Using the same technology proven in its existing C-Quester models, which can dive to depths of up to 100m (328 feet), Dutch luxury submarine manufacturer U-Boat Worx has announced a new line of exploration submersibles certified for diving to depths from 100 to 1,000m (328 to 3,280-feet). Named C-Explorers, the new line of diving machines are available in configurations for one to six passengers and are being marketed to scientists, research organizations, luxury superyacht owners, aquatic tourism ventures and private explorers.

Although the C-Explorers will share the same technology found in existing C-Quester models, they boast a totally new catamaran-style design concept that is combined with a fully acrylic transparent pressure hull to provide optimal underwater viewing. To minimize drag and allow for easy storage in a standard container on a ship the crafts’ patented floaters are flexible bags encased in a housing that automatically folds in when submerging.

The new line includes the C-Explorer 1, 2, 4 and 5 models, which seat one, two, four and five persons (including the pilot), respectively. The C-Explorer 1 is powered by a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery, while the remaining models pack a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery.

The new design permits the subs to be configured with a variety of optional accessories including robotic manipulator arms, underwater navigation systems, high-definition video cameras and an integrated remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that can be controlled from inside the sub.

U-boat Worx has commenced construction on a C-Explorer 2 rated to 200m (656 feet), which will be unveiled to the public during the Monaco Yacht Show, which runs from 22 to 25 September 2010. It will be able to remain submerged for up to 12 hours at a time and includes luxury fittings including an air-conditioning system, iPod stereo dock and champagne cooler.

The C-Explorer line from U-boat Worx will range in price from 280,000 euro (approx. US$358,377) for the one-seater model up to 840,000 euro (US$1.07 million) for the five-seater.