Explore Maui’s hidden wonders with Atlantis Submarines

By Olena Heu

Atlantis Submarines Maui is the best way to take an under-the-sea tour of the pristine waters and hidden gems off the coast of the Valley Isle.

Eco Friendly

Your state-of-the-art adventure begins at Lahaina Harbor, where you are greeted by a tender boat and crew that will take you on a 10-minute ride out to sea. There you will board an eco-friendly, zero-emission, excitingly educational and spacious air conditioned Atlantis 65-foot, 48-passenger submarine that is safe, quiet and doesn’t disturb neighboring marine life. “Atlantis Submarines worldwide are battery operated and the cool thing about Atlantis is we were electric vehicles before electric vehicles become the ‘in’ thing,” said Jim Walsh, General Manager of Atlantis Submarines Maui. Resident fish appear unfazed and often engage with the sub as it motors silently. “We just glide through the water,” Walsh said. “Being that we are battery operated, there’s no pollutants, no fumes, nothing is emitted into the environment.”

The Carthaginian

The Maui dive boasts an abundance of tropical fish, beautiful coral reefs and a breathtaking artificial reef that is both historic and near and dear to the hearts of Atlantis Submarine Maui. The 97-foot, steel-hulled Carthaginian replica whaling ship is truly Maui’s best kept secret to behold. In December 2005, Atlantis Submarine Maui acquired the vessel, which once served as a floating museum. With the goal of marine conservation and fostering propagation of fish habitat, the years-long process toward researching, permitting, prepping and cleaning the ship began. “All wood needed to be taken off, lots of the rigging came down, we kept some of the main masts up, the engines were cleaned and flushed, all the electrical wiring was removed from the vessel,” Walsh said.

Reef for Research

Atlantis thoroughly prepped the vessel, then delicately sunk and anchored her a half mile from shore. This area was the perfect new home for the ship, which was open with a sandy bottom, close to 100 feet of water and without any coral reef. Now a self-sustaining habitat for marine life, The Carthaginian, thanks to those at Atlantis Submarines Maui, serves as a research area for students, a hidden gem off of the island and an impeccable dive site. “We’ve partnered with several marine programs at the Maui Community College and the students conduct fish studies for us,” Walsh notes.

Nature Transformed

Nature has beautiful a way of transforming the vessel into a thriving artificial reef, a self-sustaining habitat for local vibrant fish, a rainbow of coral and other happy marine life. “Over time you could see how the coral and coral polyps when they first spawn they drift until they find a good structure where they can begin to grow … and they really took to the Carthaginian.”

Be sure to visit Atlantis Submarines Maui for an eco-friendly, memorable adventure exploring the ocean and the Carthaginian.

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