Journey with Gentle Giants

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

The program is an exploration of the Ocean Voyager exhibit and introduction to the Georgia Aquarium conservation and whale shark research program. Journey with Gentle Giants is the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim or SCUBA dive with the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. A portion of the proceeds from this program support the Aquarium's research and conservation efforts.

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

The program lasts for 2.5 hours and includes a 30-minute swim or SCUBA dive in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. Participants will also view some behind-the-scenes areas of Georgia Aquarium.

How big is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, and what will I see?

The exhibit contains 6.3 million gallons of water and ranges in depth from 20 to 33 feet deep. This exhibit houses thousands of fish including whale sharks, zebra sharks, sawfish, leopard whiprays, bowmouth guitarfish, humphead wrasses, pompano and several species of rays. That's just to name a few.

What is the difference between SCUBA and swim?

SCUBA diving is the act of swimming underwater while using self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. There are several large diving organizations that train and certify divers and dive instructors. The Aquarium's swim program will allow individuals to swim at the surface with an air supply, and this does not require any certification.

Do I have to be SCUBA certified?

Yes, if you would like to SCUBA dive. Proof of open water certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization must be provided, along with photo identification. There is no certification necessary to participate in the swim program.

What should I bring with me?

All you will need to bring is your swimsuit. If diving, you will have to provide proof of open water certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization, along with photo identification. Georgia Aquarium will supply all equipment (mask, fins, tank, buoyancy device, regulator, weights, wetsuit and booties) and towels. Please do not bring your own equipment. Personal masks are permitted. Cameras of any kind are not permitted in the water. Comfortable changing rooms with showers and lockers are provided.

What is the cost of the program?

For the swim program, the cost is $235.95 plus tax for non-Members and $212.95 plus tax for Annual Pass Members. For the SCUBA dive program, the cost is $335.95 (plus tax) for non-Members and $302.95 for Annual Pass Members. Program price includes admission to the Aquarium, AT&T Dolphin Celebration, all equipment, the swim or dive, certificate of participation, t-shirt and souvenir photo. DVD will be available for purchase. Equipment provided: mask, fins, tank, buoyancy device, regulator, weights, booties and wetsuit. Personal masks are permitted, but will be required to be disinfected.

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

We encourage guest to pre-register as there are a limited number of spaces per swim and dive.

What are the age requirements?

All participants must be ages 12 and older. Guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating adult in the water. For the Swim Program, there is a maximum of 7 children (ages 12-17) per participating adult. For the Dive Program, there is a maximum of 7 children (ages 15-17) per participating adult and EACH child ages 12-14 must be accompanied by a participating adult. The SCUBA option is open to all certified divers. Proof of open water certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization must be provided, along with photo identification. 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.

Are you able to dive/swim with special needs?

Yes, we have designed the locker room and dive platform to meet ADA regulations. When you call to make a reservation, please let the reservists know you have special needs and someone from the dive program will call you prior to your visit to review your special needs, mobility issues and equipment.

Can my size be accommodated?

We can accommodate wetsuit sizes and equipment sizes for people who weigh between 45 lbs and 320 lbs.

Are guests welcome to watch? Do they have to buy a ticket?

Yes, friends and family can watch you in the Ocean Voyager exhibit at the tunnel and big window. They must purchase general admission tickets. Guests will be escorted around the dry side during the event for the best opportunity to see the participants. Please do not leave minor children (under age 12) unattended with the Aquarium Volunteers during your swim/dive experience.

How do I get to the Aquarium?

The Aquarium is located downtown right next to the World of Coca-Cola and Centennial Olympic Park. Click here for directions.

Where do I go when I arrive?

Please go to the Animal Interactions desk, located next to the Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot, to check in 30 minutes prior to your experience.

Will there be a guide in the water with me?

There will be three dive masters in the water with you at all times. Dive team members are CPR, first aid and emergency oxygen trained. Both the dive and swim programs are a guided tour; they are not a free swim.

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?

At Georgia Aquarium, we recognize that vacation plans can change. The Aquarium does not offer refunds, but 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. Cancellations within 48 hours 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's the water temperature?

The water temperature is 77ºF.

Can we feed the animals?

No.