Results 11-17of 17 Reviews
October 12, 2004
It imprinted itself on my subconscious, however, and hence the unsettling dreams. Now, however, I can see the formerly mysterious creature has a name, the wolf-eel, and I read the description of its characteristics and habits. After watching it glide innocuously along the bottom of its tank for several minutes, I become certain it will make no further nocturnal appearances.
Those whose imaginations are fueled by thoughts of what lies in the cold waters of British Columbia will find the "Treasures of the B.C. Coast" section of the Vancouver Aquarium much to their liking. Great tanks of nacreous green sea anemones pulsate in artificial wave surges, delicate nudibranches, transparent jellyfish, and colorful echnoderms flaunt their rococo forms in a variety of tanks, while awed visitors stand before the massive Pacific Coast tank teeming with a cornucopia of sea life.
Kids are encouraged to have a Ribbiting Experience in a playful exhibit on frogs, while the ever-popular shark display draws its share of visitors who respectfully regard its restless, and possibly hungry, residents. There are warm-water fishes, as well, in the Tropical Zone, not to mention the almost compulsory section on the Amazon Rainforest, which I find rather uninspired, though perhaps I’ve merely become blasé after having seen several similar exhibits elsewhere.
But the stars of the aquarium are undoubtedly the marine mammals: seals, otters, dolphins, sea lions, and beluga whales. I catch the tail end of the beluga whale show, then spend a rapt half-hour or so watching the trainers continue to work with their charges. I’ve been on whale watches and seen killer whale shows, but none of those experiences were as captivating to me as the belugas, with their engaging faces, complex vocalizations, and fluid grace.
After the training session has ended, I go to the underground viewing area to watch the belugas underwater. Lacking a dorsal fin, their movement seems more an ectoplasmic glide than a swim, an illusion accentuated by their ghostly white color. Watching the hypnotic water ballet of the beluga whales was, in my opinion, in and of itself worth the not insubstantial price of admission.
From journal Vancouver Reflections
August 27, 2004
From journal Vancouver Aquarium
From journal HELLO Vancouver
November 28, 2003
From journal Vancouver with a Family
New York, New York
June 30, 2003
The Vancouver Aquarium is fairly small and easy to see in about two hours. The exhibits are great and the animals are all wonderfully cared for.
The large main tank is inside just after you enter and features an abundance of marine life--everything from a huge octopus to sharks and giant fish. It is two stories high so you can see it from a variety of angles and feel almost immersed in it.
From here head into the Amazon Jungle exhibit. It's incredible. Having actually been to the Amazon, I was impressed by how they brought it to life inside the exhibit.
The outside displays are equally impressive. You really feel up close and personal with the marine life. The seals and otters played within feet from me!
The aquarium is a great place to stop off and take a break while visiting Stanley Park.
From journal Vancouver - Outdoors
by Mr. Wonka
Brooklyn, New York
June 17, 2003
The aquarium is broken down into a few rooms. The front room has a great mock environment of the Georgia Strait, and what fauna you can’t see from up top, you can get a closer look at from one level below. The H. R. MacMillan Tropical Gallery features a walk-through re-creation of a South American rain forest that has free-roaming insects, lizards, birds, spiders, etc. If you’re going to freak out if something crawls across the walkway in front of you, you may want to consider skipping this part, but I really doubt much harm will come of you. Well, okay, one rather large tarantula did drop out of a tree and crawl down some woman’s shirt, but--nah, I’m just playin’. In addition to the aforementioned crawlies, out here in this very humid outdoor wing you’ll see a variety of birds, ducks, fish, and turtles. Continuing indoors, you’ll see some wicked-looking crocodiles. The only deficiency here was the lack of signage explaining what everything was.
I enjoyed the Treasures of the BC Coast wing the most. It’s divided into different coastal regions and gives a nice cross-section of what you’d find in each region's waters. The giant green anemone tank was at once intriguing and sublime, and I loved the reminder of what everyday products we can find algae in--lipstick, sushi, ice cream, etc. (make sure you tell your kids that the next time they’re crying for the ice-cream truck). Easily the highlights, though, were the alien-like moon jellies, which kept my attention for at least 15 minutes. The up-close view you get of these amazing creatures is worth the price of admission alone. Moving along, you’ll see an extensive frog exhibit that’s distinctly geared towards kids, with big lettered signs, hands-on exhibits, and fun facts everywhere--a nice way to squeeze in a little educational lesson.
On the bottom floor is an exhibit explaining Whalelink, which is used to track the movement of whales. Stepping outside, you’ll have the opportunity to see a dolphin show, a gigantic sea lion, and a beluga whale. I had no idea that sea lions could be so freakin’ huge! After you’ve finished making your rounds, there will be no way of avoiding it--you’ll have to exit through the gift shop. D’oh!
From journal ". . .and then the clouds lifted"
Auckland, United Kingdom
December 29, 2002
This is actually one of the most enjoyable aquariums I've visited. It has a wide variety of displays that include the usual tanks of fish as well as turtles, octopus, seahorses, whales, and even a sloth in the rain-forest section. Check out the events board near the entrance--it lists various displays throughout the day, e.g., the penguin feeding times.
I went to the beluga whale talk, and seeing the new beluga baby and mother was one of the highlights of the day for me.
The aquarium has several tanks that allow you to view the mammals both under and above water--belugas, sea otters, and sea lions. The sea lion especially was quite incredible as it circled around its tank close to the viewing window.
The aquarium also has an open-air cafe that does basic sandwiches and junk food.
From journal Two weeks in Vancouver