Cruise Ship Passengers
Lahaina cruise ship passengers can do either the Atlantis Submarine or the Reefdancer while in port. Both tours leave from the same harbor where your cruise ship tender arrives.
NCL cruise ship passengers in Kahului can do either Atlantis Submarine or Reefdancer on the afternoon of day 1 or the morning of day 2, but an hour drive is required to get to Lahaina. See our rental car page for reserving a car. You might also consider doing Atlantis Submarine in Kona when you are in port there on the Big Island as that tour is done from the same pier where your tender arrives.
It is just amazing how different the world appears the moment you stick your head under the surface of the ocean. It’s like exploring a different planet with a different atmosphere … one made up of liquid instead of air. The beauty of the reef and the creatures that call it home are a must-see on your vacation to Hawaii.
The two Maui submarines on this page serve a very different purpose. Atlantis Submarines is a TRUE submarine in every sense of the word. It is a pressurized submarine that descends to a depth of about 100 feet and explores reef and a shipwreck lying on the bottom. It is a remarkable experience to descend to that depth and it gives you a “Jacques Cousteau-like” adventure. There are access issues for the submarine. Children shorter than 36″ are not permitted because they aren’t tall enough to negotiate the rungs of the nearly vertical ladder on the way down into the sub. And this is not an excursion for those who are mobility-impared in any way. Because of this ladder all guests must be physically capable of descending independently into the passenger compartment. Oh one cool tip for video … wear a red shirt on the sub, and while you are descending and ascending point the video camera at yourself. The color red just disappears as the sub descends into the blue and it is fun to watch this color change happen when you play back your video.
The Reef Dancer doesn’t actually submerge, but specializes in showing off the reef that is in 20 feet of water or less. Actually most of the fish and ocean critters are found in this range, and of course there is a lot more sunlight hitting everything. The Reef Dancer is basically a “snorkel trip for people who don’t want to get wet.” It is a great choice for little kids who are too young to use snorkel gear, or grandma who doesn’t want to get her hair wet. And access to the viewing area below is just a normal set of stairs with handrails. Guests are free to sit underwater and look out the window, or at any time they can go up the stairs and out onto the deck above the surface. Of the two tour lengths, we recommend the 90 minute tour. Since the Reef Dancer takes about 15 minutes to go from the harbor to the reef viewing area, the 60 minute tour spends about 30 minutes over the reef. With the 90 minute tour you get twice as much reef viewing since the extra 30 minutes is all spent out at the dive site.