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“The Jelly Fish...”
Review of Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium
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Skip the Line: Vancouver Aquarium Admission
Ranked #33 of 365 things to do in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sea otters, steller sea lions and 50,000 other aquatic creatures await your arrival at Canada’s largest aquarium. Long-established as a global leader in marine research, education and conservation, the Vancouver Aquarium offers visitors an unforgettable experience through face-to-face engagement with a wide array of amazing animals. You can also immerse yourself in the 4D Experience Theatre, which combines the high-definition excitement of a 3D film with thrilling sensory effects! Find out for yourself why the Vancouver Aquarium is one of the world’s favourite aquariums..
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I have been to many aquariums in my life but I have never seen that many jelly fish like in Vancouver Aquarium. There are so many species and you can spend hours watching them. The staff is very helpful, the walk around and ask you whether you have any questions about the animals and gives you limitless information. They seem like to be liking their jobs very much. It is another joy to watch otters getting fed.
The entrance fee is very high though.

Thank İrem S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,264 - 4,268 of 7,131 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2014

We arrived around noon, shelling out the usual hundred plus bucks to enjoy another BC tourism attraction. We came in just in time to watch the beluga show, we also managed to take in the dolphin show, the seal / sea lion show, and the otter show. Very educational shows delivered by staff who obviously care greatly for the animals. The kids were impressed with the care given to the blind otter and the seal that was saved for netting. The g-kids were also enthralled with the educational aspect, learning much and being urged throughout the visit to respect all nature.

This was a great afternoon. Even that mass of demonstrators outside when we left provided another piece of education for the g kids. They saw how some people do not believe in the aquariums ability to save wildlife from mans nets and other dangers. Some people don't believe the aquarium serves a purpose by educating our youth, to care for animals with compassion and to provide a method to bring it all together in a manageable setting. The kids also learned that while watching a beluga whale or a dolphin in a small pool is not really a pleasant site when you think about where they came from. They also learned that some of these animals like the blind otter cannot be put back.

It's a little deeper than what we are told by the aquarium , and a lot deeper than what the demonstrators were screaming to all the young children. Just another day in Van.

1  Thank Malone2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2014

I expected to see much more than it was shown in the aquarium. Few samples of animals and it was under refurbishment with limited showcases.

1  Thank MarcioPalma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2014

When we first visited the Vancouver Aquarium with our children 30 years ago, it was, by the standards of the day, an impressive and modern facility. Now, however, little has changed over the years, and although an expansion is under construction, it remains to be seen if some of the major flaws of the site will be addressed.

First, and most distressing, are the shamefully small enclosures that hold large marine mammals. Beluga whales and dolphins are confined to pools that are scarcely larger than backyard swimming pools; the sea otters are in a much smaller habitat – scarcely larger than a big bathtub. While the aquarium's mission is admirable – the goal is to educate, not just entertain – it is frustrating and distressing to see the animals in such cramped quarters in this day and age.

Many of the aquarium staff – especially those working in customer service, sales, and crowd control – would benefit from additional training. Admittedly, we visited on a holiday weekend, certainly a trial for any facility. However, staff members seemed to create problems where none should have existed. For example, two different gift shop clerks at two separate cash registers were unable to process the "Buy 1 shirt for $9.99 or 2 for $15.99" sale. The first clerk admitted she didn't know how to work the register and referred us to another clerk on the opposite side of the gift shop. The second clerk couldn't figure out how to ring up the sale, then offered to do the one thing she did know how to do: take 10% off the non-sale price of $19.98 for 2 shirts. Pleased she "got the price down" to $17.99, she couldn't understand why we weren't happy, as it was "pretty close to" the advertised $15.99. We left without buying shirts.

While in the gift shop, our attention was drawn to another clerk loudly arguing with a customer. The customer had filled out some type of promotion coupon for a discount, but the clerk refused to honor the coupon because the customer had apparently misspelled a word. This argument went on for some time, until the customer walked away in frustration. The gift shop was definitely not a pleasant experience.

The Vancouver Aquarium was built at a time when little thought was given to access for the disabled. Elevators and ramps have been added over the years, but they are often difficult to find and poorly marked. As I sat at the aquarium's exit, I watched family after family struggle to carry strollers and even wheelchairs down a short, but very steep, flight of stairs, rather than take a ramp that was actually there, but mostly overlooked due to awkward placement and no signage.

It is always a challenge dealing with large crowds in a small facility, especially when there are many groups of tourists who speak neither English nor French. Better signage in various languages and improved training of staff would help.

The critical issue, however, remains the outdated housing of the animals. Despite the aquarium's efforts to educate, rescue, and conserve, the impression it makes is unfortunately somewhat depressing. I hope the expansion of the facility will make a significant improvement in the living conditions of those marine mammals who cannot safely be released to the wild. If it does not, that will be a sadly missed opportunity – and a failed responsibility.

3  Thank Lornwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 May 2014

Well laid out and loads of activities and sessions to attend. Informative and interactive. Really great with all the marine work they're doing too.

Thank PrincessFi88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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