In addition to its galleries and exhibits, the Vancouver Aquarium is one of the institutions in the world that contributes most to the preservation of marine species.
I invite you to discover what you can see in this fantastic tourist attraction in Stanley Park, in Vancouver, Canada.
What is the Vancouver Aquarium?
The Vancouver Aquarium is a center for entertainment, marine life research, animal rehabilitation, and the protection and conservation of vulnerable species, on the Canadian Pacific coast, with more than 50,000 animals.
It is the first institution of its kind to incorporate full-time life science specialists, in charge of researching the behavior of animals and adapting their spaces to provide them with the best possible habitats.
When did the Vancouver Aquarium open its doors?
The Vancouver Aquarium was opened in 1956 and has since been the largest in Canada and one of the most complete in North America.
The project was an initiative of a group of professors of oceanography and marine sciences from the University of British Columbia, who had financial support from the lumber tycoon, Harvey Reginald MacMillan, and other businessmen in the region.
How Many People Visit the Vancouver Aquarium Annually?
The Vancouver Aquarium welcomes more than a million people a year, in addition to the more than 60,000 children in the city’s basic education network, who regularly attend to learn about life sciences and conservation of biodiversity.
Where Is The Vancouver Aquarium Located?
The aquarium is at 845 Avison Way, in the middle of Stanley Park which is in the northern half of the peninsula where downtown Vancouver developed.
Stanley Park is the largest in Canada with an area of 405 hectares. It adds more than 500 thousand coniferous trees, more than 200 km of paths and trails and 2 lakes.
One of its borders is coastal with tracks for walking, running, skating and cycling in front of the ocean. It also has gardens, beaches, theaters, sports fields and monuments to admire.
How to get to the Vancouver Aquarium?
You can get to the aquarium on foot or by bike, depending on your location. Downtown Vancouver is a 20-minute walk away. Just follow the green signs on the north side of Georgia Street or along the boardwalk.
Near its main entrance and on Avison Way there are bicycle parking lots in addition to the 4 that Stanley Park has.
The bus, the skytrain and the Canada Line and Seabus are other ways to get there.
1. Bus: Take Route 19 to Stanley Park via West Pender Street. The destination stop is a 5-minute walk from the aquarium entrance.
2. Skytrain: Get off at Burrard Station and take the 19 bus to Burrard Street.
3. Canada Line and Seabus: Arrive at the Waterfront and take the 19 bus to West Pender Street.
People who go by car have a paid parking lot next to the aquarium. Its hours are from 6 am to 11 pm and its rate is 1.9 USD per hour from October to March and 2.7 from April to September. Accepts cash and Visa and MasterCard cards.
How much is admission to the Vancouver Aquarium?
The general adult rate is 38 Canadian dollars (CAD), equivalent to approximately 29.3 USD. Children under 3 years enter free.
Preferential prices will depend on age and condition:
1. Children from 4 to 12 years old: 16.2 USD.
2. Children and young people from 13 to 18 years old, students and people over 65 years old: 23.1 USD.
3. People with disabilities or special needs: 50% discount, if requested.
4. Students include university students of any age with a document that proves it.
5. Tour groups with a minimum of 10 people have a discount if they register beforehand through a tour operator.
What are the hours of the Vancouver Aquarium?
The aquarium is open 365 days a year between 10 am and 5 pm. Visitors must leave the premises at 4:40 pm. Extended hours are for special dates like Thanksgiving. They are usually from 9:30 am to 6 pm.
Where to Buy Vancouver Aquarium Admission Tickets?
Aquarium management recommends buying tickets online to avoid long lines at the box office, especially on weekends and holidays.
What Are The Top Exhibits At The Vancouver Aquarium?
The aquarium has for its one million annual visitors a dozen exhibits and galleries, such as Steller’s Bay, Arctic Canada, Tropical Zone, Graham Amazonia, Penguin Point, British Columbia Coastal Treasures, The Wild Coast, Canada Pacific Pavilion and Frogs Forever.
Another space in the aquarium is the Research Outpost, where specialists study the animals to find out about novelties that favor the lives of their wild counterparts.
The Clownfish Cove room is an area to encourage children’s interaction with the natural environment, through play and exploration. Special demonstrations are presented with walruses, sea lions and northern fur seals.
What’s in the Steller Bay Gallery?
This exhibition simulates the habitat of a fishing village on the western coast of Canada, with its sea lions placidly basking in the sun.
80% of the population of these wild animals has mysteriously disappeared in Steller. Experts from the museum and the University of British Columbia are trying to establish why this is so, to preserve the species in the bay.
What is the interest of the Canadian Arctic Gallery?
The Arctic is an area of 16.5 million km 2 around the North Pole, shared by 8 countries, including Canada.
Although it seems desolate, it is full of life and is a crucial region for the biological, physical and chemical balance of the planet. The Arctic is the great thermometer of global warming.
One of the creatures that lives there and that you can admire at the Vancouver Aquarium is Beluga, a species of odontocete cetacean very popular for its white and melon frontal colors.
One of the purposes of this gallery is to raise awareness of the urgency of preserving the diversity of life in the Arctic.
What is shown in Tropical Zone?
In the Tropical Zone you will see how a green turtle swims calmly among sharks. It is a gallery that brings together aquatic animals from Central America, the Caribbean and the tropical seas of Africa and Asia, with a multimedia exhibition.
You will see a gigantic Indo-Pacific reef, beautiful corals seized from smugglers trying to introduce them to Canada, beautiful cardinal fish, Asian turtles, seahorses and many other species, several of them vulnerable or at risk of extinction.
What is on display at Graham Amazonia?
This gallery of the Vancouver Aquarium is a masterful recreation of the Amazon, a place where the greatest concentration of biodiversity on Earth is found, with more than 3,000 types of fish.
This biological wealth is the main vegetal lung of the planet, with its tropical forest of 7 million km 2 that covers 9 South American countries, mainly Brazil and Peru.
What’s Penguin Point Like?
The Vancouver Aquarium has an area inspired by Boulders Beach, one of the main concentration points for the African penguin or Cape penguin, an endangered species.
The 180-degree views of the ponds offer a wide panorama of the aquatic activity of these playful animals, whose exhibition talks about the 17 species of penguins that exist on the planet and the main similarities and differences between these birds that cannot fly.
The world population of the African penguin decreased by 90% in the 20th century. If extreme measures are not taken for its protection, it could disappear in the wild before 2030.
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What’s in the British Columbia Coastal Treasures Gallery?
Aquarium gallery with interesting inhabitants such as the purple hagfish, an intimidating species that is a living fossil; rockfish, a giant Pacific octopus; voracious starfish and corals in colorful hues.
The Vancouver Aquarium is participating in international research on the habitat and behavior of British Columbia salmon, whose populations are threatened by overfishing and deteriorating waters.
What Is Exhibited In The Wild Coast Gallery?
In this gallery you will find Helen, a white dolphin rescued in the Pacific after being trapped and injured in a fishing net. You’ll also see harbor seals, sea lions and sea otters, also rescued from the ocean.
The gallery, Wild Coast, is made up of open-air viewing walkways and includes tide pools, touch ponds, underwater viewing areas, and the chance to make contact with non-thorny species of British Columbia’s coasts.
The Vancouver Aquarium is investigating how the dolphin uses its sonar to locate objects in the water, in the hope that they may one day evade deadly fishing gear.
What Houses The Canada Pacific Pavilion?
Diver-animated exhibit on marine life in the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver’s maritime “front yard.”
In this space of 260 thousand liters of water you will be able to observe halibut fish, bocaccios, crabs and other species of the Pacific, living between sandbanks and seaweed.
What is Frogs Forever?
Gallery dedicated to 22 species of frogs, toads and salamanders, animals threatened by the deterioration of their habitats, the loss of food sources and deadly diseases. If this is not stopped, it is believed that these calamities could end the lives of half of the amphibian species in the next 50 years.
The exhibits have sound passages and are designed to fully capture the behavioral traits of these animals, which are characterized by their shyness.
The Vancouver Aquarium participates in the international project, Amphibian Ark (AArk), which aims to save the world’s 500 most endangered amphibian species from extinction.
What Other Facilities Are There At The Vancouver Aquarium?
The aquarium is equipped with all the services for a comfortable and relaxed visit; between these:
1. Points of sale of drinks and food served in biodegradable utensils.
2. Souvenir shop including clothing, books, toys, ornaments, gift cards, jewelry, and Inuit art.
3. Rental of wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and lockers.
4. Map of facilities.
What Is The Best Season And Time To Go To The Vancouver Aquarium?
For the best experience during off-peak hours, it’s best to enter the aquarium at 10 am when it opens.
How much time should I allocate to go through it?
You should set aside at least 3 hours of your time to at least enter the most interesting and popular rooms of the aquarium.
What happens if I can’t go the day I had planned?
General admission tickets can be used on any day. They expire one year after the date of purchase. Those that are for specific events must be used on the appointed day.
Can I leave the aquarium and go back in?
Yes. For this there is a receipt or a hand stamp.
Do you accept US Dollars?
Yes. Although admission to the aquarium is charged in Canadian dollars, they accept US currency at the exchange rate of the day. Any change will be given in Canadian currency.
What Languages Are The Vancouver Aquarium Visitor Maps In?
The maps are in English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Japanese.
Can you breastfeed in the aquarium?
Yes. The Vancouver Aquarium allows breastfeeding anywhere on its premises. If mothers want to do it in private, they can do it in an infirmary.
How many people work at the Vancouver Aquarium?
The aquarium has about 500 permanent employees and more than 1,000 volunteers.
Visit this aquarium show aimed at connecting its visitors with marine life and its importance. It is an educational and very entertaining place for adults and children. Learn more on their official website here .
Share this article with your friends so they can also get to know one of the most beautiful aquariums in the world, the Vancouver Aquarium.
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