Taking a submarine ride has been on my bucket list, and on our recent trip to Oahu, I got to cross it off the list. The Atlantis Submarine tour is a must-do, if you’re going to Hawaii. We hit the tour just an hour after landing in Hawaii, and it was a great way to get started on a week of tropical paradise.
Atlantis operates out of Oahu, Kona and Maui, so you’re sure to have the opportunity to explore the exquisite marine environment Hawaii has to offer. The tour was very educational, and we felt safe and well-instructed from the get go. The ride out to where you get aboard the Atlantis was exhilarating all by itself. We motored out a good distance from shore, then watched the submarine emerge. We boarded, with a bit of fear and trepidation, but found our seats, which are each positioned in front of large windows for viewing.
The marine environment off the coast of Waikiki has several man-made reef developments which have increased the biomass of fish, coral and other marine life. This delicate balance has diminished over the past 100 years and Atlantis is doing its part to bring back balance. None of this is visible from the surface of the ocean, so it was super educational to go beneath the surface and see the beautiful environment. I must say, the turtles were the highlight of the tour!
We saw remains of a couple of sunken ships and even remnants of two sunken airlines. It was a rare treat to view Hawaii’s undersea ecology. These sunken “treasures” create homes for many of the tropical fish around the Hawaiian Islands. We didn’t see any shark, but they do report seeing them from time to time. We saw turtles and a host of Hawaiian Reef residents. I was grateful for the Fish guide we were provided. The large schools of fish were amazing to watch. I half expected them to spell out a message for us (think Finding Nemo). It was also fun to learn about the changes in color as sea water filters each color of sunlight. The deeper you go, the more the colors alter. We dove to just over 100′ deep in our submarine carrying up to 48 passengers.
So when you’re in Hawaii, but sure to Dive, Dive, Dive on the Atlantis Submarine Eco-Tour. It’s definitely exhilarating and memorable.