Explore the deep at night

Atlantis Submarine has recently started up night time tours offering a fun adventure that the entire family can enjoy.

The Atlantis Submarine

The Atlantis Submarine.
Photo: Submitted

The tours depart just after sundown from the Atlantis Submarine offices on South Church Street, George Town, and are an exciting way to explore the deep at night – without so much as getting a toe wet.

The 65-foot craft carries 48 passengers, however it’s a tight squeeze and I wouldn’t recommend it to those with a tendency to feel claustrophobic.

Once all are cocooned within the safety of the submarine it silently slips into the deep reaching depths of up to 100 feet.

Cabin pressure is maintained at sea level, so there’s no effect on the ears. In fact, if it wasn’t for the digital depth gauge and the changing scenery outside the submarine’s large port holes you’d be hard pushed to realise you were sinking into the abyss.

The underwater vista quickly changes as the submarine glides over the reefs and silently sinks down to its target location – the Cayman Wall.

The Cayman Islands are often reputed as one of the top dive sites in the world and onboard the Atlantis Submarine it’s easy to see why.

Outside the port holes the scenery is spectacular and witnessing it at night is a must do activity as you will see stunning marine-life, exotic corals and a kaleidoscope of colours not seen during the day.

The views of the reef illuminated by the submarine’s bright lights are breathtaking. Expect to see plenty of marine life – attracted to the bright lights of the submarine – as well as night-time predators such as moray eels, octopus, tarpons and nurse sharks which come out to hunt.

A highlight of the trip was witnessing a large dog tooth snapper darting after a grunt and making a tasty meal of it.

Other fish spotted amongst the large sponges and corals were schools of silversides, stingrays, parrotfish, squid, tarpons, barracuda, jellyfish as well as lobsters, crabs and other critters hidden in crevices amongst the corals.

It’s not uncommon to spot turtles, groupers and stunning basket starfish, which open up only at night, as well as many other interesting marine life dwellers.

Onboard a crew of three expertly pilots the craft and offers an informative and entertaining narrative of the underwater sea-life outside the submarine.

During the trip the crew switched off the submarine’s lights. It was somewhat eerie, but gave a true feeling of a night-time adventure.

The night-time tours are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tours cost US$89 or US$49 for children. Special resident rates are available at CI$49 for adults or CI$29 for children. Call 949-7700 for reservations.