Monday, December 28, 2020

Atlantis Submarines Barbados is Back With an Optimistic Focus on the Future


The official start of the winter season saw 
Atlantis Submarines Barbados resume submarine dives after temporarily ceasing operation on March 20th, 2020. The downtime was utilized to refresh various aspects of the overall product as well as to establish strict Covid-19 protocols approved by the Ministry of Health in Barbados. Due to proactive and effective protocols Barbados has recorded 301 confirmed cases mainly from persons coming into the island and has no instances of community spread. 7 deaths have been recorded and over 56,000 PCR tests were performed.

"With a safety filter established at the airport and second test required before guests can leave their resort, Atlantis Submarines has resumed tours. Our operation is guided by protocols that have been approved by the Ministry of Health in Barbados. It has and continues to be a long hard road back to some sense of normalcy and it has taken every ounce of collective determination to get to this stage." says Roseanne Myers, General Manager, Atlantis Submarines Barbados.

Prior to Covid19 pandemic, maximum capacity allowed in the submarine was forty-eight (48) guests and three crew, but in the current environment the number of guests allowed has now been reduced to eighteen (18) to allow for required social distancing for families and groups. Masks are mandatory throughout the tour; full sanitization will occur between tours and the submarine has been fitted with HEPA filters just like in the aircraft. As has always been the case, medical-grade oxygen is continuously pumped into the cabin and contaminants are constantly removed from the air. The air within the cabin is also scrubbed to remove carbon dioxide. An electrostatic sprayer is used at the end of each day to further disinfect the area.

A major recertification of the submarine was completed as required in November and an inspector from the American Bureau of Shipping came down to ensure all major systems were inspected and recertification has been given. All the submarine pilots have been recertified as well, which was required so they can run tours after an eight- month break. During the break the check-in facility was also relocated from within the building, onto the more quaint and open deck which overlooks the marina.

“The downsizing or rightsizing exercise was required to slash overheads but facilitates open air check in and wait time before the tour. We relaunched with the local Independence special ($54 for 54 years) as has been offered over the last 30 years for locals and residents, whose testimonial advertising and referrals have assisted in getting us to where we are. There will be a 20% discount for visitors until year end and guests that are here on the Welcome Stamp will get special rates year- round. “

Mrs. Myers went on to say, “The assistance of government through the Barbados Employment and Sustainable Transformation (BEST) program when finalized will not only allow us to reemploy staff as already done but to focus on future transformation of the business. Staff were provided the opportunity to input on a comprehensive training program to run over the next two years funded by the National Transformation Initiative (NTI). Training to specifically prepare the team was conducted by Catalysts Consultants’ Norma Shorey and associate Cheryl Gittens focused on “Managing change and stress in the new normal”. Once all the details of the investment funding can be worked out B.E.S.T funding potentially will also offer assistance for the establishment of a solar farm to charge the battery-powered Atlantis 15 submarine, therefore reducing the use of fossil fuel and our carbon footprint. Other plans include adding another attraction underwater and possible aquaponics operation as we try to dream about what the next 20 years could look like.”

Atlantis Submarines has reopened on a limited schedule three dives per day for three days per week but will grow the schedule back to full capacity based on increasing demand.

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