Decided to visit while in St Malo for the day en route elsewhere. This attraction sells itself by advertising the submarine experience so we were very excited about our 2 year old daughter's impression of this, knowing how much she has always loved seeing fish swimming in an aquarium. Maybe we chose the wrong time and day to go - Saturday afternoon in mid-August is always likely to be busy. We had to queue to get in (but only 2/3 kiosks were open and it did seem to take an age to process each family entering). Once in, it was really busy and we often had to queue to get a glimpse of each tank, feeling that we then had to move on quickly to allow others to do the same. There is a lovely 360 degree tank, though, viewed from a platform within, that we found impressive, especially with the turtle and shark inside, and that seemed less squashed than some of the other areas. Outside, there was a hands-on area. Lovely, really, although it did not seem to be controlled in any way by a member of staff as I would expect someone on hand keeping an eye on things(not that I saw anyone mistreating the rays/starfish etc.) There was only water to wash hands after touching these creatures - no soap and no antibac, so take your own if you have youngsters prone to thumb-sucking and generally putting their hands in their mouths. The greatest disappointment for us came with the promised grand finale of a ride in a submarine - the bit everyone else on tripadvisor says is the best bit. The queue stretched back a long way so I went to the front to ask how long people had been queuing and was told they'd been there for an hour! Waiting in a queue for that long with a 2 year old simply is not an option, especially with other places to travel on to and a clockwork desire for dinner time!! We had to give up and leave (fortunately the two year old hadn't really cottoned on to what it was going to be and the disappointment of a more knowledgeable 4 year old was avoided). As we were leaving, I complained to a member of staff and was told "It happens" and that it was a "technical problem" but was given no apology, even when I pointed out that if that is the case, we could have been informed of this at entry. I also suggested timed ticketing for this part of the attraction, but was met with a chilled response. It was expensive to go in, irritating to have professional photographers wanting to photograph you and being excluded from areas because they were taking photos there, and our main goal was unachieved.
So, if you want to visit St Malo's aquarium, my advice to you would be:
1. Go on a week day and, if possible, not a holiday.
2. Do the submarine trip first, then go back and see the other exhibits.
3. Take hand gel for when you have finished handling the creatures in the touching zone.
4. Be prepared to pay quite a bit for entry - buy tickets in advance if you can.
Hope this helps!
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