Atlantis Submarines is a passenger submarine company. The company currently has 12 submarines and operates undersea tours in Grand Cayman, Barbados, Aruba, Guam, St. Thomas, Cozumel and in Hawaii at Kona, Maui and Oahu.
In order for passengers to reach the submarine they board a shuttle ferry, then they enter the submarine via steep stairs. When the submarine goes down they see corals, sunken ships, treasures, and fish through large viewports. When the submarine ride is finished the passengers are returned by the ferry to shore where they are given dive certificates. Some 12 million passengers have taken the Atlantis submarine tour to date.
The Atlantis XIV, which sails from Waikiki Beach, Hawaii, accommodates 64 passengers and is the world's largest passenger submarine.
Atlantis was founded by current president and CEO Dennis Hurd, a former designer of submersibles for North Sea oil rigs, with USD $3 million borrowed from friends and relatives. The company launched the world's first commercial passenger submarine tours in Grand Cayman in 1986. It has since serviced about 12 million passengers.
Areas of operation
There are three main areas of operations:
Caribbean (Aruba, Barbados, Cozumel, Curacao, Grand Cayman, St. Martin)
Hawaii (Waikiki, Mau, Kona)
The novelty of riding a submarine to explore the underwater world of Guam is facilitated by Atlantis Submarines Guam. Managed by Atlantis Guam Inc., the Atlantis V is a 65 foot air conditioned submarine that can carry up to 48 passengers. The tour takes off in a passenger boat in Apra Harbor and explores the marine life in the GabGab reef. The reef has corals that were formed over 1,800 years ago. Varieties of fish that can be seen are moorish idol, unicorn fish, spade fish, sea turtle, giant trevally, clownfish, surgeon fish, and occasionally sharks. Other highlights of the tour are diving to depths of 45 meters and curtain of air bubbles as the submarine ascends to the surface.
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Atlantis has taken many actions to help restore the marine environment in Waikiki. One of the most prominent efforts is the artificial reef development program which attempts to increase biomass of fish, coral and other marine life. The man-made reef at Waikiki consists of two sunken ships, two sunken airplanes and several other reef structures designed in collaboration with the University of Hawaii. The company claims that its environmental initiatives have already helped reverse the situation of declining fish stocks in Waikiki.
- Atlantis I, 1986
- Atlantis II, 1986
- Atlantis III, 1987
- Atlantis IV, V 1988
- Atlantis VI 1989
- Altantis VII 1990
- Atlantis IX, X 1991
- Atlantis XI, 1991
- Atlantis XII, XIV 1994
- Si Liberman (13 December 2009). "Diving the easy way". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- "Atlantis Submarines Global Site". Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- Atlantis Submarines Brochure
- "GabGab Reef". visitguam.com. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Atlantis Submarines Guam Tour Info". Retrieved 10 November 2016.