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.
Update: January 2015.
I believe Atlantis 1 is now operating under another name in the Canary Islands.