Submarine Tours in Maui: See Tropical Fish and Stay Dry

What's New — By keithdevey on July 28, 2010 at 12:46 am

If vacationing on Maui, you should take advantage of the amazing snorkeling and scuba diving the island has to offer.  Home to many colorful indigenous fish, the Hawaiian islands are often ranked among the top snorkel destinations in the world.  Those looking for a truly Maui snorkel adventure should look into booking a morning cruise to the remote crescent-mooned shaped island of Molokini, just off Maui’s southern shore.  Serious scuba divers should look into reserving a tour to explore the backside of Molokini, where steep underwater cliffs and reef sharks can be observed.

If you are like me and afraid of swimming too far offshore, or worried what could be hiding in the pukas (Hawaiian for holes) found in the coral formations, why not observe the tropical fish from the comfort of a 48-passenger submarine that can explore depths 100 feet below the surface.

The last time I road on the Atlantis submarine I was in high school.  Our marine biology class had a field trip out to Lahaina for a morning adventure.  According to the Atlantis site, tours are now offered four times a day (9 am, 10 am, noon, 2 pm).

The tour stars with a short ferry transfer from the harbor to a staging dock a couple hundred yards off shore. As you board the submarine, you feel like a true nautical explorer.  Staff on deck fill you in on the journey that is ahead, possible marine life you will see, and strange experiences only shared on a submarine (like the dilution of colors 100 feet below the surface).

While exploring the depths of Maui, you are bound to see marine life you may have never seen with a snorkel and mask, such as fish species that inhabit the deeper depths, spotted eagle rays, dolphins, sharks, turtles, and more.  A recent bonus to the Atlantis Adventure is the inclusion of visiting a historic sunken boat.  A boat named the Carthaginian, which used to be docked in the Lahaina harbor and replicated a 19th century supply vessel  (could be boarded for walking tours), was purposely sunk in 2005 to create an artificial reef.  The kids will surely enjoy exploring a sunken ship from the portholes of the submarine!

So, if you want to stay dry and still enjoy the wildlife found in the Pacific Ocean, I strongly recommend booking an Atlantis Submarine Tour.  The 105-minute tours cost $89, and are well worth it.

Local Expert tip: Another dry option for view fish is the Maui aquarium, known as the Maui Ocean Center.  It annually rates as the top visited tourist attraction on Maui.

[Photo Source: Randy Willis]