The Blue Hole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Collecting scientific data
The Aquatica mission will carry scientists and explorers to collect scientific data and complete a sonar scan of the interior of the Blue Hole. Branson and Cousteau—the grandson of Jacques Cousteau, who coined the site's name in 1971—are reportedly planning to livestream during the mission.
Branson is a co-founder of Ocean Unite, set up in 2015 to amplify the messaging and goals of organizations working in ocean conservation through a network of global influencers.
Better business decisions for the oceans and Virgin's ports
Virgin Voyages said it intends to support ocean research and conservation projects like the Blue Hole Expedition in an effort to raise awareness and gain insight into the issues facing the oceans. The line aims for these efforts to help guide it in making better business decisions for the oceans and Virgin's port communities.
The sponsorship was announced during today's news conference about a Virgin-branded cruise terminal at PortMiami.