Aruba’s Semi-Submarine is Fully Amazing!

Posted by on July 9, 2020 in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Christina Szewczuk

When I first heard you could ride in a submarine to explore the Arashi Reef and one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean, I was all in! Well, I was kind of in… I was a little concerned about being fully submerged in the water with no way out; plus it was kind of pricey. With a family of 4, we were a little priced out of that experience. Then I came across this option for a semi-submarine! The pricing was more affordable and I would be able to come up for air if necessary. Again, I was all in.

So what is a semi-submarine? A semi-submarine remains above water at all times. You walk down via ladder into the deep hull of the boat, which sits 5 feet below the surface of the water. The air- conditioned hull is submerged and there are plenty of windows and seats so you can look out at the surroundings and relax.

On the day of our tour, we went to DePalm Pier to check in. Next we took a small boat to the larger semi submarine vessel located out in the ocean. Carefully, we transferred from the one boat to the other and descended down the stairs into the hull. Immediately the room was flooded with beautiful blue light from the clear Caribbean water and soft steel drum music was playing.


Once we were settled, our guide began to tell us about Aruba, a little bit of history of the island, etc. As we began moving, I felt at ease watching the bubbles from the engine float gently by while some Tang Fish swam up and began playing in the bubbles and feasting on the algae growing on the other side of the windows. When we got to the Arashi Reef, the boat slowed so we could view coral, schools of fish and other marine life. After a little while, we moved on to the main attraction – the SS Antilla Shipwreck.


It was quite a site to see! I had never seen a sunken ship in person before so it was a really interesting experience for me. My eyes were peeled to the window as I took in the site of the once-great ship now in ruins along the bottom of the sea; with fish and other marine life swimming through it, seeking shelter from larger fish and making their homes out of it. Our guide explained to us that the SS Antilla, built in 1939, was a German ship that had sunk during World War II. At over 400 ft long, it is one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean. The shipwreck is a very popular site for divers and snorkelers as well. Other charters will take you out to experience these activities, but on this sailing, you do not go in the water.

Overall, I thought this was definitely worth the time and money spent. We all loved it and learned a lot about the island. It was about 2 hours long and we had to reserve in advance. I am happy to make the arrangements for you! For more information or to book your tour, reach out to me at or call me at 609-280-4997.


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