Cruise lines updating safety policies after OceanGate's Titan mini-submarine disaster

   June 23, 2023 ,   Accidents

In recent times, luxury adventure cruises have witnessed an increase in the presence of submarines. However, following the tragic incident involving OceanGate's Titan submersible, some cruise companies updated their safety guidelines for underwater vessels.

Today, news broke about a devastating incident involving the deep-sea expedition vessel, which resulted in 5 deaths (3 tourists and 2 crew members). The mini-submarine had gone missing on Sunday, prompting an intense search and rescue operation.

In response to this incident, Viking Cruises has recently revised its "Submarine Safety" terms. As cruise lines offer adventurous underwater tour experiences to their guests, with many ships now equipped with their own mini-subs for exploring exotic locations, a thorough review of this service has been undertaken.

Viking EXPEDITION's ships Polaris and Octantis have gained popularity for their yellow submarines named after the Beatles: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Each of these Polar Class vessels carries two submarines, and the excursion was introduced in April this year at an optional cost of $812 per person.

However, in light of the Titan incident, Viking has made modifications to its safety protocols. Submarine dives will now be limited to a maximum duration of one hour and a depth not exceeding 300 meters.

Viking's updated guidelines state that the training provided to their Submersible Pilots and Surface Officers surpassed all industry standards, and regular safety drills were conducted to anticipate every possible emergency situation. Those measures ensured that each dive was carried out under the strictest safety conditions. The cruise line did not provide further details but mentioned that its submarines are certified by maritime engineers Det Norske Veritas and operate within retrievable depths.

Viking's Polaris and Octantis are not the only ships offering mini-submarines for guest enjoyment. Scenic's Eclipse expedition yachts also feature submarines manufactured by U-Boat Worx and Triton Subs.

Most cruise lines' submarine excursions are with shorter durations and at shallower depths than OceanGate expeditions.