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Friday, March 10, 2000

Atlantis buying
sightseeing vessel

Star-Bulletin staff


Submarine and tourist park operator Atlantis Submarines Hawaii LP has agreed to buy the 400-passenger, 140-foot sightseeing vessel Navatek I and the Pacific Marine & Supply Co. subsidiary that owns and operates it, Hawaiian Cruises Ltd.

The terms of the deal, which the parties said should be concluded next month, were not disclosed. Hawaiian Cruises is one of several companies under the umbrella of Royal Hawaiian Cruises Ltd., formed by Pacific Marine in 1953 to handle its passenger-voyage operations. Not included in the purchase are the other parts of the business, which operate the smaller Navatek II on Maui and the Maui Nui Explorer.

Completed in 1989 at a cost of $6.5 million, Navatek I was a pioneer of SWATH -- small waterplane area twin hull -- design that provides a smooth ride even through large waves.

The buyer, which does business as Atlantis Adventures, owns and operates a fleet of tourist submarines and manages and markets attractions that include Sea Life Park Hawaii, Waimea Valley Adventure Park and the Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Atlantis Adventures had sales of $46 million last year. Pacific Marine, with annual revenues of $50 million, said in September it would downsize its tourism activities to focus on its more-profitable businesses such as building and repairing ships.

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