Friday, Sep 30, 2022

9 Shipwrecks Around The World You Can Visit

The world's oceans are like a big museum

Drone shot of SS Maheno directly over the sea on Fraser Island
Drone shot of SS Maheno directly over the sea on Fraser Island Shutterstock

An estimated three million shipwrecks are spread across ocean floors around the planet. Unesco calls them 'an underwater cultural heritage'. Some are thousands of years old and can provide precious historical information, functioning as a time capsule, providing a complete snapshot of the life on board at the time of sinking. Here are ten that you must put on your travel bucketlist.

Bessie White, Fire Island, New York

This 200-foot schooner wrecked off the shore near Fire Island in New York in early 1900s. The crew escaped but the ship and its cargo of coal sank. You can sign up for the hikes to the wreck organised by the National Park Service.

MV Pamagiotis, Zakynthos Island, Greece

You can get to The Panagiotis only by boat. It is a stunning wreck, mostly because of the surrounding clear turquoise waters and pristine sand of the Ionian Islands. It was wrecked in the early 1980s while (apparently) smuggling cigarettes and alcohol. This place is a popular BASE jumping spot as well. 

The Vasa, Sweden

This one is actually inside its own dedicated museum in Stockholm. The Vasa was a 17-century Swedish ship which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was raised in 1961, and found to be mostly in good condition due to the cold temperature of the waters. 

 MV Captayannis, River Clyde, Scotland 

This Greek sugar-carrying ship sank due to a terrible storm in Scotland's River Clyde in 1974 during a terrible storm. It is accessible as the waters around it are quite shallow.

Sweepstakes, Ontario

This Great Lakes Schooner weighing 218 gross tonnes, and 119 feet long sustained hull damage in 1885 while hauling coal. It was taken to the Big Tub Harbour for repairs, but was eventually sunk as repairs would have been too expensive. In fact, the harbour, about three hours from Toronto, has over 20 shipwrecks, and you can take a tour in a glass-bottomed boat to see them.

SS Maheno, Fraser Island, Australia

This ocean liner was also a hospital ship for the New Zealand navy during World War I. It was on its way to a Japanese ship-breaking company for scrap in 1935 when it broke apart in a cyclone. 

Eduard Bohlen, Namibia

This one is not around any water body, but sunken in sand along Namibia's Skeleton Coast, a place considered to be a graveyard of wrecked ships. You need a license and a guide with a special vehicle to visit it.  

The Giannis D, Red Sea

The ship at the bottom of the Red Sea is broken into three sections, with the crumpled bow about 10 meters below surface. The ship was carrying lumber bound for Saudi Arabia and Yemen on its last voyage from Rijeka, Yugoslavia in 1983.

MS World Discoverer, Solomon Islands

This one is technically not a shipwreck since it only half sunk in the Solomon Islands due to a run-in with a coral reef back in 2000.