Bikini Atoll is located approximately 600 miles northwest of Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Island Group. A Word class destination, Bikini Atoll opened to divers in June of 1996 to provide an economic base for a possible future resettlement of Bikini Atoll. A fleet of the most significant ships of World War II are now an underwater playground for advanced divers. Bikini was once the site of the postwar nuclear tests code named “Operation Crossroads” and its lagoon now offers a collection of wrecks with major historical significance. The sunken fleet includes battleships, destroyers, submarines, cruisers, attack transports and the only aircraft carrier wreck accessible to divers, the USS SARATOGA. At Bikini, you will witness firsthand the effects of a nuclear explosion on warships, as these are the only ships in the world ever sunk by an atomic bomb.
You will need to be an advanced diver to dive the sites. In order to get the best at Bikini, many of the dives will be beyond the recreational depth limit of 130ft. This requires that you have solid watermanship and diving skills, and if you are not yet a certified advanced deep air diver and technical nitrox diver, we recommend you get the training that will allow you to take that next step before you go.
Best Diving Destinations in Bikini Atoll
The world’s only diveable aircraft carrier. At 888ft long, it may be the largest wreck you will ever dive on. She is sitting upright at a bottom depth of 180ft. Her flight deck is accessible at 95ft, with the superstructure rising as shallow as 40ft.
Bikini’s second largest wreck and perhaps, the most historically significant, the Nagato was the flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Nagato lays capsized at 170ft bottom depth. Her bridge is accessible at 150ft.
The “Arkie” was the Navy’s oldest battleship during the tests. She sits capsized at 170ft. Her intact AA and 12-inch guns are amazing.
More: there are two submarines with one in a pristine condition. Along with the subs, there are two destroyers filled with torpedo tubes, AA guns and depth charges, two attack transports, and a Japanese cruiser. Bikini is as close as you can get to an “underwater amusement park for wreck divers.”
Getting to Bikini Atoll
From Honolulu, Hawai, Continental Micronesia flies two times a week with their Island Hopper service, which starts in Honolulu, ends in Guam and then returns to Honolulu along the same route.
The current flight schedules allow you to depart Honolulu for Majuro Monday mornings on Continental Micronesia’s Island Hopper.
As the Marshalls are across the date line, you will arrive in Majuro Tuesday afternoon. After a night’s rest, you will board the flight to Bikini Wednesday morning. The return flight from Bikini is scheduled to arrive back in Majuro by 3:00 p.m. on the following Wednesday. The flight out to Honolulu would be on that same evening.
When to Visit Bikini Atoll
Air Temperature is 80-85°F all year. The months of June through December are a bit wetter though with less wind. The months of January through May are drier but with more wind.
Water Temperature is 80-85°F all year. More wave action in the months of January through May due to the trade winds.
The summer months (May-September) are generally the warmest and when the seas are at their calmest. The winter months, although breezier, remain warm and comfortable with water temperature remaining in the 80°F range.