Every time we take we the ferry across the St John's river we see this beautiful old majestic ship sitting across at the dock and have often wondered about it. Well today Mom did some research on it after looking up its name and found out some amazing information.
The Atlantis II, which helped find the Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, has been moored in the St. Johns River for about 18 months at the St. Johns Boat Co. across from Mayport. The Atlantis II was originally used as a research vessel when it was owned by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The ship's claim to fame came in 1986, when the vessel took part in an expedition that ended with the video images of the wreckage of the Titanic on the ocean floor. The Atlantis II transported a three-person submarine, the Alvin, to the Titanic wreckage site. The submersible was launched from Atlantis II to record the Titanic images about a year after it was initially discovered by explorer Bob Ballard. The ship is also noted for other historical hallmarks. "She's done many other things in her career that no other ship had done. She sailed 8,135 days [in a row] at sea and every ocean in the world, both north and south poles. If it's on the face of this planet and it's got water, she's been there." There are 7 decks and 32 State rooms on board. She is 210 feet long and was built at the Maryland Shipyards in 1962. In 2009 she underwent an 18 month refit costing $3 million dollars - the ship has been up for sale ever since then.