The ocean is a mysterious and vast body of water that's filled with mysterious species and sunken treasures. One of the best ways to really get to know a travel destination is to explore its history and what makes it so important to that area. For travelers that don't mind the water, scuba-diving is a great way to explore the ocean's depths and all that is has to offer; in this case, it's shipwrecks.
There's a mix of excitement, awe, and respect when divers descend and there's definitely more than meets the eye in the deep waters below. Wrecks left at the ocean's floor usually have an interesting backstory and sometimes, offer up findings that are worth money or just worth the journey. Whatever the reason is for people wanting to dive and explore, the picks below are worthy of adding to their bucket list.
10 USAT Liberty In Tulamben, Bali Is Considered One Of The Most Accessible Wrecks In The World
This wreck was once an American warship that was unfortunately hit by a torpedo in WWII. It was beached in Tulamben, Indonesia for 20 years and eventually sunk to the ocean floor when Mount Agung erupted in 1963. What makes this dive great for beginners is that it's close to shore and that the wreck is majestically chock-full with sea life.
The dive depth is between 5-30m, which gives beginners lots to explore. It's also a calm and easy place to dive, but because it's so close to shore, it can take on choppy conditions at times. The best time to visit the USAT Liberty is between the months of March and December.
9 Underwater Museum Of Military Vehicles Was Unveiled In 2019 To Aim Relief To Nearby Reefs
The country of Jordan unveiled a new kind of excursion in late June 2019; the new Underwater Museum of Military Vehicles in Aqaba. Around 19 military vehicles were purposely sunk and placed to create a new and exciting underwater museum for tourists; but this wasn't just more entertainment, it was also to offer relief for the nearby reefs as well.
Eight of these vehicles have been sunk between 15-20m and the remaining 11 at 20-28m, which requires a more advanced open water certification. This unique experience is available all year round and offers an easy and calm place to dive.
8 P31 Shipwreck In Comino Has Plentiful Sea Life Weaving In And Out Of Its Openings
Originally, the P31 shipwreck was a German minesweeper, which was often used as a patrol boat between 1992 to 2004. This was controlled by the Armed Forces Malta and then bought by the Malta Tourism Authority and then was purposely sunk in 2009. Used for tourism now, the wreck remains in good condition and has been stripped for safe diving.
Divers are able to explore this wreck at a maximum depth of 18m and conditions are calm and sheltered. There is a lot of boat traffic throughout this area, so this would be the only thing to watch out for. The best time to visit is basically any time, but warmer weather temperatures between June and September make it more enjoyable.
7 The SS Benwood Shipwreck In Key Largo, FL Collided With Another Ship In 1942
The SS Benwood was once a cargo ship that collided with another ship in 1942. Because the damage was so great, the SS Benwood had to be abandoned, and thus, the ship sunk. Even though this is a great dive to experience, the wreck no longer looks like a ship, but a colorful wonderland of coral. Because of this plant life, divers can expect to see an abundance of sea life.
The depth is perfect for beginners, as it spans between 7-15m. The conditions surrounding the wreck are mild to moderate and the best time to explore is from Mid-November to Mid-June.
6 Prince Albert Shipwreck In Honduras Was A Cargo Ship That Took Refugees From Nicaragua To Roatan
The Prince Albert was once a cargo ship that transferred refugees from Nicaragua to Roatan. Eventually, this ship was abandoned and purposely sunk in 1985 near Roatan. Surprisingly, this wreck is in great condition and is easily accessible from the shore. What's even better is that it's in close proximity to the DC3 plane wreck, one of the top ten airplane wrecks, for the most advanced divers.
The maximum depth sits at 22m, so the average beginner can explore almost all of the wreck. There is minimal current, so conditions are perfect to really get a good look at all this shipwreck has to offer. The best time to visit the Prince Albert is from January to July.
5 The MS Zenobia Wreck In Cyprus Was A Cargo Ship That Capsized In 1980
The MS Zenobia once served as a cargo ship for vehicles and miscellaneous cargo until it capsized near Cyprus in 1980. This wreck is unique because it still houses items such as a forklift, trucks, trailers, and even a car. They're all in good condition, which makes this the golden egg for diving. In fact, it's often rated as one of the best dive sites in the world.
The diving depth is between 16-42m, so it might be a bit more limited than some, but is still enjoyable. The conditions are calm and the best time to visit is between March and November.
4 The Fujikawa Maru Shipwreck Was Hit By A Torpedo In 1943, Fixed, Then Hit Again In 1944
Formally used as a passenger/cargo ship, its last legs were spent as a Japanese Navy aircraft ferry in 1940. It was hit by a torpedo in 1943, repaired, and then hit and sunk by another torpedo in Chuuk Lagoon in 1944. This one is a bit of a risk because it still has live ammunition and guns on deck. The wreck and these items were surprisingly found in fairly good condition, especially because it was once hit by a torpedo.
Expect to see colorful sea life and conditions to be calm. The diving depth is between 5-35m, so beginners are set for lots to explore.
3 The MV Antipolis Shipwreck Was An Oil Tanker That Hit The Shore And Sunk In 1977
This particular wreck was once an oil tanker that was being towed to be sold as scrap metal. During that voyage, it hit shore in Cape Town, South Africa, and sunk in 1977. The MV Antipolis isn't entirely in one piece, but the silver lining is that it gives divers a chance to see the engine room and other parts of the ship covered in algae and kelp.
This wreck is very shallow and is close to shore. The wreckage depth is 12m and because it's close to shore, divers can expect currents inside the wreck.
2 JAKE Seaplane In Palau Is The Most Photographed Aircraft Wreck In History Because It's Surprisingly Intact
Back in WWII, JAKE was used as a Japanese seaplane. There isn't a lot of knowledge when it comes to the history of the plane, but it was discovered in Palau in 1994. The plane is in decent condition and is positioned on its side, so divers can get a wonderful view of all angles of the wreck. A bonus? the plane's radio controls, ammunition, and even a small bomb is visible for divers.
The maximum depth is at 15m and the conditions are usually calm, with no current present. With excellent visibility, snorkelers can even get a good look at it from the ocean's surface. The best time to visit this wreck? November-May.
1 The USS Kittiwake Shipwreck Sunk On Purpose in 2011 After Being A Submarine Rescue Ship
The Kittiwake took double-duty as a submarine rescue and supply ship and was used for many missions. After its final run, it was stripped and sunk in 2011 to make it safe for diving. The Cayman Islands have crystal blue waters, so it makes this dive a great experience. It's in good condition and still has bathroom mirrors and the navigation room intact. Its most important mission? It was used to recover the black box from the Space Shuttle Challenger.
The diving depth is between 15-30m, which gives beginnings small areas to explore. The conditions are calm and the best time to visit is between October and June.