Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
August 3, 2009
August 27, 2004
From journal Vancouver Aquarium
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
Riverview, New Brunswick
May 31, 2007
But with that disappointment out of the way, we were able to watch the otters being fed and then go on to the beluga tank. The four snowy-white creatures can be seen from above or from viewing stations in the side of their tank. Their presence, with their benign faces, is what sets this aquarium apart.
Other than those exhibits, the aquarium is divided into several areas. The first is "The Treasures of the B.C. Coast". A number of tanks display marine life in different areas of the coast of the mainland and the island. In the Exploration Gallery, you’ll find jelly fish exhibits and various other interesting forms of sea life. Nearby, just for small children is a play area with a marine theme called Clownfish Cove.
In the Tropic Zone, you’ll pass through the Amazon Gallery. It’s more than just tropical fish as the visitor passes by tanks filled with Amazonian marine life into a rain forest with its colourful birds and tortoises. Your tropical journey continues past displays of reptiles, amphibians, and huge spiders; it’s all very entertaining and enough to make you cancel your plans for that jungle journey.
Other than that, you’ll find the rest of the usual suspects…beautiful tropical fish, some small sharks, giant clams, and tropical reefs. It makes for an interesting visit and it really is perfect for the whole family.
From journal Adventures in Lotusland: Vancouver
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
London, England, United Kingdom
November 22, 2012
The beautiful Vancouver,
The great Canada
Vancouver, British Columbia
January 27, 2012
Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
November 16, 2010
From journal A smug city on a cool coast
April 8, 2008