“ Address: 658 Front Street / Suite #175 / Lahaina / Maui / Hawaii / United Sates / 96761 / Tel: T: +1 1 800 548 6262 „
We did the Atlantis Submarine trip on our recent trip to Maui, Hawaii - and it cost us the reduced price of $89 which equated to about £58 per person. At the time I felt this was quite expensive, but as I don't enjoy snorkelling, I thought it was a way of seeing the fish and coral without actually having to put my head under the water - and so I went ahead and booked it. There were five sailings a day - all costing the same price and lasting around 90 minutes or so. I booked directly through the Atlantis website which meant that we had to get ourselves from Wailea to Lahaina (about 40 minutes in the car), but if you book through a tour agent, they will pick you up and drop you off for an additional fee.
When you get on the submarine, you are given a seat - which remains your seat for the duration of the trip. The seats are aligned so that there is a window in front of each seat that goes down one side of the submarine. We could stand and stretch our legs but there wasn't a lot of room to walk around and so the view could be a little restrictive if there was something on the other side of the submarine that we wanted to see. The views are fairly good and we did see a lot of tropical fish and coral reef - which was pretty and interesting, but I would say that it was a little stagnant in terms of atmosphere as it feels very much like a tourist trip that was just about satisfying the whims and curiosity of children. From a adult perspective, I didn't find it very informative at all although there was an identification card that you could use to personally identify the fish and sea life that you observed.
The submarine was comfortable but I would say that it is quite cramped and I found it to be quite claustraphobic. I do have a tendency to suffer from claustrophobia to a limited degree and I did not find this experience unbearable, but I have to admit that as time went on I was willing for the submarine to rise so I could get off. We dipped to 120 feet - but there was no change in the perceived pressure within the submarine.
Safety was taken seriously and there was a security briefing at the beginning of the tour, as well as all of the necessary equipment needed to ensure for a safe trip.
I wouldn't particularly rate this tour for adults.....unless you have really never tropical fish before. However, I would imagine that children would find this very exciting....but I suspect their attention would wane as time went on and for that reason they could probably make the tours a little shorter - and cheaper!! I won't do this again and I wouldn't recommend spending such a huge amount of money on doing this....if you're wanting some adventure on the sea, opt for the whale watching cruise run by the Pacific Whale Association....its cheaper, longer and more informative.
On a recent trip to Maui, Hawaii, we decided to do a submarine dive. We had previously tried this in Egypt but it ended up a slight con, the submarine, was just a glass bottom boat and didn't actually dive at all. It was disappointing.
Atlantis Submarines have subs in the Hawaiian Islands as well as throughout the Caribbean. We visited Lahaina in Maui via cruise ship, so we booked this through the cruise company, it cost us £80 (approximately) each, but if we had booked directly with Atlantis it would have cost £65 or the online price of: £60. This is a saving and I would advise, especially if you are on a cruise to book privately/directly.
Tours last approximately hour and a half and there are 5 a day, the tour takes 48 passengers for each dive. Each person is allocated a seat and there are windows in front of all seats, you can't get a rubbish view, however seats face out of one side of the submarine and therefore, that is your view, you can look behind, but this isn't always ideal for children being so much smaller.
You have to go to the dock and wait by the Atlantis Submarine berth for your tour, you are then given your ticket and asked to board the boat, the boat takes you off the coast to wait for the submarine to emerge, this is a very exciting part, the submarine will be under water, giving you the opportunity to watch it come up. You are told to look for the white under the water and then it comes up. People that are on the submarine need to disembark and come on to the boat, so they come on, after that, you board the submarine and take your seat.
When you dive it really isn't all that exciting, I thought it was going to feel 'strange' but it didn't, you just go down. The point of the tour is to see the coral reefs, ship wrecks and their inhabitants. As I said we had already done something similar in Egypt so this was not the main attraction for us, and yes it was good, but I'm not that in to water/sea/snorkelling/fish so it was ok, you just see them swimming around. Once you've seen it once, it isn't something I'd do again.
This is a great way to let children see under water and the fish and if you aren't a fan of getting wet this again is a good way to get below the sea level without having to wear a wet suit.
You do just stay over the reefs mainly and look at the ship wrecks, both natural wrecks and purpose sunk ships. This is to help the eco-system and make homes for those animals who live on the reef, like white tipped sharks.
We went down 120 feet under water and there is a gage in the submarine that shows you how far below water level you are. This is cool as you can see if you are descending and ascending and how how or low the reefs are on the sea bed.
There is a large noise when you reach the sea bed; this is the fan engine keeping you as low as possible. Without it the submarine would just float up to the surface.
Throughout the tour is a running commentary of what you can see, where you are, and what is outside the windows. They also do their best to show both sides everything, so sometimes you may be facing out in the busy reef and others you may be looking out from the drop off (for all you Nemo fans) or known as out to sea.
There is also a fish card in front of every other seat to show you what fish you may fish but also to help you identify them.
Atlantis are a very professional organisation who also make this tour great fun and a good experience to go away with memories that will last forever. My only moan, which isn't Atlantis' fault, is this is a bit boring if you have done it before, I think those who are real fish fanatics and children will like this tour best.
We had just been whale watching and seen a 40 tonne mummy whale fully breach out of the water about 70 feet from our boat, so after that a few little fish on a coral reef, really isn't that exciting. I also think it is quite pricey for what it is.
I know they need to keep the submarines running and maintained but I was not happy with paying £80, but then that was the marked up price with the cruise company. I would have preferred to pay £60 but again that is £120 for an hour and a half, and the overall experience of the submarine wasn't that exciting.
The submarine is fully air conditioned which is nice but slightly cool, I would wear a cardigan. It is also very open and not at all claustrophobic, obviously if you don't like small spaces or not being able to get out, then you won't like it, but it has a tall ceiling and it open inside. I thought this made it feel quite airy below. To me the best way to describe this would be like flying, except better, my ears didn't pop at all.
It was something I have now ticked off my list of things to do, but I won't be doing it again. They say it's a once in a lifetime experience, and it really isn't, if you did it in Hawaii and the Caribbean, there may be some different fish, but it is the same. Maybe they mean it is once in a lifetime as in, you won't need to do it again.