These days, anyone can experience the thrill of a submarine ride—provided they've got $2 million to spare. Several companies have sprung up selling lightweight, private submarines to the wealthy: There's the Deepflight Super Falcon, built in California by Hawkes Ocean Technologies, for $1.7 million, or the SEAmagine Ocean Pearl, which will take you 3,000 feet deep for $2.5 million. "We're building the Learjets of the deep," says a designer.
He invites clients to go "barrel-rolling with the dolphins" and "skyhopping with whales." Customers are mostly "large yacht owners who want to offer their friends and their family something special," says a Florida-based maker. Indeed, one of his subs is a 210-foot "submersible yacht," Der Spiegel notes. That'll run you $80 million. But as demand increases, Hawkes boss Graham Hawkes is looking to go cheaper—to a mere $250,000. (Read more submarine stories.)