Hercules of the deep

Triton Submarines, Dark Ocean Design and Espen Øino revealed a new collaboration concept, the Project Hercules Submersible, at the 2022 Monaco Yacht Show.

06 October 2022


A first-of-its-kind luxury performance submersible aims to change the underwater experience for guests.

The second instalment of the pathbreaking collaboration between Triton Submarines, Espen Øino International and Dark Ocean Design was revealed in the shape a cutting-edge submersible: Project Hercules.

Project Hercules is an extraordinary vehicle that not only proves to be a milestone in high-performance luxury submersible craft, but also changes the manner in which Owners and their guests experience and engage with their underwater environment.

Through reimagining the use of Dark Ocean’s patent-pending elliptical nine-person AVA pressure hull, the collaborators aim to replicate the privacy, amenities, comfort and luxury usually experienced in a private aircraft.

Capable of diving to 200-metres and designed to travel at speeds of up to 8 knots, the Triton Project Hercules will glide amidst a school of magnificent sharks or fly-by reef walls, all while guests luxuriate in Project Hercules’ ultra-fine interior cabin.


Triton Submarines President Patrick Lahey explained, “During the past 15 years, Triton has demonstrated its unrivalled technical expertise through the development of a diverse range of uniquely configured submersibles.

“This includes 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.”

The extraordinary interior volumes afforded by the AVA pressure hull, which was initially designed to convey up to nine guests, will be custom-designed in accordance with the Owner’s intended use.

Several options have already been considered, including twin designer chaise lounges in opulent high-grade leathers, an oversized daybed or even a large floor space for scattered soft furnishing. Arguably the most remarkable interior concept revealed so far is the private-diving configuration.

This involves separating the pilot from the passenger compartment by two interior bulkheads, between which is included a day head and mini bar, thus delivering the same level of amenities and privacy as that of a private aircraft.

The pilot’s helm seat can slide forward if required to curate the dive and act as a guide while cruising to the required depth and location, and then retract behind the bulkheads when privacy is required. Exterior cameras and screens, or a VR headset, will supplement the pilot’s visual field for enhanced situational awareness.

During the press launch of Project Hercules, Espen Øino commented, “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 the experience that submersibles can deliver.

“They truly add a whole new dimension to the yachting experience, which is why we were so keen to develop this relationship with Triton moving forward.

“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.

“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 groundbreaking project.”

Aft, the arrangement of four large thrusters belies the performance aspect of this innovative craft, an important aspect of the design as from the outset, the three companies set out to develop a submersible that could provide the sensation of swimming or gliding.

Rather than transitioning through the up-down vertical plane submersibles generally operate in, Project Hercules is designed to explore larger areas thanks to an estimated top speed in the region of 8-knots, twice that of traditional private submersibles.

Forward, a section reminiscent of a Formula 1 front spoiler, advances and retracts to balance the horizontal trim, provide protection as a collision fender and will incorporate the ultimate selfie camera to record underwater adventures.

Speaking on behalf of Dark Ocean Design, John Ramsey said, “For 15 years, the team at Dark Ocean has collaborated with Triton Submarines to create some of the most capable submersibles on the planet.

“By pushing engineering limits, we have progressively increased the capacity and depth of these submersibles as well as enhanced the overall passenger experience.

With Project Hercules, the team at Espen Øino contributed a refreshingly unique perspective on how the vessel could be configured. This insight, combined with their expertise in crafting luxurious spaces, has resulted in a submersible that is simply unlike anything else.”

With the concept and engineering phases of Project Hercules now complete, the team will complete CFD and fluid dynamic analysis of the model over the coming weeks, followed by the final specification and pricing.

Further information on Project Hercules will be released at the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Yacht Show, where the collaborators will reveal the third instalment of this highly productive relationship, a restyled and remodeled Triton 1650/3 LP EOI Edition.



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