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Your Atlantis Submarine Adventure in Hawaii is the Only Time you can Scream “Up Periscope!” Without Getting Slapped

Blip…blip….blip…goes the radar. We’ve all seen movies about submarines, but this is much, much safer than The Hunt for Red October. There’s no beeping radar screen in a dark hull—or Sean Connery to yell at you. Instead, on this submarine tour, you’ll witness incredible marine life (including coral reef, tropical fish, and the occasional turtle) right up close and personal.

You’ll feel like you’re cruising around the lost city of Atlantis on your submarine tour through the crystal blue water and across the sandy ocean floor. But before you embark on your undersea adventure, you should have an idea of exactly what you’re getting yourself into.

What is a Submarine Tour Exactly?

Whether it is on the Big Island, Oahu, or Maui, the most popular submarine tours in the area are the Atlantis submarines. In fact, Atlantis boats will take you on an island adventure like no other—you simply need to know which island to choose.

On your submarine tour, you will be escorted by shuttle boat to one of the many dive sites Atlantis has established. Oftentimes, they will install an artificial reef to entice the tropical fish, turtles, and marine life to hang around in the water and stay with you on the tour. The passenger submarine you are gliding in will take you on a tour within feet of marine life that you have surely never witnessed until now

Why Atlantis Submarines in Hawaii?

When you do something, you should do it right. Atlantis submarines are the tour you want to be on when sinking below that water level. The Atlantis XIV has a tour from Waikiki beach that can accommodate up to 64 passengers and is the world’s largest submarine dive on the planet.

Your undersea adventure can sweep you away to many Hawaiian destinations, like Maui, Lahaina Harbor, Kona and the Kailua-Kona pier, the Big Island, and Waikiki beach. The point is that you want a knowledgeable tour guide like Atlantis at the helm to ensure your tour is the best island adventure on the planet.

Passengers on Atlantis submarines can observe some of the most colorful fish, brilliant coral reef, and entertaining marine life in the world—right from the cozy cabin of the warm submarine. Sure you’re in deep water, but reef teeming with marine life just feet in front of you is the ultimate distraction.

Atlantis is also out there developing artificial reef to help sustain the island ecosystem and natural marine life of the coral reef. It’s not just a tour. Your undersea adventure is also a lesson in sustainability of certain reef in the water. Some of the reef life at the dive sites are solely there because of companies like Atlantis that care about the local Hawaiian ecology.

What if I Have Never Been on a Submarine Tour?

Don’t panic. Whether you are jumping on a tour at Lahaina harbor out of Maui, taking a submarine dive near Kona on the Big Island or from the world famous Waikiki beach, you’re always safe with Atlantis. There is no need to bring anything special on the boat tour. Under the water, you will be feet within marine life on the ocean floor. In a passenger submarine, the deep water is all around you so you may want to think about bringing a light jacket in case you get chilly.

What can I Expect During my Undersea Adventure on Atlantis?

It doesn’t matter where your island tour starts from (be it Maui, Waikiki, or the Big Island) there will always be a shuttle boat to pick you up. Using one boat to get to another boat is a fairly common island practice (even though a sub is technically not a boat—it is to most of us!).

Once you are shuttled over by boat to your passenger submarine, the fun truly begins. Developed in 1988, Atlantis submarines are battery powered and emit no pollutants what-so-ever. Because Atlantis tours emit no sound, they never disturb reef life. This makes for a killer photo op around every step of the tour.

When is the Best Time of Day?

The best time of day for a submarine tour is when the fish are feeding—which is generally mid-morning. Around 10 a.m. the local reef is practically bursting with life, so get your butt on a boat tour early morning.

Where can I Take a Tour?

The Island of Oahu

If you fly into Oahu, you will probably be spending some time at Waikiki. Waikiki is the prime city for fun and Oahu cruises serve some of the best food around.

An Oahu submarine tour that starts at Waikiki will take you within feet of the incredible reef bursting with colorful marine life on the ocean floor. No matter what type of tour you choose, one thing is for certain, you’re gonna enjoy the island life!

The Island of Maui

Just a little ways away lies the island of Maui. A Maui Atlantis submarine is simply spectacular from a place like Lahaina harbor which lies on the western side of the breathtaking Maui Forest Reserve. This little niche is one of Maui’s best-kept secrets and is the perfect place to start your tour.

Painted rainbows spread light over the water and across the ocean floor—illuminating Lahaina harbor reef life and creating the perfect environment for a casual Maui Atlantis submarine tour. Whether you take a tour on one of the Maui Atlantis submarine or do something else, such as the incredible Molokini snorkeling tours, the island of Maui is prime pickins’ for adventure. Choosing Maui Atlantis submarine for an adventure means a good time…every time.

The Big Island

Of course, no trip to Hawaii is complete without a tour of the big island. The brilliantly sunny Kona district stretches for 60 miles across the big island, creating what is known as the “Kona coastline.” The Kailua-Kona pier in Kona is where you can hop on a tour with Atlantis submarines.

First, you will need to take a shuttle boat from the Kailua-Kona pier to one of the sturdy Atlantis submarines before diving down in the water. Yes. You have to take a boat to another boat, but that’s part of the fun of a submarine tour!

Why the Name Atlantis?

Simple…the Atlantis submarines are named after and inspired by the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. Mentioned by Plato, it tells the tall of an ancient city that plunges into the Atlantic after falling out of favor with the gods. Atlantis represents total submersion, much like an Atlantis submarine.

The story of Atlantis has also had a considerable impact on literature. The people of Atlantis were said to have been peaceful people of a utopian-like society. Atlantis has been the inspiration for stories and works throughout history. Atlantis will never die. Much like the company Atlantis, the city of Atlantis is simply an expert at operating beneath the surface.

From Maui to Oahu and the big island, you can’t miss the beautiful reefs of Hawaii—especially on an Atlantis tour. A sustainable company that cares, Atlantis submarines navigate artificial reefs they have built to maintain the ecosystem and give back to the community on a daily basis. It’s more than just a submarine tour. It’s a way to inject a small bit of philanthropy while enjoying a spectacular undersea adventure.

Now the only question becomes: “will they let you touch the periscope?”

If you can’t handle being under the water like that, no worries. Check out a glass bottom boat for a stellar alternative.

Glass Bottom Boat

If you still want to check out the Waikiki marine life or the turtles in Kona—but you don’t want to go in the water, a glass bottom boat might be a better bet for you. Just as it sounds, you cruising on a boat that has a glass underbelly (so naturally you can view the coral reef, tropical fish, and all sorts of marine life).

Unlike a submarine dive, you are not going under the water on a glass bottom boat so if you are worried about feeling claustrophobic, this is your prime option.

No matter what type of tour you choose, one thing is for certain: You can enjoy frisky turtles coasting about the reef life and tropical fish darting in and out of the coral reef while passengers waving to marine life of every vibrant spectrum.




  • Elizabeth L

    Aloha! I’m Elizabeth L. At LiveYourAloha, I am responsible for writing about sightseeing tours and Hawaiian culture. For the last 12 years, I’ve been working as a tour guide in Hawaii. It’s been a great way to see the world and learn about new cultures. I love nature and the outdoors, and have even climbed two of the world’s highest peaks! Making connections and showing my visitors the incredible beauty of these beautiful islands is a passion of mine. When I’m not out giving tours, you’ll likely find me on an invigorating hike or enjoying local cuisine on the beach.

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