Posted by: travelrat | July 6, 2011

Underwater: Barrier Reef Slide Show

‘Atlantis 1’, Santorini, 2004

Santorini: 2004.

The ‘Atlantis 1’ was almost unique, in that it was equally at home on the surface or below it. It offered trips from the harbour at Vlichada, on the Greek island of Santorini, all the way to the bottom of the sea.

No, we didn’t see the volcano bubbling away, nor did we see the fabled lost city of Atlantis, although we did see a few columns and things. And, lots of fish, and sunken boats. It was probably the novelty of actually being able to see out of a submarine that was the big draw.

It may not have been much of a draw, though. ‘Atlantis 1’ is no longer based on Santorini. I wonder where it is now?

There were also ‘submarine trips’ on offer in Tunisia. We passed on those, as we didn’t think there would be a lot to see under the Gulf of Hammamet; we went on the catamaran instead. But, I did manage a word to one of the submarine pilots.

They only partly submerge, he told me; although they could submerge completely, they were neither licensed nor insured to do so.

Great Barrier Reef: 19th August 2010.

That is probably the reason Marineworld operate a semi-submersible, rather than a true submarine. It doesn’t matter; there’s still a lot to be seen … and photographed and video-ed.

It was definitely an occasion when a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s a slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Update: January 2015. 

I believe Atlantis 1 is now operating under another name in the Canary Islands.


  1. Hi Keith,
    A fantastic slide show, it really must of been awesome to be under the water in a submarine, that would be great. What a shame it is no longer there, it makes you wonder why these excursions were stopped, maybe not enough tourists? In any event it seems like a loss to the area I feel.

    • I’d hope that they found a better use for ‘Atlantis 1’ somewhere where there’s a coral reef. Truth to tell, there’s not a lot to see at the bottom of the Mediterranean. Someone said that the operators had probably ‘salted’ the area with the columns and things, but I don’t think the Department of Antiquities would have allowed that.

      Or, Alexandria would be a good place to take it, I believe there are a lot of ancient ruins under the sea there?

  2. The blue light gives it a cool, otherworldiness. That must have been a lot of fun!

    • There’s some account of the glass-bottomed boat and video to come! Stick around!

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