Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, you’ll have heard about scUber, the world’s first ride-share submarine.
The ingenious partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Uber has put the Great Barrier Reef on the World Stage for all the right reasons: It’s beautiful, it’s alive, and it needs our global support to save it.
According to TEQ PR and Publicity Leader Shelley Winkel:
“What started out as an ambition to launch the world’s first ride share submarine in the world’s greatest reef, has become a global media tsunami. 2000 TV news stories, 2500 news pieces, hero videos on partner websites, newsletters to an audience of 20 plus million and… Ashton Kutcher sharing it on Facebook.
“Our aim was to put the spotlight on the Great Barrier Reef and remind the world that it is alive, rich in remarkable experiences and waiting for tourists to come visit, fall in love and help us protect it. The reef is fragile but it’s very, very beautiful. Please come and visit it.”
This week the first ever scUber underwater voyage was enjoyed by competition winners, Terry and Kym Purcell. Three days after watching the launch of scUber on the Australian news, avid diver Terry Purcell surprised his wife of 32 years with the once-in-a-lifetime experience. His mission was to show her the underwater world that he passionately loves.
“I’ve been diving on the Great Barrier Reef since I was seven years old and the reef around Heron Island is the most wonderful spot in the world,” said the 54-year-old owner of Purcell’s Engineering in Gladstone.
“Today is really about my wife. She does not have a diver’s certificate. She snorkels but it’s not the same. With this, she can experience the reef first-hand and see it close up.”
“Besides, who else do you know who can say, ‘I hailed a submarine’?”
Terry set his alarm clock early and was on the Uber app by 7:30 am to request the On-Demand ride when it opened to the public for the first time.
Within minutes of entering “Great Barrier Reef” into the Uber app, a submarine icon popped up on his screen followed by the arrival of a colourful Great Barrier Reef-branded Tesla. The Tesla transferred the couple to Marine Helicopters at Gladstone Airport for a scenic flight to Heron Island and the one-hour underwater scUber experience.
Commenting on the experience and the $3000 price tag, Terry said “It’s an absolute bargain. You can’t put a cost on this. For my wife to be able to see the reef at 18 metres below sea level and to see the bottom of a true coral atoll like I do when I dive was just magic.”
The scUber experience will be available on Heron Island for just over a week, before moving to Agincourt Reef off the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef region from June 9. Availability is strictly limited.
The scUber experience will cost $3,000 AUD for two riders and includes:
- Pickup from your location with the Uber app;
- Return scenic helicopter ride to either Heron Island (for riders requesting from Gladstone) or the Quicksilver Cruises pontoon off the coast of Port Douglas (for riders requesting from Cairns, Port Douglas and Palm Cove);
- One-hour ride in a scUber submarine;
- Return trip back to your original pickup address with Uber.
To celebrate the launch, Queensland and Uber are offering this bucket-list experience to one lucky winner and a friend from each of the following countries: USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand and Australia.
To enter the competition, go to scUberQueensland.com and explain in 25 words or less why you should experience the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef with scUber.
The scUber launch also marks the beginning of a partnership with Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef. The organisation is committed to engaging the world in the protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef and reefs all over the world, using tech, data and a collaborative approach to conservation.
Uber’s partnership with Citizens will focus on supporting several initiatives including their Reef Tracks program and the Great Barrier Reef Census through a financial and resource investment program.