Animal Encounters

Up-close animal encounters are thrilling multi-sensory opportunities for guests to experience the awe of ocean-dwelling creatures first hand. Georgia Aquarium offers several exciting experiences that educate, engage and create memorable connections between people and animals.

Conservation education is a primary goal of the encounter programs. Participants of hands-on dolphin and whale programs not only create memories that last a lifetime, but research indicates that participants of these types of programs are more likely to increase their conservation-related knowledge, attitude and behavior than prior to the experience.

Animal wellbeing is always an utmost priority at Georgia Aquarium. Encounters are not only exhilarating for people who participate, but are positively enriching for the animals as well – an assertion backed up by science. A peer-reviewed study published in the journal Animal Welfare analyzed the effects of a dolphin encounter program and found it to be positive, valuable enrichment for the animals.

Guests ages 7 and up have the option to participate in our Penguin Encounter, Sea Otter Encounter or Dolphin Encounter. All Animal Encounter participants under 16 years of age must be accompanied by a paying adult, and there is a maximum of 3 children (under 16 years of age) per paying adult. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and Animal Encounter program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian. 

Animal encounters are staffed by knowledgeable Georgia Aquarium animal trainers who work with the animals daily and deeply understand the individual animals. They ensure the animals’ wellbeing while participants experience the joy and wonder of interacting with some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures.

Book your encounter today for this unique opportunity!

Purchase Encounters

Dolphin Encounter

Penguin Encounter

Sea Otter Encounter