No $100K per 'mission specialist' trip to the Titanic wreck this year
OceanGate Expeditions cancelled last-minute due to withdrawal of vessel
Those planning to head down to the wreck of the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland this month are out of luck, just two weeks before the first scheduled trip.
"We regret to announce that we are unable to conduct the Titanic Survey Expedition this year due to a last-minute vessel withdrawal by the expedition ship operator," the organizing company, OceanGate Expeditions, said in a statement June 13.
At a cost of $105,129 per diver, the Washington-based company was set to take guests — dubbed "mission specialists" — underwater to the Titanic shipwreck, leaving from St. John's starting on June 28.
However, in the statement, the company said the inaugural expedition is delayed until 2020.
"While we made every effort to find a solution, a vessel change less than a week before the start of the vessel charter jeopardizes the safety" of all involved, it read.
"Our team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to prepare for the expedition and to be forced to delay it at the last minute because of this change is particularly disappointing," OceanGate continued, but it "remains committed to the future of deep sea exploration."
Now rescheduled to start a similar six week, six mission schedule starting June 25, 2020, the company's website said each visit is limited to nine "mission specialists" and there is still availability in five of the expeditions.
When asked in a comment on Facebook, the company said the majority of those booked for this year have opted to keep their spot for 2020 instead of receive a refund.
OceanGate Expeditions did not immediately respond to a request for an interview from CBC News.