Belize Submarine Tour to launch soon
Friday, September 9th, 2011
Treasure Island Management Ltd., a Belizean owned and operated enterprise, is proud to introduce the newest addition to the many tourist attractions in Belize. Belize Submarine Tour (BST) will soon be launching its grand opening and promises to offer visitors and guests a truly unbelievable and memorable under water experience.
In an interview with Mr. David Perniz, Chief Operations Officer of Treasure Island Management Ltd., The San Pedro Sun was informed that the primary focus of BST is to show marine life on the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the most treasured resources in Belize. As one of the top diving destinations in the world, scuba divers come from across the globe to dive our Barrier Reef. However, not all people scuba dive or snorkel. For that very reason, BST will be the first tourist submarine ever offered in the country of Belize, and will allow its passengers a spectacular view from the comfort of an air-conditioned observatory.
Mr. Perniz went on to explain that the Nautilus IV is a very comparable experience to diving, and such tours are operated in numerous eco-conscious locations around the world. Most importantly the Belize Submarine Tour will incorporate valuable information on vital environmental concerns surrounding the Barrier Reef in the hope of educating tourists on all aspects of the extremely sensitive eco-balance of the reef.
The Submarine will be operated out of Belize City on cruise ship days and out of San Pedro, the others. On cruise ship days, trips will be scheduled at 9AM, 10:30AM, 12noon and 2PM, with shuttles leaving from Belize City to transport passengers directly to the submarine. There will also be tours at 3PM for those ships departing later in the day. For interested individuals, there may be special tours offered for those wishing to travel along the reef for an extended tour as the sub alternates between San Pedro and Belize City. There are plans to add a Sunset Cruise at 5PM as well as night dives at 7PM. With State-of-the-art LED lighting, passengers will be able to experience the exotic beauty and wonder of the coral night-life, since sea creatures are naturally drawn to the lights. The tours conducted by BST will be both inside and outside of the reef, depending on water conditions.
Tours will lead through natural canals so as not to disturb any parts of the reef.
The submarine is only submerged six feet below the surface and moves at three mph with very low rpm’s, therefore experienced Belizean captains will be quite adept at maneuvering the vessel. The Nautilus IV is equipped with latest technology, state-of-the-art sonar and GPS systems to not only avoid harm to the reef but damage to the vessel as well. As to whether all measures have been taken so as to not cause any damages to the reef, Mr. Perniz stated, “We have done our due diligence and fully understand what causes damage to the reef.
The routes taken have more than sufficient depth as to not disturb the bottoms. We want to leave this reef undisturbed for generations to come. No one touches the reef, rocks, conch shells, or disturbs any part of our great living barrier reef. We will have hundreds of thousands of people able to see the great wonder of the underworld and not leave a damaging footprint.”
As per an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), Ms. Irene Whiteside, Director of Promotions for Treasure Island Management Ltd, informed The San Pedro Sun that their consultant, Mr. Pepe Garcia of Tunich-Nah Consultants & Engineering, is assisting in the facilitation of the EIA for Belize Submarine. In a brief interview with The Sun, Mr. Garcia expressed his full support for this new venture, “This is definitely a first for Belize and I believe it will give lots of people, locals and visitors, an opportunity to experience a little bit of Belize’s underwater world that would not otherwise be able to do so. It is very safe for older and younger people. I fully support this venture.” Mr. Garcia further stated that the owner proposes to sporadically offer free tours to Belizean students, giving them a chance to experience the tour. Tours will run out of Belize City and also from the San Pedro area. The grand launch for the Belize Submarine is currently being planned and will be announced very soon. Within two weeks of operation, trips will be offered to individuals within the tourism industry including members of the BTB and other tour operators and travel agents.
The Submarine is 72 feet long and 13 feet wide and can carry a maximum of 45 passengers at a time with each tour running for 45 minutes. Introductory rates begin at US$59 adult / US$39 child, with the regular price at US$79 adult /US $59 child. Mr. Perniz ended the interview stating, “Since we are so excited to bring this first-ever tourist submarine to Belize, as an initial time-limited special, Belizean people with proper identification will be allowed to ride at half price. We would like to take this opportunity to offer many thanks to the Minister of Tourism, Jose Manuel Heredia, Jr. for his acceptance to perform the Grand Launch”. For further information, please visit their website at www.BelizeSubmarineTour.com.