scUber submarine Great Barrier Reef
Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Uber Launches Submarine ‘Rideshare’ Along Great Barrier Reef

scUber allows sight-seers in Australia to hail a two-person submersible and view one of the seven natural wonders of the natural world.

Skip the crowds and hassle of booking a Great Barrier Reef tour and just hail a damn submarine. For a very limited number of Uber users, that will soon be a possibility.

scUber submarine Great Barrier Reef
Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

On Thursday, the rideshare app, in conjunction with the Queensland tourism office, announced the world’s first submarine that riders can hail from their phone.

Dubbed scUber, the service includes pickup from the user’s location in a car, a helicopter ride to the put-in point, and a one-hour submarine tour. Sound too good to be true? It’s not — mostly. But the service will last only 4 weeks, and only one lucky pair of riders can hail the ride each day.

Oh, and it costs $3,000.

On the plus side, Uber will make a matching donation for each ride to conservation nonprofit Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef.

scUber Submarine Rideshare

“In late 2018, consumer research identified that exploring the Great Barrier Reef in a submarine was the most desired future travel experience sought by visitors,” said Leanne Coddington, Queensland tourism and events CEO. “scUber makes this wish a reality and reaffirms Queensland tourism’s commitment to providing locals and visitors alike with truly remarkable ways to explore nature’s wonderland.”

Of course, scUber is neither the first nor the only submarine tour of the Great Barrier Reef. Tourists can book all manner of reef experiences.

But scUber does mark the first iteration of such a personalized option for rideshare users. For now, however, it seems more like a publicity stunt than a pilot program. The promotion will go live on May 27 and run through June 18. In that time, Uber will offer one scUber ride per day on a first come, first served basis.

scUber submarine Great Barrier Reef
Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Each day, beginning at 7:30 a.m. during the promotion period, Uber riders in select Queensland cities (Gladstone, Cairns, Port Douglas, and Palm Cove) will have the option to select scUber. One lucky hailer will have the option to purchase the scUber ride.

From there, a car will pick up the riders — each scUber can accommodate two people — and take them to a helicopter pickup. A short helicopter ride later, the riders will arrive at their scUber to enjoy a one-hour Great Barrier Reef tour. And, of course, the trip includes a return to the riders’ point of origin.

In total, Uber says 20 scUber rides will shuttle 40 riders around the reef as part of the promotion. Only people using the Uber app within the select cities will have the scUber option.

Win a scUber Tour

scUber submarine Great Barrier Reef
Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

For those who aren’t quite fast enough to snag the daily scUber rides, don’t fret! Uber will also give away six scUber prize packages.

Enter here and tell Uber in a maximum of 25 words why you should see the Great Barrier Reef in a scUber. Six winners will receive roundtrip airfare to Queensland, Australia; 5 nights of luxury accommodation; a scUber tour; a Daintree Rainforest tour; and a $250 Uber Eats credit.

And hey, if you’re not planning to go to Australia or don’t want to shell out $3,000, feel free to make a direct donation to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef here.

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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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