There are few events in human history which hold as much enduring fascination as the sinking of the RMS Titanic. It was one of the greatest maritime disasters in human history and a stark reminder in an age of innovation that man did not hold absolute dominion over the seas. Built to be the last word in luxury and rival the Cunard Line, which, at the time, dominated the bustling Atlantic trade, the reportedly "unsinkable" Titanic was the grandest and largest ocean liner of her day.
While Cunard's vessels were faster, Titanic was designed to appeal to the crème de la crème of society, and immigrants hoping to make a better life in America. Titanic's third class accommodation was so good that it was described as being the equivalent to that of second class on other liners.
When the Titanic sank beneath the murky cold, waters of the North Atlantic on the early hours of April 15, 1912, it was lost to the world until the then 73-year-old wreck was discovered on September 1, 1985. Since then, its legend has only grown, no doubt helped by the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, and there has been much debate over how its grave should be treated.
The site where Titanic lies is, after all, a grave - a memorial to the 1,503 people who lost their lives that fateful night. This included the richest man onboard the ship, John Jacob Astor. His lifeless body, complete with his pocket watch, was subsequently recovered, reminding everyone that wealth couldn't save anyone onboard the ship - although there was a huge disparity between the survival rates of passengers from different classes, with the third class having the slimmest chance.
While numerous artifacts have been recovered from the rapidly decaying site, it is, generally speaking, regarded as disrespectful to disrupt it any more than necessary. Despite this, people now have the opportunity to see the ill-fated liner for themselves - all for the price which first-class passengers would have paid in 1912 for the crossing.
In 1912, a first-class parlor on board the Titanic cost around $4,350. Accounting for the rate of inflation, this is equivalent to $112,000 in 2019. So, they're actually getting a discount of sorts.
The once-in-a-lifetime trip is being offered by Cookson Adventures and OceanGate Expeditions. They have joined forces to make the 2019 Titanic Survey Expedition happen this July. Needless to say, places are limited and only nine people can travel around 3,700 meters to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in Titan the submersible.
During the expedition, the extremely wealthy guests will explore the ship's bridge, deck, radio room, and first-class staircase.
They will have "access to state-of-the-art camera, video and sonar equipment" which will allow them to capture "crystal-clear footage of the wreck and catch a glimpse of the splendor and impressive engineering that was not quite a match for nature."
Once the trip is over and the guests have risen to the surface, they will enjoy a 10-course meal identical to the one which first-class passengers enjoyed on the last night Titanic ever spent afloat.
Pictured below is a surviving copy of that very menu:
In addition to this extravagant feast, the guests will drink 1907 Heidsieck Gout Champagne - worth around $275,000 today. This is what first-class passengers on board the Titanic drank at the time. It's now the most expensive champagne in the world.
The opportunity to go on this expedition is not only a once-in-a-lifetime but likely to be a one-off entirely. At its current rate of deterioration, experts have estimated that the wreck of the Titanic will have completely disappeared by 2030.