I took an Atlantis submarine tour a few years ago in Cozumel, but Linda had never been in a submarine before, so we decided to to take the tour here at Aruba.
Following lunch, we checked in and paid for our tour at the Atlantis Submarines Adventure Center. The price is $89 for adults and $5 off coupons are available several places.
The Tour began with a brief orientation dockside, followed by photographs of every party which were available for $10 when the tour returned. We boarded the Subseeker to travel a few miles to meet Atlantis VI near the Aruba saltwater desalination plant.
Atlantis VI can haul 48 passengers and has a crew of 3. The seats are very close together and every couple of seats share a circular glass porthole. Plastic cards next to the windows have the names and photos of many of the fish commonly found on Aruba's reefs.
The 50 minute underwater portion of the tour began in shallow water where first one side and then the other side of the submarine could get a good view of the sloped reef. The water was clearer and we saw much more sea life than I did in Cozumel. As we continued deeper, we passed two ships which have been purposely sunk at this site by Atlantis Submarines.
We continued to a depth of about 130 feet, by which time there was little to see but sand and rock. We finally briefly touched the ocean floor at a maximum of 141' (35' deeper than my previous submarine dive).
When we returned to the surface, we were met by the Subseeker and tender. We were then much closer to Oranjestad.
copyright 2010 by Keith Stokes.