Beluga Interaction Program FAQ

Beluga Interaction Program FAQ

Beluga Interactive FAQs

What is the purpose of this program/overview of the encounter?

To provide an engaging, educational, and inspirational experience by connecting our guests, in an interactive manner, to some of Georgia Aquarium's most fascinating resident marine animals. The program is an exploration into the behind the scenes of the Cold Water Quest gallery and an in-depth look into Georgia Aquarium's conservation efforts with beluga whales. The two-hour program includes a classroom orientation where participants learn about the biology, care, training, and study of this fascinating species and Georgia Aquarium's role in beluga whale conservation.

What is the duration of the program and what is included in the experience?

The program lasts for approximately two hours and includes an educational and engaging orientation on the biology, care, training, study, and conservation of beluga whales; an exclusive behind the scenes look at the beluga whale habitat; an intimate experience working alongside our training staff and interacting with the beluga whales, and presentation of a souvenir photograph and towel.

Is this a swim-with/immersion program?

No, the Beluga Interactive Program allows participants to work alongside training staff to interact with the beluga whales. Elements of this program may require guests to step into waist-deep water and stand comfortably on their own, but are not guaranteed to enter the water. In addition to meeting age, height and weight requirements, guests must also possess a minimum level of physical dexterity. Participants do not swim with the beluga whales. Comfort in and around water, including standing in water, is necessary to ensure a safe and engaging experience.

What should I bring with me?

All you will need to bring is a personal swimsuit. Georgia Aquarium will supply all equipment (wetsuit and booties) and a towel. Comfortable changing rooms with showers and lockers are provided. An eco-friendly bag will be provided for you to stow your damp suit and towel following the program.

What is the cost of the program?

The Beluga Interactive Program costs $180.95 plus tax for non-Members and $162.95 plus tax for Annual Members. Program price includes admission to the Aquarium and its seven galleries, AT&T Dolphin Celebration presentation, 4D Theater, all equipment, the animal encounter, souvenir towel and photograph of the experience.

Can I pre-register? Do I have to pre-register?

We encourage guests to pre-register as there are a limited number of spaces per program. Guests with special needs must call prior to making a reservation at 404.581.4000. Reasonable special needs accommodations can be supported on a case by case basis with prior notification. After you have purchased your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email that will include instructions how to supply additional information and submit the 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.

What are the age requirements?

While there isn't a minimum age, all participants must be at least 60 inches tall. All guests ages 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult (one adult per minor required), and all minor guests (under the age of 18) must have the liability waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

Are guests welcome to watch?

The entire Beluga Interactive Program, including the animal experience occurs behind the scenes and is not viewable by the public. Only participants in the program will be taken to the interactive areas.

How do I get to the Aquarium?

The Aquarium is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, right next to the World of Coca-Cola and Centennial Olympic Park.

Where do I go when I arrive?

Please check in at the Animal Interactions desk, located next to the Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot gallery, at least 15 minutes prior to your experience.

Will there be a trainer with me?

There will be a Georgia Aquarium staff member with you for the duration of the program. A beluga whale trainer will guide you through the animal interactive aspects of the program. An animal interactive program specialist will facilitate all other aspects of the program including the check in and orientation process.

How do I make a reservation?

You can make a reservation by registering online or calling 404.581.4000. After you have purchased your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email that will include instructions how to supply additional information and submit the 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.

What is your rescheduling policy?

The program fee is non-refundable; however, a date may be changed free of charge if the change is made at least 14 days in advance of the original date of your visit. If the change is made less than 14 days prior to the original date of your visit, a $50 change fee per ticket will be charged. No changes can be made less than 48 hours prior to the date of your original visit, and the guest will be charged the full program cost. Cancellations and no-shows will not be refunded or rescheduled. To change your reservation, please contact the Georgia Aquarium Call Center at 404.581.4000.

What is the water temperature?

The beluga whales live in colder climates and thus the water in their exhibit is kept cool. Guests will be provided Georgia Aquarium wetsuits similar to what our training staff wear to ensure that the experience, while cool, is comfortable. 

Can we feed the animals?

Guests will have the opportunity to have an intimate, up-close experience with the beluga whales. There are a variety of activities that can take place at the discretion of the training staff while interacting with and even touching the whale. Participating in training techniques and feeding may be part of the experience if it is appropriate to do so based upon the behavior of the animals being interacted with and behavior of the participants involved in the program. Animal trainers will tailor each program to ensure a safe and engaging experience for both our animals and our guests. As a result, each program may be a little different.

Can I buy out a time slot to experience the encounter alone?

Yes. There are eight slots per program.

Can I bring my own wetsuit?

All necessary equipment and a wetsuit will be provided. All you need to bring is your personal swimwear (bathing suit).

Can you accommodate my size?

We can accommodate guests up to 300 lbs.

Can I bring a photographer or person with me to film underwater?

No. A souvenir photo will be provided to participating guests and guests may have the opportunity to purchase additional images if available. Photos and video taken during the Beluga Interactive Program are the property of Georgia Aquarium. We reserve the right to use any photos and video for promotional purposes. For the safety of the animals and quality of the program, photos and video may only be taken by Georgia Aquarium designates.

Will tickets be available for walk-up guests?

Yes. Walk-up tickets can be purchased at our Animal Interactions kiosk if available, but must be purchased at least two hours before the scheduled Beluga Interactive Program. Advance purchase is highly recommended.