Uber launches helicopter, submarine rides to great barrier reef

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Want to get a fish eye’s view of the Great Barrier Reef but don’t have a boat?

Ride-share company Uber announced on Thursday that it’s launching a new feature called ScUber, allowing customers to book a submarine trip through the Uber app in Queensland, Australia.

The ScUber experience will be available from May 27 to June 18, initially from Heron Island off the coast of Gladstone in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region, and then from the coast of Port Douglas in Cairns, from June 9 until June 18.

For 3 000 Australian dollars (about R29 000), the experience includes being picked up from, and dropped off at, your location via the Uber app, then a helicopter ride to the launch point (either Heron Island or Port Douglas), a one-hour ride in the ScUber submarine, and a half-day of snorkeling and touring the Great Barrier Reef.

The submarine service is designed to support the protection of the coral reef system through Uber’s new partnership with the organisation Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

Uber is no stranger to nontraditional marketing stunts, having previously ventured into ice cream delivery and a service called UberKittens, which allowed customers to request a playdate with kittens to support the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The company is also working to develop a flying taxi via a partnership with Aurora Flight Sciences.

The submarine offering comes after Uber’s initial public offering flop on May 11; shares plunged immediately after trading opened and fell as much as 8.8% from its IPO price of $45 per share by the end of its first day. The stock price is down about 10% from the IPO figure amid flareups in US-China trade negotiations and the recent dismal performance of rival Lyft.

 

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