Maui Submarine Atlantis Tour
Our Maui submarine Atlantis tour offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to ride in a real submarine in a real ocean and look at real tropical fish.
The Atlantis Submarine is not a theme park boat - it is an impressive five million dollar submersible, built for ocean diving.
The battery powered Atlantis dives to a depth of 125 feet so you can view marine life and the sunken ship Carthaginian along the Maui ocean floor.
Maui Submarine Atlantis - Cost and Schedule
The Atlantis tour is not cheap, but this is a unique Maui activity we have not experienced before or since.
The ferry departs for the submarine hourly - usually 9AM, 10AM, 11AM, 12 noon, 1PM and 2PM. You spend about 30 minutes each way on the ferry, and about 45 minutes underwater in the submarine.
Our Dive on the Atlantis Submarine
We were ferried by a small boat from Lahaina harbor out to the ocean and the waiting surfaced submarine. We stepped from the ferry to the sub and then climbed down through a hole along a vertical ladder into the Atlantis.
The submarine captain and crew were very precise and clear in their orientation.
Portholes line both sides of the sub, and we sat a bit cramped up - just like a sub should be.
When we dove underwater, we were surrounded by huge growths of coral and large schools of colorful tropical fish.
Not all colors can penetrate through water, so the appearance of everything and everyone in the sub changed as we descended into the ocean depths.
As we cruised along the bottom of the ocean, the captain provided a running commentary on various artifacts such as old anchors and sunken harbor mines which have been neutralized by the military.
At one point, a giant manta ray appeared in the distance and swam right by the portholes.
Our captain estimated that it had a wingspan of fifteen feet, but from close up it looked as big as our vessel.
The Atlantis also passes right by the sunken Carthaginian, a replica of a 19th century supply vessel.
I took this picture of the Carthaginian in 1985 when it was still berthed at Lahaina harbor.
The rigging was removed and the 97 foot Carthaginian was sunk off Lahaina in 2005 and now serves as an artificial reef for sea life and scuba divers.
Two Maui submarines berth at Lahaina Harbor.
The Atlantis anchors each night in Lahaina harbor, and is then towed out each morning to its diving location.
As the Atlantis is towed, it is dwarfed by the cruise ship Celebrity, even though the sub is much closer than the cruise ship.
We think of the Maui glass bottom boat Reef Dancer as a yellow submarine, but it's a glass bottom boat with an underwater viewing cabin that runs under the entire length of the vessel. This cabin is almost all windows you can view the coral and underwater creatures on both sides of the boat.
You can also view a submarine (a tiny one) at the
Maui Ocean Center near Ma'alaea in central Maui.
Christened the Makalii, this Hawaii undersea research lab reminds us of the Beatle's Yellow Submarine.
Atlantis Maui Submarine Video
This Atlantis Maui submarine video provides a good four minute overview of the tour, including the sunken Carthaginian ship. The video provides a free preview if you are considering spending several hundred dollars for your family to take this tour.
Click on the PLAY button in the image below to view the video.
Lahaina from Maui Submarine Tour