At 100 feet long and with a 64-passenger capacity, the Atlantis XIV is the world’s largest hi-tech passenger submarine. Enjoy the experience of seeing coral, Hawaiian fish, green sea turtles, sharks, eels, rays, artificial reefs, two sunken airliners and two of Hawaii’s best shipwrecks in a safe, comfortable and dry environment. Take a ride 100 feet below the surface to the ocean floor and go beyond the classroom as you learn about coral, reef life and submersibles. Atlantis XIV has a spacious air-conditioned interior, large view ports and comfortable seating. Each guest will even receive an Atlantis souvenir dive log. Atlantis offers two experiences, the premium submarine, and the standard submarine, so make sure you call and find out about each option. Please note that the 9:00 am and 10:00 am tours are Japanese narrated. Audio headset narrations are available in English, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.
The Waikiki launch point is at the beach right behind Hilton Hawaiian Village Ali’i Tower, just east of the new lagoon. A small yacht docks at the pier and takes you on a short ride to where the submarine is waiting for you. Make sure you purchase tickets in advance as you can’t get a ticket at the pier, and spaces often times fill up quickly. They will give you complimentary rides from and to select Waikiki Hotels. Atlantis also operates in Kona on the Big Island and Maui in addition to international locations.
Atlantis is one Hawaii’s most popular destinations and underwater experiences, but it didn’t start in Hawaii. Dennis Hurd, founder of Atlantis Submarines, has been exploring the ocean in submersibles since the 1970’s and has been a leader in the industry. His expertise started in engineering and providing underwater access to large oil rigs and drilling sites. Hurd would often bring executives from large oil companies underwater for inspections. His clients enjoyed the ride and Dennis Hurd’s vision for an underwater tour company was born.
From 1979 to1983, Hurd ran his own worldwide submersible service company, Offshore Engineering Corporation, which operated the small oil-industry submarines. In 1983, Denis used the profits from that venture, and $250,000 in design and development money from friends and business acquaintances to start what is now the Atlantis Submarines organization. He then went on to raise the millions necessary to build Atlantis I which was based on 15 years prior experience in the research and commercial submersible industry including extensive experience in both the design and operational aspects of the technology.
In 1986, Denis launched the world’s first tourist submarine operation in Grand Cayman with the Atlantis I, a battery-powered, non-polluting submarine. The high-tech nature of the vessel, the air-conditioned and pressure-controlled cabin, and the underwater beauty of the reef attracted world-wide attention and made Atlantis an instant hit. In 1989 Hurd launched Atlantis Submarines on Oahu with the debut of the all new Atlantis VI. 1991 the Atlantis IX and X were launched in Kona and Maui. In 2005 Atlantis Adventures reached two milestones including 20 years of operation and more than 10 million passengers. The company now has over one million riders per year world-wide in eight countries – United States, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Curacao and St. Martin.
Your adventure covers 16 acres of fun and beauty just off of the shores of Waikiki and Diamond Head. Over the years Atlantis has built and deployed a series of reef structures to attract and protect numerous different marine life in an area that was previously damaged by a hurricane many years ago, removing the protective coral cover for marine life. Atlantis has taken many actions to help restore the marine environment in Waikiki – this has also created some excellent viewing areas for visitors. 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 including the Pyramids and Japanese-designed reefs. Their environmental initiatives have already helped reverse the situation of declining fish stocks in Waikiki.
The YO-257 was sunk by Atlantis Submarines in 1989 to create an artificial reef. The hull was filled with gravel to keep it upright. A former US Navy refueling vessel built in the 1940’s, the 165 foot ship was used in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. This wreck has become a very popular scuba diving site and makes your ride on the Atlantis Submarine that much more enjoyable. The sea floor is approximately 110 feet deep, the top deck of the ship is approximately 80 feet deep, and the smoke stack is at 65 feet. Common marine life includes moray eels, green sea turtles, reef fish, tiger sharks, white tip reef sharks and dolphins.
The San Pedro was also sunk by Atlantis Submarines to create an artificial reef. This ship was sunk in 1996 and is only about 100 feet from the YO-257. This is a 90 foot former Korean-owned fishing vessel and was built by in Japan. Before being purchased by Atlantis, the San Pedro found its home in Hawaii as an inter-island cargo ship. The ship now rests at 85 feet deep and the deck is approximately 65 feet deep. With its proximity to the YO-257 you are likely to see a similar variety of marine life, but the species can be very random as its rate to see dolphins or tiger sharks in the area.
School Children’s Program
Atlantis started the School Children’s Program where classroom work is followed by a dive, which provides children with real exposure to the ocean environment, and an awareness of its fragile nature. Atlantis has served over 40,000 local school children, whose classes participated in the company’s “Living Classroom” program.
Atlantis Navatek Cruises
Atlantis’ sister company , Navatek Cruises, provides island cruises where you will enjoy live entertainment, by some of Hawaii’s finest vocalists, musicians, and beautiful dancers. You can choose either the more formal Sunset Buffet Dinner Cruise, or the Sunset Buffet Dinner in an informal and comfortable party-like atmosphere, while enjoying the city lights of Honolulu. Ask about their package offers.
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