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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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