Under the Sea with Atlantis Submarines

Did you know that Waikiki in Hawaii is home to the world’s largest passenger submarine? Who knew that this island paradise had the capability to take 64 people under the waves?! Well I didn’t until I stumbled across Atlantis Submarines and boy, do they know how to show you the magic that is under the sea.

This tour is designed to show you the sea life that is in Waikiki and Atlantis Submarines have just made it so easy!

The Bus

To get there Atlantis Submarines have pick up points around Waikiki so it is quite easy to get to the wharf for the tour.  When booking your tickets you can enquire to find out if your hotel is a designated pick up point or where the closest one is. Otherwise you can just meet at the wharf on Waikiki.

Entrance to the Wharf

To check in to the tour, you walk across the golden sands of Waikiki towards the beautiful blue waters and on to the wharf.

Upon checking in, you get a little pass that gives you some tips on how to get on the sub smoothly. The colours of these cards will also advise which tour you booked (the 64 or 48 person sub). The other is a Dive Log book – now this is fantastic for the kiddies. This awesome Log book includes a guide to the submarines, a marine guide (fish, whales, rays, and sharks) and an overview of the tours on Kona and Maui. 

As you are waiting for the boat to take you out to the submarine, you can feel the excitement in the air. As everyone gets on the boat and after the safety video, it is a bit of a race to get to the best seats on the top level. The top level of the boat is the place to be. You will have the most beautiful views of Waikiki and Diamond Head.

The boat will then announce that you are arriving at the submarine. As you look around for the submarine, you can see this massive bubble that is rising to the surface beneath the water.  It is just this lighter coloured circle rising from the deep. This is the signal that the submarine is about to surface.

The Circle

Once the submarine has finished rising, the group disembarks from the sub to the boat.  Now it is your turn for an adventure. They call your colour (the small pass you were given on arrival) and you walk out on to the submarine. To get down into the sub, you walk backwards down a ladder and at the bottom you take a seat. You share your portal with your neighbour and then the adventure begins.

The Captain

There is a pilot at the front of the sub and an MC to talk you through what you are seeing. If English isn’t your first language than that is okay as there are headphones that talk you through the sites in a number of different languages (Japanese, Spanish, Chinese and Korean). There are also Japanese narrated tours. 

There are six different sites that the subs take you to and all of them have a wealth of marine animals.  We saw plenty of different types of fish, spotted eagle rays, a couple of green sea turtles and a blacktip shark. We only saw the shark for a couple of seconds as it darted around the sub and then off into the deep blue sea. It really was a sight to see a shark in its natural habitat.

Our sub went as deep as 111 feet!

 

 

Sadly, over the past century, the reefs around Waikiki have been dying. The artificial reefs that are the sites for the subs were designed in Japan and created in consultation with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant Program to give the sea life a home and the opportunity to study them.

The sites also contain two sunken ships: a 111 foot Korean fishing vessel, the St. Pedro and the US Navy Vessel, the YO-257.

This submarine tour gives people a chance to explore a hundred feet under the water and to see marine life in its natural habitat.

Can you see the turtle at the end of the ship?

With the artificial reefs in place, you can see that Hawaii is giving its marine life a home. This tour will show you what it is like under the waves and opens up a whole new world.

Fast facts

Location – Waikiki, Kona and Maui in Hawaii.

Tour time – An hour to an hour and a half.

Price – $125USD for an adult but you get a discount if you book online.

Worth it? – 100%

Sunset and whale watching cruises are also available.

Link – Atlantis Submarines

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20 Comments

  • Kerri

    April 10, 2017

    This looks amazing Helena! We went onto the USS Bowfin at Pearl Harbour and whilst I loved that experience it made me realise that I couldn’t actually go underwater in it. I had no idea this experience existed though so you’ve done so well to find. Really enjoyed reading about this.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      Thank you so much Kerri!I didn’t get a chance to explore the USS Bowfin (just the Arizona and the Missouri) but I have been on similar subs to the Bowfin. Just the way they are built and the way people have to live on this is amazing. Atlantis submarines gave the awesome experience of going down in a submarine without being cramped up and still getting the views. It was an amazing find!

  • Sandy N Vyjay

    April 10, 2017

    I have always been intrigued by submarines. Reading stories about submarines as a kid has only fuelled my imagination. Unfortunately I have never been on one. This sounds like an amazing experience, sitting in a submarine and floating in the depths of the sea amidst the fascinating underwater world. Would love to do this some day.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      Submarines do have this certain allure to them, don’t they? I have always had a dream of going on one and I am so glad I got a chance. I would highly recommend checking it out if you get the chance!!

  • Adria

    April 10, 2017

    I had NO idea this existed, and now you’ve ruined me forever. I have to try this. So cool! Thanks for sharing this experience.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      It was such an awesome hidden gem to find. Haha, glad I could help! You will just have to try it for yourself next time you are in Hawaii

  • gokulr27

    April 10, 2017

    Submarines for tourism. That is a great idea. Never thought they can be used that way. I always thought submarines are military and scientific research stuff.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      I know right?! I thought it was a brilliant way to bring tourism in to the state! Such a unique experience.

  • Castaway with Crystal

    April 10, 2017

    YEAH that looks awesome! I’ve never been in a submarine before. Super keen now!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      It was so awesome!! I highly recommend checking out when you head over to Hawaii!!

  • corinnevail

    April 10, 2017

    I don’t know what I’m scared of more…scuba diving or being in a cramped submarine. Neither sound like good to me that’s for sure. Love that you did it. Love your pics. Good for you.

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      Thank you. I completely understand where you are coming from. My Mum was super nervous with going down in the sub as she felt like she would be claustrophobic. She was actually quite surprised in how roomy it was down there!

  • Carolina Colborn

    April 10, 2017

    Did this in Maui!!! It was exhilirating!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      I would love to do this in Maui. Maybe for my next trip I will check it out!

  • Passports and Pigtails

    April 10, 2017

    We love Oahu, and always spend an afternoon in Waikiki. I’ve never heard of this! We will have to check it out next time we go, it would give everything a whole new angle!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      Oahu is such an amazing place. Definitely check it out the next time you are there. The wharf is just in front of the Hilton on Waikiki.

  • this is awesome! I rode a similar one in the Gulf of Mexico off of Cozumel but we didn’t have the opportunity to see any sunken wrecks or planes though the coral reefs were amazing there! I may have to try this again in Hawaii

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 13, 2017

      Thank you! I highly recommend checking it out the next time you are in Hawaii. I think doing it in Mexico would be amazing as well!!

  • This seems like a unique experience! I would love to go!

    • Through an Aussie's Eyes

      April 16, 2017

      I highly recommend checking out Atlantis Submarines if you get the chance. It is simply amazing!

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