Fall (autumn to us non-North-Americans) in Vancouver is pretty darn wet. It rains most days and even when it’s not raining it feels like it’s going to! So one day we decided to embrace the watery world of another kind by visiting the highly-regarded Vancouver Aquarium.
Fortunately the weather was so awful on this particular Saturday that it seemed like people were staying home, and the aquarium wasn’t too crowded. It cost us an arm and a leg to get in ($29 each!) but most of the admission fee goes towards marine conservation and the aquarium’s rescue efforts which is great.
Your journey through the world’s underwater environments includes the Tropics, the Amazon, and British Columbia’s underwater environment too. There is the most amazing display of jellyfish – the perfect lighting of the tank makes the amazing jellies so mesmerising. We could’ve stared at them all day!
In the 4D theatre we watched BBC’s The Salmon Run (narrated by the best in the business – Sir David Attenborough). The doco was accompanied by shaking seats when the fish were confronted by waterfalls, bubble machines as the salmon raced up-river, spurts of water when the bears were splashed by the salmon escaping their grasp, and even smells of grass when the summer months arrived in the forest. Seriously entertaining!
One part of the aquarium that was a bit sketchy for us was the Beluga whale and porpoise shows. Even before watching the heart-wrenching documentary Blackfish, we’ve abhorred dolphins and whales in captivity (hence why we’ve never visited Sea World, and never will). The whales at the aquarium just do the circuit of their tank over and over again, it’s so sad. The shows at Vancouver Aquarium don’t involve the trainers riding the whales and porpoises (thank goodness), but they did make them do tricks and flips and things like that. A little unnecessary to be honest. But one redeeming aspect is that the only animals they have in the aquarium were either born in captivity or rescued and are unable to be released back into the wild (through injury or hand-rearing).
A visit to the Vancouver Aquarium should be high on the list of any visitor to Vancouver. Aside from the Beluga and porpoise shows, we loved seeing all the different fish and the jellies were definitely the highlight. It’s a wonderful watery world!