March 20 will kick off the Aquarium’s 24th season for public and chartered dolphin watching trips, now named Dolphin Discoveries Sea Adventures. These trips will run through October. Also beginning March 20 are chartered Ocean Collections Sea Adventures for schools and other groups which will run until Memorial Day weekend and then, beginning June 24, will run every Wednesday afternoon for public trips. Whales & Wildlife Sea Adventures will routinely run December through early March.
Since 1989, Virginia Aquarium boat trips have effectively engaged adults, families, and student groups in coastal marine ecology by providing opportunities to observe dolphins, whales, and other marine life in their natural habitat. To enhance the experience, our programs always feature professional educators to provide interpretation, volunteers with special training to answer questions, and an assortment of biofacts and other visual aids to add a hands-on element to the trip. In addition, staff members on board collect data related to whale and dolphin sightings. This information is used in the Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts that contribute to federal and regional management of marine mammal populations and to environmental assessments.
Virginia Aquarium Executor Director Lynn Clements said, “If you’ve taken a cruise aboard the American Rover out of Waterside Marina in Norfolk, then you are familiar with our new partners and their commitment to providing high quality trips with a focus on exceeding the expectations of the customer.” The Atlantic Explorer has a climate-controlled cabin, outer decks for observing wildlife, a snack bar, an indoor educational activity space, and restroom facilities. Rover Cruises President Brook Smith said, “We are so excited about our partnership with the Virginia Aquarium and we look forward to providing the areas smoothest platform to explore our ocean's wildlife.”
A portion of all Sea Adventure ticket sales will support Virginia Aquarium conservation initiatives, including the rescue and rehabilitation efforts of the Stranding Response Team.
All Sea Adventures depart from the Virginia Aquarium dock which is adjacent to the Bay & Ocean Pavilion parking lot. Sea Adventure schedules and pricing are available on the Aquarium’s website: http://www.virginiaaquarium.com/learn/sea-adventures. Tickets can be purchased online,
In person at the Aquarium’s Guest Services office, or by calling (757) 385-0300.