tourist submarines that can be specified in different lengths to accommodate between 12 and 66 passengers. Additional sections can be added six seats at a time; with the 24-seat version already 15.4 m (50.5 ft) in length and weighing 121,250 lb (55,000 kg), a 66-seater would certainly be a sight to behold and a pain in the butt to pull a u-turn in.

The DeepView sub design can be extended in six-seat sections – this Vinpearl customer sub is a 24-seater, but the design can extend up to an incredible 66 seats
The DeepView sub design can be extended in six-seat sections – this Vinpearl customer sub is a 24-seater, but the design can extend up to an incredible 66 seats

Unlike the Deepflight Dragon 2-seater, which operates more or less like an upside-down underwater quadcopter and maintains positive buoyancy so it'll float to the surface if the power cuts out, the DeepView uses nearly 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) of variable ballast in addition to 8,820 lb (4,000 kg) of fixed main ballast to control rise and fall.

Propulsion and steering are electric, and the work of two 20-kW (27-hp) main thrusters and four 12.6-kW (17-hp) Vertran thrusters. A big ol' lead-acid battery stores 240 kWh of energy; submarines are an interesting case in which energy density is more or less irrelevant since you need plenty of ballast on board, and lead-acid is significantly cheaper than lithium to boot.

That battery is good for a full 14 hours of underwater tourism, with top speeds of 3 knots (3.5 mph/5.5 km/h). And if things get a little dark as you head a few hundred feet down, ten 20,000-lumen LEDs will light up the depths beautifully.

The interior is incredibly spacious and offers total panoramic views for pilots and passengers
The interior is incredibly spacious and offers total panoramic views for pilots and passengers

The cabin looks like it means business, with screens and radios and rows of serious-looking red switches, but at the end of the day, the pilot drives the thing with a joystick and touchscreen. There are manual overrides in case of malfunction, and the whole thing is certified to International Classification Standards by DNV-GL.

It's designed to float steady on the surface, where passengers can stand on a railed-in deck, and you won't have to be shaped like a submariner to get in the thing either, as it's got a "generous access hatch" suitable for "passengers with reduced mobility."

Triton built this DeepView 24 for Vinpearl, a luxury hotel and resort chain in Vietnam that will start making ticketed dives in December this year off Hon Tre island in Nha Trang. Triton says it's a "quantum leap" forward from every other tourist sub built in the last 34 years – of which where have been less than 60 – and "competitively superior in all respects." To look at it, we don't doubt it. This looks like by far the comfiest and most immersive way to explore the sea floor that we've ever seen.

Source: Triton Submarines

View gallery - 9 images
4 comments
paleochocolate
tourist subs hit coral reefs all the time, its definitely not a sustainable way to bring people underwater
candydale45
@paleochocolate
I am fairly sure the couple of damaged square feet of coral reefs that occur from submarine hits every year are pretty insignificant compared to other factors.
Nobody
Since there is no color at that depth unless it is carrying a high capacity flood light system, it will be kind of dull. We took a ride on a similar sub down to 100 feet but all the color was gone below 40 feet.
buzzclick
There are places where water is much clearer so I'm assuming the areas where this sub will go will be optimal, but at 3.5mph it will be s l o w. So everyone gets on board and some spend time up on the deck till the DeepView24 gets near its chosen location? The water line must be at the top of the windows when it's on the surface. If you're going to have this kind of underwater cruise with such a huge viewing capability, it makes no sense to leave customers underwhelmed. I'm surprised that the seating is just upholstered benches. Lots of potential here if its executed well.