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The Cayman Islands has some of the most spectacular underwater scenery and diverse marine life found anywhere in the world. Divers and snorkelers flock to this tiny Caribbean outcrop for its warm, crystal-clear waters, beautiful corals, abundant wildlife and many, many unique dive sites. A Cayman Islands holiday without an underwater experience would be like going to a fancy restaurant just for the comfy seating. You are missing a lot!
But what about those who can’t or won’t swim with the fishes – the very young, the elderly, the infirm, non-swimmers and those who just do not like the idea of swimming underwater, in such close proximity to, sometimes very big, creatures? How can families and groups of mixed ages and abilities enjoy everything under the sea in the Cayman Islands together?
Atlantis Submarines has been operating underwater tours in the Cayman Islands since 1985. Safety is paramount: the operation is certified by the American Bureau of Shipping annually, and all systems on the submarine have redundancy backup and the vessel floats to the surface when it is not powered. A surface control vessel stays with the submarine throughout the tour and is in constant communication. The highly professional staff running these underwater Cayman tours are drug and alcohol-free based on a stringent and random drug testing program.
Atlantis Submarines has good news for nervous guests and persons with claustrophobia issues: 35 years of operation has shown that guests on the submarine report being surprised that they automatically tend to focus out through the viewport into the wide-open ocean space rather than inside the submarine itself. There is more than six feet of headroom and the ultra-wide viewing windows make the interior feel roomy and unrestricted.
Seating is arranged in two rows down the center of the passenger cabin. The pilot is located at the bow and co-pilot at the stern of the cabin. Hardly any motion is felt as the submarine glides around underwater while guests sit in air-conditioned comfort.
One of the few restrictions is that all guests must be at least four years old and three feet in height, since the safety equipment on board is not recommended for children under that age or height. All children meeting these requirements up to 12 years old are charged the child’s rate.
Mothers-to-be over four months pregnant may feel some discomfort being seated for 50 minutes, bending slightly forward to see out the viewport and may want to consider carefully whether to participate. It should also be noted that there are no bathrooms onboard.
Atlantis Submarines is located in the heart of George Town on the waterfront, next to the cruise ship pier. Getting there is a short 10-minute ride from most hotels and a short walk from the cruise ship terminals, right in the heart of the duty-free shopping district. Advance bookings are strongly recommended as this is among the most popular Cayman activities.
Thanks to their unique setting and geology, the Cayman Islands have an incredibly varied and extensive underwater world. Any visitor hoping to get the most out of many activities in the Cayman Islands should not pass up the chance to explore these wonders beneath the waves, safe, dry and in air-conditioned comfort.