After conquering the roads, Uber, the peer-to-peer ridesharing service, now has its eyes set underwater. On May 24, 2019 the American company launched scUber, “the world’s first ride-share submarine experience," which will take tourists on a memorable journey across the world's most extensive coral system — Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Those wishing to take advantage of the exciting excursion, available for a short period of time from May 27, 2019 through June 18, 2019, can use their existing Uber phone app to make the reservation for a "reasonable" $2000 for two passengers. Though undoubtedly higher than the company's usual fare, it does include a round-trip helicopter trip from anywhere in Queensland to the submarine's docking locations in Heron Island or Port Douglas and a one-hour tour of the Great Barrier Reef in a “scUber” submarine vessel.
The battery-powered submarine, which seats two passengers and a pilot, will dive to a depth of about 100 feet (30 meters) — about the same levels reached by experienced scuba divers. Thanks to scUber's large windows, riders will be able to see an unobstructed 180-degree view of the planet's largest living organism, home to 3,000 individual reefs, 900 islands, and over 1,500 species of fish. Though Uber did not reveal the exact number, it did warn there would be only a "limited" scUber trips available. Also unclear is if scUber is a short-term publicity stunt, or a permanent offering that will be introduced later.
Regardless, in addition to giving people a unique opportunity to explore the beautiful reef, the three-week scUber program will also help the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, which has suffered extensive damage due to global warming. Uber plans to donate $68,000 from the fare proceeds to the Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, a network of concerned citizens, influencers, and organizations working together to restore the vital habitat.
“By partnering with Citizens [of the Great Barrier Reef], we can work together to raise awareness about the protection and conservation of this global icon, so that it can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come,” said Susan Anderson, regional general manager of Uber for Australia and New Zealand, in a news release. "We’re looking forward to seeing how visitors to the Great Barrier Reef embrace this new form of movement and become advocates of the Reef for years to come."
However, before you frantically start trying to book a scUber ride, the offer is only available for customers based in Queensland. The rest of Australia, Canada, the USA, France, and the United Kingdom will have to compete for one of six all-expenses-paid trips for two to experience the submarine ride. To be considered, applicants have to convince Uber in 25 words, or less, that they deserve the once-in-a-lifetime experience, before June 1, 2019.
Resources: foxbusiness.com, dailymail,co.uk, scuberqueensland.com