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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Outdoor Recreation

Video: Spacious bubble-sub lets you tour the sea floor in first class

•, By Michael Irving

Triton Submarines has delivered its first Triton 660/9 AVA to a cruise company to take passengers into the depths in style.

Triton's fancy sub takes on a unique kind of stretched bubble shape that's designed to allow passengers a wider, panoramic view of the ocean depths. The shape of that pressure hull is made possible by what Triton calls its Advanced Versatile Acrylics (AVA) methodology, and the rest of the craft's name comes from its depth rating – it's certified to dive to 660 ft (200 m) – and occupancy – it can carry nine passengers, including eight guests and a pilot.

The Triton 660/9 AVA is meant to be an "experience" sub offered by luxury resorts and cruise ships. Its comfy, leather-finished interior can be quickly kitted out as a cocktail bar, dining room, spa clinic, the world's lowest high-roller's club – whatever activities insufferably rich folk get up to on vacation, they can now do it against a unique undersea backdrop. It does seem to be lacking one notable "luxury" though, so you'd better hit the bathroom before you board, lest the sight of all that water gets to you.

After acing its sea trials and earning DNV certification, Triton has now delivered its first 660/9 AVA to the upmarket travel company Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours. This sub, christened the Scenic Neptune II, has been integrated onboard the cruise ship Scenic Eclipse II, where it will let passengers slip a dive in between brunch and bingo without getting their feet wet.

Scenic Eclipse II has just arrived in Australia, and will be conducting luxury cruises over the next two years in the surrounding waters, as well as Indonesia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and East Antarctica. If snorkeling feels passé, this little sub should offer a new way to explore the sea with a cocktail in hand.