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Atlantis Submarine Barbados
What to Know Before You Go
If you saw my recent collaboration on Submarines around the world, you’ll know I couldn’t resist checking out the Atlantis Submarine in Barbados. I tried to take the submarine ride in June, but the submarine was under repair and out of commission until the day after I left Barbados!
When I returned to Barbados this past November, the submarine trip was at the top of my to-do list. One of my friends was a little to claustrophobic and the other preferred to do a little surfing. This left me solo for my underwater adventure.
The concierge at the Dover Beach Hotel was kind enough to let me know Friday was the better day to take the tour, as there would be fewer tourists. Barbados is a popular cruise ship destination, so certain days of the week tend to be busier on the island. While the tour is pricey at over $100 per person, it includes hotel pick-up and drop off, a short boat ride to the submarine, the submarine expeditition, and a little rum punch to keep it festive.
We waited on the ferry while the morning tour’s group of passengers disembarked. An older woman sat in front of me and started grumbling about what a waste of money it was because she hardly saw any fish. I was starting to worry that maybe I had just wasted a ton of money! Perhaps lounging on the beach and splashing in the waves was a better way to spend my time.
Who Should Go on the Submarine?
I’ll tell you below who this experience is NOT suitable for. However, I would highly recommend it for anyone who has an interest in marine life through aquariums and glass bottom boats and might be hesitant to engage in other underwater activities. Many people avoid the submarine due to claustrophobia, but some passengers have said that is has actually helped them as they focus on the vast ocean outside their window instead of the small space they are sitting in. Someone who has never done SCUBA or Snorkeling would have a truly unique experience taking the submarine ride. For example, my mother cannot swim but she would be able to relax and enjoy this experience. While I have experienced the ocean floor via snorkeling, I still thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Others might not see the advantages when considering other factors, like the price.
Getting On the Submarine
Once the submarine was cleared, my group began boarding the submarine. In order to board the submarine, you must step from ferry to submarine and then descend down a vertical ladder through a porthole. This can be extremely challenging for small children and the elderly. Once you are inside, there are 48 seats (two rows of 24) all facing the windows. The concierge I used describe the space as an airplane. The submarine is comparable to a smaller airplane, but then it is submerged in water. So keep this in mind when deciding if this trip is right for you.
On the interior wall of the submarine, there are several plaques identifying the local fish. It was helpful for identifying a few of the critters I saw that day. I should also note that due to color change at different depths, the photos I will share with you do not fully reflect what I was able to view from the submarine. The actual colors were much more beautiful than the images I captured. The nighttime excursion is also supposed to show an entirely different set of colors, and I would consider booking in the future.
So, did I see any fish? Of course! I saw thousands of fish. So now I am left wondering if the previous tour was unlucky and that woman actually saw no fish, if she was disappointed in the variety of fish, or she was just a curmudgeonly older lady who will never be satisfied with anything in life. I will never know the answer, but I was not disappointed with my experience.
On our adventure we explored a large coral reef and then passed by a shipwreck. We saw schools of fish, angel fish, eels, and many other varieties of fish. Our host for the ride was delightful and kept us entertained with her knowledge of the marine life and her excellent comedy routine.
At the end of the tour everyone receives a Dive Certificate of participation (like on a hot air balloon). This certificate shows the maximum depth reached that day. For us it was 150 ft!
If you prefer to support sustainable tourism, Atlantis Submarines are an eco-friendly option. The battery powered submarines emit no pollutants and do not create noise disturbing the environment. They also use the submarines to educate local schoolchildren and install new artificial reefs to create sustainable habitats.
Learn more about Submarines Around the World!