getting around

The Status Submarine’s Time Has Come

Photo: Paul Nicklen

“The deep ocean is no place for compromise,” reads the website for Triton Submarines, a company that manufactures what it describes as “superlative submersibles for discerning individuals and demanding professionals.” Demanding and discerning such as new investors Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, and James Cameron, the man who made whales cool again, who both are now part owners of the company. (Cameron famously was the first person to conduct a solo journey to the bottom of the Mariana Trench and also to return alive in order to create the sequel to Avatar.)

The simple yacht is over, and the submarine is king, Dalio told the Financial Times this week. “If you’re just going on a yacht in some fancy place, that’s one thing,” he said. “If instead you’re on a yacht and you can go down and explore, first of all the trip is going to be better and also it encourages exploration.” Triton’s various luxury models can hold up to 66 people, reach 11,000 meters under the sea, and cost up to $40 million. Their submersibles include leather interiors and “premium-grade, optically-perfect acrylic” for unmatched views of the mysteries of the deep ocean, its website says. (“This degree of intimacy! The sub basically disappears!,” according to one satisfied customer.) Personal submarines have become something of a trend in recent years, and not just for the Über-rich.

It’s not just submarineless yachts that are over, according to Dalio. Space is, too. “Ocean exploration seems to me much more exciting and important than space exploration,” he told the Financial Times. “You’re not going to see any aliens in outer space but you will see aliens underneath.”

The Status Submarine’s Time Has Come