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Weekend fun: underwater sightseeing cruise

tina_fonacier_flores

Tina Fonacier-Flores

On a recent clear and warm Saturday, my husband, daughter and I spent a pleasant afternoon doing the Orca underwater sightseeing cruise in Naha. This is a fun and quick activity that you can do with your kids but which is also enjoyable for couples and singles. There are two options to choose from. The first is the Orca Sea Walk, which is the underwater cruise only. This is the one my family and I took. The second is the Orca Lunch Plan, which combines the Orca Sea Walk with a lunch set.

 

We drove to Naha from Kadena, and when we got to the pier, we were immediately ushered to the Orca, which was big enough to hold at least 80 people. The boat left on time, and it took us only 15 minutes to get to the viewing point from where we could see fish and coral. Once we arrived at the spot, we went down the stairs to the bottom of the boat where the side panels are glass. All the passengers took a seat, admiring the marine life passing right in front of their eyes and taking lots of photos. The water was clear enough so you could easily see the fish as they swam by. We watched this underwater panorama for about 15 minutes, and then the boat circled around the bottom some more so that we could look at a different area. This glass boat is quite surprising because when you first see the Orca and sit on deck, you wonder how you will be able to see underwater. Then you realize there is an entire section at the bottom that is enclosed in glass to give guests the best view. After doing our observing, we turned around and enjoyed the ride back to the pier. The boat ride was smooth, and it was great to be out on the water. A nice surprise was a small souvenir the staff gave to all the passengers as we approached land. The whole trip took 45 minutes.

 

The price was reasonable, and it included a tour/boat guide and insurance. It is suggested that you arrive 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The meeting place is on the first floor of the Naha Port Wharf passenger lounge. I recommend this underwater sightseeing cruise to families as well as anybody looking to have a memorable underwater experience. It’s a great way to spend a few hours outdoors and to appreciate Okinawa’s waters.

 

Orca underwater sightseeing cruise

Open: All year round
Hours: Orca Sea Walk: 9:00, 10:15, 11:30, 13:45, 15:00
Orca Lunch Plan: 11:30 departure only
Prices: Orca Sea Walk: Adult / 3,000 yen; child / 1,500 yen
Orca Lunch Plan: Adult / 3,500 yen; child / 2,000 yen
*Children 5 years and younger FREE

 


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