See the high-risk trips wealthy travelers are booking, from Everest trips to $750,000 expeditions to the deepest point in the ocean

A picture of tents set up.
Many people were awed by the $250,000 price tag for tickets for the now-missing submersible headed to the Titanic. It’s sparked a conversation about some of the wealthy’s high-risk travel habits.

  • A submersible with five people headed to the Titanic wreckage has been missing since Sunday.
  • Passengers reportedly paid $250,000 each.
  • Here’s a look at other high-risk adventure trips that are popular among the wealthy.

A submersible carrying five passengers to see the wreckage of the Titanic has been missing since Sunday.

The tourist expedition has sparked conversation for, among other things, its hefty price tag: $250,000 a person, according to The New York Times.

Its high price point makes it an activity typically reserved for the wealthy. Among the five passengers onboard the missing watercraft are British billionaire Hamish Harding and Pakistani-born multimillionaire Shahzada Dawood.

Here are some potentially dangerous trips that wealthy adventure-seekers take:

$750,000 trips to the deepest known point in the ocean

The submarine DSV Limiting Factor floats near the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop above the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in an undated photo released by the Discovery Channel May 13, 2019.  Atlantic Productions for Discovery Channel/Tamara Stubbs/Handout via REUTERS.
The submarine DSV Limiting Factor floats near the research vessel DSSV Pressure Drop above the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench.

Some uber-rich are venturing beyond the depths of the Titanic wreckage, all the way to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean.

The travel company EYOS Expeditions in 2020 started offering $750,000 trips to Challenger Deep, which is nearly seven miles deep. EYOS said at the time that only seven people had been there before.

Flights to space can run as much as $450,000

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin on July 20, 2021.
Billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson flew to the edge of space in 2021.

The rich aren’t just going to the depths of the ocean. They’re also jetting sky-high.

In 2021, Jeff Bezos visited the edge of space via his aerospace company, Blue Origin, and fellow billionaire Richard Branson made the journey with his own space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.

A ticket for the Blue Origin spaceflight, which lasted 11 minutes, auctioned for $28 million that year. According to Reuters, Bezos’ company estimated in 2018 that future tickets would likely fall in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, though the figure is likely higher today given price increases at competitors. Virgin Galactic, for example, recently announced it’ll soon launch its first commercial spaceflights, with tickets priced at $450,000 each; in its initial batch of tickets, sold over the past decade, seats cost $200,000 each.

Harding, who is on the missing Titanic submersible, also went to space, taking a Blue Origin spaceflight last year.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX hopes to get humans to Mars by 2030.


Climbing Mount Everest for more than $200,000

A picture of tents set up.
Furtenbach Adventures offers 199,000 Euro packages for Everest trips.

Fans of Mount Everest with 199,000 Euros or roughly $218,400, to spare, and limited time for long excursions, can sign up for a three-week package with close expert attention and more than enough oxygen. 

That’s pricey even for Everest trips, which can cost in the $40,000 to $100,000 range, National Geographic wrote last year.

But the “Everest Signature Expedition,” offered by Austria-based travel company Furtenbach Adventures, includes a series of provisions and services that its founder told Insider has helped ensure its perfect safety record and virtually guaranteed ability for its elite clients to summit.

“With a shorter expedition, you have less exposure to risk,” said Lukas Furtenbach, the founder of Furtenbach Adventures. The company also has a branch in Lake Tahoe in the US. 

The “Signature Expedition” includes a generator and tent sent to clients’ homes weeks in advance of the trip, which can simulate the high-altitude air conditions of the climbing expedition and help clients acclimatize before they even embark on the trip. Less time actually spent on the mountains also reduces the likelihood of facing other dangers of the Himalayas, like avalanches, Furtenbach said.

Climbing Mount Everest is dangerous. There have been over 300 known deaths overall of all those who’ve taken on the mountain, National Geographic reported, citing an online resource about the Himalayas called The Himalayan Database.

But his company’s premium expedition service also offers “unlimited oxygen,” Furtenbach said, to help mitigate one of the biggest threats of such extreme adventures. 

“The Everest and the high altitude is a dangerous environment, similar to a sub going to the Titanic,” he said. “You usually have oxygen for limited amount of time.” 

The oxygen reserves available to clients of the elite package accounts for a big part of the expedition’s high price tag, Furtenbach said. The company hires sherpas to carry oxygen cylinders up the mountain to be stashed there, and to carry them back to the bottom.

Trips to remote locations where you “get lost” can cost $100,000

A Moroccan desert.
Black Tomato’s “Get Lost” service offers trips to remote locations for challenging off-the-grid experiences.

For those looking to unplug and wander in far-flung territory, but with the watchful eye of trained experts observing their safety from a distance, the travel company Black Tomato has options. 

The “Get Lost” service gives customers some say in where they go — they get to suggest ideas for terrains they’d like to explore — but their destination will remain a mystery until they get there, according to the company. The company also offers options for customers to choose how “lost” they want to be on the trip. 

Customers on the “Get Lost” trip are encouraged to give up their cell phones, and are given satellite phones instead, said Brendan Drewniany, director of communications at Black Tomato. They’re also tracked by an operations team that is physically present and helping to ensure travelers’ safety from a distance. 

“It takes some of the fear of the unknown away, but it’s pretty out there,” Drewniany told Insider. 

“The idea behind it is partially digital disconnectivity, but in a most extreme way,” he said. 

The trips can cost anywhere from $15,000 per person for a few days, to upwards of $100,000 per person, depending on the duration and complexity of the trip.

They’re crafted by Black Tomato’s own team of adventure travelers, but the company also contracts with additional talent including survivalists and ex-Royal Marine Commandos, who are there to help customers on the ground, Drewniany said. 

“We build multiple layers of tracking and safety for customers,” he said. 

Adventures around Antarctica can cost $30,000

Penguins on Antarctica.
Penguins on Antarctica.

Wealthy travelers can choose from a range of cruises and trips to Antarctica — Intrepid Travel offers trips that cost over $30,000 per person to go on three-week trips around the Antarctic circle and the notorious Drake passage known for its extreme rough waters.  

Insider’s Taylor Rains, who went on slightly more budget-friendly version of the trip, wrote last year about the fluctuating weather conditions that could quickly turn from “sunny skies” to “blizzard conditions.” 

Read the original article on Business Insider


Moderator and Editor