10 Popular Shipwrecks Around the World That You Must Visit

By Dhruvalakshmi Paithankar on Sep 17, 2018
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The ocean is a spellbinding place with more than 3 million shipwrecks lying in its arms. Some wrecks on the verge of deteriorating are waiting to be found whereas some sunken ancient treasures are perfectly hidden away in the ocean darkness never to see the light again. The ones that we have already discovered have become famous shipwrecks attracting history buffs and enthusiastic divers. Here is the list of famous shipwrecks you can visit to witness the sites that are shrouded in a mystery and fascination. It is a surreal experience to go underwater only to see a glimpse of bustling life buried in the sea grave today.

1. RMS Titanic


Image Source: Wikipedia.org

We all know how RMS Titanic sank on 15 April 1912 after crashing with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. The sinking of this British passenger ship claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people and became one of the most famous shipwrecks in the human history. For more than 70 years, she lay at the bottom of the sea waiting to be discovered. After it was located in 1985, many of the artifacts have been recovered. Her heart-wrenching story has been featured numerous times in films, songs, and books. The famous wreck of RMS Titanic will soon be a giant playground for divers as the tours of wreck site will begin from 2019.

Location - 370 miles south-southeast of Newfoundland, North Atlantic Ocean

2. Gribshunden


Image Source: Youtube.com

Gribshunden was a Danish warship that sunk in 1495 after it caught fire. It is one of the few popular shipwrecks in the world dating back to medieval times and is still in a good shape. The wreck that was discovered after more than 500 years carried several important artifacts with itself. The mysterious figurehead of a dragon-like wooden monster was brought to the surface in 2015 from this wreck. Other than this perfectly-preserved item, iron cannons, bones, and barrels were also found. Diving to this site would surely be a captivating experience!

Location - Off the coast of Ronneby in southeastern Sweden, Baltic Sea.

3. Eduard Bohlen


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Eduard Bohlen fell victim to what Portuguese sailors referred to as the gates of hell. This cargo ship was converted into a dessert shipwreck overnight after she ran aground on 5th September 1909. Though the entire crew was saved from the clutches of thick fog and hot desert, Eduard Bohlen was not so fortunate. The changing coastline of Namibia pushed her away from the shores and locked her in the tonnes of sand over the decades. Today, with its remains partially buried in the sand, Bohlen stands alone in the desert waiting for a slow decay.

Location - Skeleton Coast, Namibia

4. USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg


Image Source: Flickr.com

USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg was a transport ship that served from the 1950s to 1980s. She was purposely sunk on 27th May 2009 to create one of the largest artificial reefs in the world. The ship was cleaned extensively before sinking in order the protect the environment and provide a safe place for marine life to bloom. Even though it is one of the lesser-known shipwrecks, this enormous wreckage today attracts thousands of divers throughout the year. It is not yet fully developed as an artificial reef but is certainly a sight to behold.

Location - Key West, Florida

5. SS Yongala, Australia


Image Source: Youtube.com

SS Yongala was a luxury passenger ship that went down on 23 March 1911 with all the living souls on-board. After it was caught in a cyclone, this ship disappeared for more than 5 decades into the ocean only to be found in 1958. Over the years, the ship has transformed into a safe abode for a plethora of marine life. Today, she is one of the largest intact wrecks making her one of the tragic shipwrecks in the world. If you are looking for an adventurous dive, then this is the place to be as the dive to this popular wreck is pretty difficult.

Location - Around 50 miles off south-east of Townsville

6. The Umbria


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The wreck of SS Umbria carries the tale of patriotism and a fascinating history. It is a ship scuttled by her captain - Muiesan Lorenzo - on 9 June 1940 to escape the British warships that were to search her. When the Umbria drifted off to the ocean bed, she was carrying around 600 cases of detonators, more than 5,000 tons of bombs, 100 tonnes of different weapons, and more than 1,000 fiat cars. The Italian captain made sure that the British army could never touch this huge cargo during the Second World War. It is one of the few top shipwrecks that you can explore from the inside making it among the best dive sites in the world.

Location - Wingate Reef, Port Sudan

7. AHS Centaur


Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

AHS Centaur was a hospital ship carrying more than 300 medical personnel on 14 May 1943. When a Japanese submarine attacked this hospital ship, it proved to be a deadly one and 268 people died with a sinking ship. It sparked the huge outrage as attacking a hospital ship is considered to be a war crime. The reason behind this strike is unknown as Centaur was clearly marked with red crosses indicating that it was a hospital ship. It is one of the top wreck diving spots where you can see the remains of this tragic history and soul-stirring tale.

Location - 30 nautical miles off South-east coast of Queensland, Australia.

8. RMS Republic


Image Source: Pxhere.com

Many wrecks are surrounded by the rumors of hidden treasures and the RMS Republic is one of them. After colliding with SS Florida on the early morning of 23 January 1909, The Republic became one the largest ships to have sunk till then. Many believe that she was carrying gold and other valuable items worth $250,000 when went down. This has led to making it one of the famous shipwreck treasures that are being hunted even after a century. If you are interested in the pursuit of this supposed treasure, prepare for your dive!

Location - 50 miles south of Nantucket Island.

9. Fujikawa Maru


Image Source: Flickr.com

Fujikawa Maru was a cargo ship that was sunk on 18 February 1944 after being struck by US bombers during the Second World War. This gigantic ship, with its massive bow gun and remains of Mitsubishi fighter aircraft, has transformed into a top wreck diving site for scuba divers today. It is one of the sites where you can go for a night dive as well. Exploring the fossilized remains of Fujikawa is an enthralling experience for any adventure seeker.

Location - Between Eten and Uman Islands, Chuuk Lagoon

10. USCGC Duane


Image Source: Flickr.com

USCGC Duane is a ship that served during the Second World War and Vietnam War. After it was decommissioned in 1985, she was scuttled after 2 years to create an artificial reef. It has become one of the best wreck diving spots in the US for experienced divers. As Duane is smaller than other wrecks, you can easily cover the whole ship in single dive. When the current is lighter, and the visibility is better, diving here proves to be a great experience.

Location - Key Largo, off Florida coast

If you have explored other interesting shipwrecks around the world, tell us more about your enthralling experience in the comments!

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