Kensington Tours lets travelers make history beneath the sea

Scientists from Nekton Ocean Research Institute were joined at different points by Kensington Tours guests; itineraries are in the works for the next round of research.
Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

With travelers saying that once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind trips and adventures make them much happier than possessions, the luxury travel industry seems to be proving wrong the old adage that money can't buy happiness.

In just the latest example of how creative travel companies are becoming with opportunities aimed at the very audience to which that cliche refers, high-end private tour operator Kensington Tours partnered with a group of British scientists to let travelers participate in the history-making "Kensington Deep" exploration of the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Seychelles.

The mission, which uses submersible vehicles, launched last month. It made history when the scientists from Nekton Ocean Research Institute - who were joined at different points by five Kensington Tours guests and Seychelles President Danny Faure - went more than 650 feet deep into an area never before explored.

It was also the first time that a multi-camera live signal was successfully broadcast from manned submersibles using optical video transmission techniques, according to Kensington Tours. And in one more first, Faure took to the deep to broadcast from nearly 400 feet a plea to protect the world's oceans.

During the mission, Kensington Tours says, the scientists took 300 trips into the deep where they collected some 1,400 samples and 16 terabytes of data and surveyed about 25,0000 square meters of seabed for analysis.

The next mission is set for 2020 in Mozambique, and Kensington, a mission partner and Nekton institute founder, said it will be offering more travelers the chance to take part in the historic scientific discovery.  

With price points starting at about $350,000 for eight people, Kensington Tours said it is developing itineraries for the next round that will offer guests the chance to participate while staying in luxury resorts and aboard private yachts.

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