- What is the purpose of this program/overview of the dive?
The “Journey with Gentle Giants” program is an exploration of the Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot exhibit where participants will come see whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of other fish. This program is also an introduction to Georgia Aquarium’s whale shark research and conservation program with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts.
Participants will be briefed before their dive, change into their wetsuits, be guided around the habitat during their dive, shower and then attend a debriefing session.
- What is the Aquatic Advocates Program?
PLEASE NOTE: This program is currently unavailable at this time.
This add-on is an enhanced, education-focused dive program that will educate and equip particpants about the whale sharks or manta rays they will encounter and how they can “advocate” for these amazing animals. Participants will receive an in-depth educational session through a classroom session and a behind-the-seas tour that is centered around the chosen animal distinction. To top it off, participants will be treated to an intentional “face-to-face” interaction during your experience.
The Aquatic Advocate program costs $69.99 (+tax) and can be purchased online at checkout or by calling the Call Center at 404.581.4000
- What is the duration of the program?
The program is approximately 2.5 hours, so please plan travel and other Aquarium shows accordingly. The experience includes a tour of the topside of the Ocean Voyager exhibit and a 30-minute guided scuba dive in the habitat (or 1 tank, whichever comes first).
- What else can I add-on to my experience?
Participants can purchase professionally shot and edited HD video of their experience, and additional t-shirts, hats, mask straps and reusable bags can also be purchased on-site.
Guests also have the option to upgrade their experience by enrolling in our brand new “Aquatic Advocates” Program.
- How big is the Ocean Voyager exhibit and what will I see?
Ocean Voyager contains 6.3 million gallons of water and ranges in depth from 20 to 30 feet (6-9 m) deep The water temperature is set at 76ºF. This exhibit houses thousands of fish, whale sharks, manta rays and Tank the green sea turtle.
- I'm a new diver/I have not been diving in a long time - Can I still participate?
We welcome certified autonomous divers of all experience levels. If you have not been diving in a while, we suggest heading to your local dive shop for a skills-refresher course before participating.
- I'm an experienced diver and am very comfortable in the water. Is there a program for divers like me?
We welcome all certified autonomous divers of all experience levels.
For those of you who are highly experienced and looking for an adventure, consider signing up for at the Dive Program’s “Rebreather Experience.”
- Do I have to be scuba certified?
Yes. Proof of an “autonomous Open Water certification” from a nationally or internationally recognized organization must be provided, along with photo identification.
Please note: The PADI “Scuba Diver” card is not an autonomous diver card and cannot be accepted.
- What if I am not a certified diver?
You must be a certified Open Water diver to participate in the scuba program. A swim program is offered for those who are not certified.
- What are the age requirements?
All participants must be 12 and older. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult in the water.
Adult to Child Ratios:
- There can be a maximum of 7 children (ages 15-17) per participating adult. EACH child ages 12-14 must be accompanied by a participating adult.
- Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.
- What are the physical limitation of the Dive Program?
We can accommodate wetsuit sizes and equipment sizes for people who weigh between 45 lbs and 320 lbs (20-145 kg). Participants must be able to dress themselves, dive themselves and climb a ladder in and out of the habitat unassisted. Divers who may need help dressing themselves must provide their own assistance.
- Are you able to dive with special needs?
Yes, we have designed the locker room and dive platform to meet ADA regulations. Please call to make a reservation and let the reservists know if you or someone in your group has specific needs. Someone will reach out to you prior to your visit to review your needs, mobility issues and equipment. Reasonable accommodations will be made if properly informed of any needs.
- Do you offer private changing rooms?
The Aquarium offers two changing rooms, male and female, with open changing area and private shower stalls. We are aware of the limitations this infrastructure presents, and recognize that not all guests conform to a binary system of gender. Our Aquarium team is committed to making accommodations to any guest who requests additional privacy when changing, and will make every effort do so with advance notice. At Georgia Aquarium, both employees and guests are welcome to use the restroom matching their gender identity.
- When should I arrive for my program?
Participants must check-in at the Animal Interaction Desk in front of the Ocean Voyager gallery AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to their event time. We highly recommend you arrive at the Aquarium at least 1 hour prior to allow time for parking, security and check-in.
- What equipment is included in the dive program?
All scuba gear including mask, fins, tank, buoyancy device, regulator, weights, wetsuit, gloves and booties are provided. Personal masks and dive computers are permitted but must be disinfected by staff before use. No other personal dive equipment is permitted.
- What should I bring with me?
All you will need to bring is your swimsuit, proof of open water certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization and photo identification. Georgia Aquarium supplies all needed dive equipment and comfortable changing rooms with showers, lockers and towels. Personal masks and dive computers are permitted but must be disinfected by staff before use. Please do not bring any other equipment and refrain from wearing jewelry, excessive makeup or hair products.
- Can we take our own photos/video?
Cameras are permitted on deck, however no cameras are permitted in the water. Friends and family may take photos of you from the tunnel or main gallery window while you are participating in the experience.
- Can we touch the animals?
The Dive Program is for observation only. Divers are not permitted to touch the animals.
- Will there be a guide in the water with me?
There will be three dive masters in the water with you at all times. Dive team members are certified in CPR, first aid and in providing emergency oxygen. The Dive Program is a guided tour, not a free swim.
- Are guests welcome to watch? Do they have to buy a ticket?
Yes, friends and family can watch from the Ocean Voyager tunnel and main window, but they must purchase a General Admission ticket. If staffing allows, guests will be escorted by a volunteer OR directed to where to go for the best opportunity to see the participants. Staff cannot offer care for any children under 12 – they must be accompanied by an adult.
- What times are available for the scuba dive program?
The program is offered at 3 p.m. on weekdays and at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The program has a maximum of 8 participants per event.
- How do I make a reservation?
Reservations can be made online or by calling (404) 581-4000. You will receive a confirmation email after purchase with instructions on how to supply the additional information and waivers required to participate in the program. All participants must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated prior to participating in the program. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.
For the safety of our animals, guests and team members, all guests must wear a facial covering over their mouth and nose at all times for the duration of the program. Additionally, all guests must consent to a contactless temperature check upon entry.
- Do I have to pre-register or can I sign up when I arrive?
We encourage guests to pre-register. Spaces are limited to 8 participants per program and walk-ups can only be accommodated if there are available spaces that day.
- What is the cost of the program?
The scuba program costs $333.99 (plus tax) for non-Members and $279.99 for Annual Pass Members. Program price includes all dive equipment, certificate of participation, t-shirt and a souvenir photo. A video of your experience will be available for purchase. General Admission to the Aquarium is NOT included in the price and must be purchased separately.
- What is your rescheduling/date change policy?
We do not offer refunds, but a date may be changed free of charge if the change is made at least 14 days before the original date of your visit. Dates changed less than 14 days prior to the original date of your visit will be charged $50 per ticket. To change your reservation, please contact Georgia Aquarium’s Call Center at (404) 581-4000.
- What is your cancellation/no-show policy?
Cancellations and no-shows will not be refunded or rescheduled. Guests arriving after the required program check-in time will not be permitted to participate and will not be refunded or rescheduled.
Due to the nature of caring for animals, Georgia Aquarium reserves the right to modify, cancel and/or reschedule programs without notice. Reasonable accommodations will be made to reschedule guests as effectively as possible.