It took him just over 2-1/2 hours to reach the Challenger Deep and a mere 70 minutes to reach the surface once his time on the bottom ended.
While there, he says he took a page from astronauts' experiences and made sure he took time to savor the view – the otherwise deep, black water illumined by banks of LED lights along the sub's hull.
“I just sat there looking out the window, looking at this barren lunar plain and appreciating it,” he told reporters, following the trip, which was funded by the National Geographic Society, Rolex, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
More trips are in the offing this year by various groups aiming to take people into the Challenger Deep or other parts of the Mariana Trench. These efforts include Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Oceanic sub, which like Cameron's Deepsea Challenger, is a single-seater. Several of the marine scientists who have worked with Cameron also are working with Mr. Branson's group.