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Project Hercules: First-Of-Its-Kind Luxury Submersible

Introducing a new level of comfort and luxury for civilian submersibles, Project Hercules is a unique collaboration between Triton Submarines, Dark Ocean Design, and Monaco-based superyacht design studio Espen Øino International. Offering a variety of interior configurations, Dark Ocean’s patent-pending expansive AVA pressure hull interior can be endlessly customizable. Combining comfort with speed to create Triton’s first-ever high-speed submersible, it can dive up to 200m while traveling at the speed of 8 knots, almost triple its competitors.

Unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show, Triton’s Project Hercules concept wowed the crowd both with its technical capabilities and its futuristic design. Instead of a spherical design that offers excellent views but lacking in interior space, the submersible was modeled after a private jet and is striking in design both inside and out. Thanks to the 660 AVA (advanced versatile acrylics) series which was released by Triton in December 2021, the new design produced longer and flatter hulls versus the traditional bubble. As such, the free-form acrylic pressure hulls can be shaped in irregular geometries producing stunning exterior designs. 

Project Hercules ©EOI DOD
Project Hercules ©EOI DOD

Although the hull is capable of carrying up to nine guests, the designers decided to focus on comfort and luxury versus space. “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,” explained Patrick Lahey, President of Triton Submarines.

Project Hercules ©EOI DOD
Project Hercules ©EOI DOD

Along with having a dome that is nearly three times larger than prior dual-hulled submersibles, its narrow shape elevates its elegance. “Rather than focusing on maximizing the number of guests, we concentrated on the experience,” said Andrea Bonini, head of special projects at Espen Øino International. “We wanted to create an intimate, sociable setting.”

Some of the design features include

  • A retractable Formula 1-style spoiler that holds the cameras, lights, and sonar
  • Buoyancy tanks along with the battery banks and main electronics were moved to not obstruct the view
  • Multiple interior options: twin leather lounges, space for a day bed, and private dining configuration
  • Slidable pilots helm seat for guiding or privacy
Project Hercules ©EOI DOD
Project Hercules ©EOI DOD

Due to its four large thrusters at the stern, Hercules has more ability to move around versus just up and down like other submersibles. Other features include music, air conditioning, 12 hours of battery time, and four days of life support.

Pricing and final specifications will be released following computational fluid dynamic analyses.


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