The world’s first deep-sea submersibles were cramped and awkward spaces that could barely fit one driver and a researcher. Now, comfort and enjoyment is becoming as important as practicality. Adding a serious boost of luxury to the submarine market is a new project by Triton Submarines, which has joined forces with yacht design legend Espen Oeino and Dark Ocean to create the ocean explorers of the future. Named after Hercules, the God of strength and heroes, the project presents a “new way” to explore the ocean depths. There’s even an onboard mini bar.
Hercules is the first submersible designed by Oeino, the talent behind many of the world’s greatest superyachts, including REV, Ocean Victory, Octopus, Flying Fox, Dilbar and Kismet. To complete the project, the Monaco-based designer and naval architect was forced to venture out of his comfort zone and battle a fear of confined spaces. “I was initially reticent to even enter a submersible due to claustrophobia, but it took just one demonstration dive with Triton for me to fall in love with experience that submersibles can deliver,” he says. “They truly add a whole new dimension to the yachting experience.”
The trio used Dark Ocean’s elliptical nine-person AVA pressure hull as a base – which is capable of diving to 200m and travelling at speeds of up to eight knots (twice that of traditional private submersibles) – but reimagined the interior. They took inspiration from private jet design to boost space optimisation, usability and privacy. Several configurations were created, including twin designer chaise lounges (above) and a ‘private diving’ configuration (below) with the option for a separate passenger compartment, a retractable pilot’s helm seat, a day head and a mini bar.
“With Project Hercules, we set out to create an ‘Inner Space Craft’ – one that delivered a calm and exclusive environment where Owners and guests could enjoy intimate conversations, contemplative calmness and memorable private experiences,” Oeino says. “In changing not only the use of the submersible’s interior, but also the way it travels, there is little doubt in my mind this is a ground-breaking project.”
Triton Submarines President Patrick Lahey adds: “During the last 15-years, Triton has demonstrated its unrivaled technical expertise, through the development of a diverse range of uniquely configured submersibles, including the deepest diving craft in history and the versatility of our products, which have been used on numerous scientific and documentary filmmaking missions and thousands of dives at locations around the world by clients interested in exploring the ocean from the comfort and safety of a Triton.”
“Project Hercules aims to focus on a new way for our clients to experience the ocean. Espen and the team at EOI have brought a fresh approach and new perspective, while John and the team at Dark Ocean have proven their capacity to design extraordinary submersibles, the result of this collaboration is ‘Project Hercules,’ the new definition of a luxury-performance submersible.”
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