For non-diving travelers who want to see all the treasures the Great Barrier Reef has to offer, Uber is making dreams come true. The company, in partnership with Queensland, Australia, is now servicing the world’s largest coral reef system via submersible.
For four weeks, travelers can now use their Uber app to hail a scUber, the world’s first ridesharing submarine. “Barry” is a Stingray SR-500-1 that Uber is borrowing, along with its crew, from Aquatica Submarines.
In addition to the driver, who will be rated like any other Uber driver, Barry seats two passengers. The one-hour round-trip ride will begin in select Queensland cities. All riders have to do is input their destination address as the Great Barrier Reef. Then, an Uber operator will call to confirm that they didn’t order the unusual ride by mistake. (The call is also essential because Uber needs to know the riders’ weights.) The fare – $2,060 USD for two people – includes transport by helicopter to Barry’s exact departure point.
The best part might be that Uber will match every fare with a donation to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The Cairns-based conservation group works to protect the reef which is larger than Italy and roughly half the size of Texas. In fact, the reef is so big it can be seen from space. Unfortunately, despite its size, it’s particularly vulnerable. Threats include climate change, coral bleaching and overtourism. Currently, it attracts more than 2 million annual visitors, and according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, it has created 70,000 jobs.
Queensland Tourism and Events says scUber has limited availability and will only be available through June 18.