Kensington Tours and Nekton Auction Off Deep-Sea Maldives' Adventure Valued at $285,000

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Highest Bidder Wins Submersible Dive in Uncharted Waters Guided by Renowned Undersea Explorer, Victor Vescovo

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Kensington Tours, a leader in customized, private-guided travel worldwide and founding partner of Nekton, today announced they’re launching a limited-time online auction called, “Oceans Away...Dive of a Lifetime,” open to the public, for an exclusive submersible dive valued at more than $250,000. In addition to the dive, the highest bidder will participate in Nekton’s mission – First Descent: Midnight Zone, enjoy luxurious accommodations, world-class amenities and be part of the documentary filming experience. Further, all net proceeds will be re-invested into Nekton to support their ongoing conservation efforts to galvanize the protection and management of the ocean (Nekton is aiming for at least 30% of the ocean by 2030).

Kicking off on February 26th, 2020 at 12:00 a.m. ET, closing on February 28, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET, the two-day online auction offers adventurers across the globe a chance to bid on the world’s most exclusive travel opportunity — typically reserved only for an elite group of aquanauts.

Starting off at $125,000 USD, the highest bidder will board Nekton’s manned submersible and travel to the Maldives’ Midnight Zone alongside Victor Vescovo, renowned American undersea explorer, owner and pilot of Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) Limiting Factor. Well known for his worldwide oceanic expeditions, Vescovo is the first person to dive to the deepest point in each of the world’s five oceans and holds the Guinness World Record for the person who has covered the greatest vertical distance without leaving Earth’s surface.

The full VIP experience includes a stay at some of the world’s most luxurious Maldivian resorts including Soneva Fushi, a secluded desert island, featuring lunch prepared by a personal gourmet chef, snorkeling with Manta Rays lead by a private guide, the opportunity to conduct a live broadcast from the Nekton Mothership, and the chance to help create the first maps of uncharted seamounts. The highest bidder will also receive a documentary film detailing their dive with Nekton. The trip will take place mid-April 2020 and will be coordinated in tandem with the highest bidder.

“This is the sort of experience money can’t typically buy,” says Alison Hickey, President of Kensington Tours. “The highest bidder will have the opportunity to travel to an unexplored part of the ocean and potentially discover a new species in the process. We are in an era where more people have been to space than to the depths of our planet’s oceans.”

“To explore the amazing things at the extreme depths we’ll dive, is unlike anything a person can even imagine, it can be absolutely mindblowing,” says Vescovo. “It would be an honor to share the experience with someone who appreciates the wonders of the sea, join our incredible team and gain further insight into the technological breakthroughs achieved to build and operate the world’s most advanced deep-diving submersible.”

Among his many accomplishments, Vescovo has also completed the “Explorer’s Grand Slam” and made the first solo dive to the RMS Titanic and in 2020 will be the recipient of the Explorer’s Club highest honor, its Gold Medal. In addition, his recent Five Deeps Expedition Team will also receive the 2020 Citation of Merit from The Explorers Club, which is granted in recognition of an outstanding feat of exploration.

Bids can be placed privately or publicly by visiting

Photo caption: One adventurer will have the opportunity to board a submersible as pictured in this image being lowered from Nekton’s mothership, to explore uncharted areas of the Indian Ocean. Photo courtesy of Nekton.

Kensington Tours has created award-winning private-guided trips for discerning travelers for over a decade. The company maintains a staff of 150 knowledgeable Destination Experts who can tailor any of its 600+ itineraries to clients’ specific needs. Kensington Tours currently runs trips in more than 90 countries worldwide offering handcrafted itineraries, expertise and local insights.

The company also recently acquired Lionshare, a 130-foot (40-meter) Heeson motor yacht with exclusive itineraries scheduled for the Caribbean and Western Mediterranean. Lionshare represents the first vessel in Kensington Tours’ fleet.

For more information, visit and follow Kensington Tours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Nekton Send scientists into the deep ocean to discover and protect what’s there. First Descent: Midnight Zone is a major scientific expedition to support the sustainable governance of the Seychelles and Maldivian ocean including the protection of 629,000 km2. Nekton is an independent not-for-profit research institute working in collaboration with the University of Oxford and is a UK registered charity. For more information, visit or connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.

In addition to the “Oceans Away...Dive of a Lifetime” outlined above, the highest bidder will enjoy a wide range of luxurious accommodations, fine dining, world-class service and amenities including:

  • A 5-night stay in an Overwater Villa with stunning sunset views overlooking the Indian Ocean. Featuring a private terrace with overwater hammock and direct sea access, and personal island host will ensure an exceptional stay
  • Private roundtrip speedboat transfers to the Nekton Mothership, DSSV Pressure Drop
  • Snorkeling excursion with a private guide to witness Manta Rays — dive in crystal clear waters OR dive the renowned British Loyalty shipwreck which was torpedoed in 1944 by the German submarine U-183
  • Historical Tour of Gan Island and British Military facilities with a private guide
  • 5-nights at the Soneva Fushi Resort in a Crusoe Suite with pool for two
  • Sunset Dolphin Cruise - Watch dozens of playful dolphins in the light of the setting sun —while you cruise ever deeper in the sea, you will be served a selection of canapés and a flute of champagne, all accompanied by the beats of traditional Maldivian Boduberu drums.
  • Sonu’s Picnic – Embrace the castaway life and try Sonu’s favourite – lunch on a desert island prepared by your personal chef. Take a dip in the crystal clear, blue lagoon with our in-house snorkeling guide while your chef prepares gourmet temptations in the most intimate of settings

Leah Lupo
Media Maison

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Leah Lupo
Media Maison
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