Mar 30 2013
Just when you thought Sentosa had reached the limit for the number of family-friendly attractions you can fit on one island, they go and open the world’s largest aquarium. Opened in December 2012, the S.E.A. Aquarium houses more than 800 species of aquatic creatures including dolphins, sharks and giant manta rays.
To help navigate this massive aquarium, it has been divided into different zones highlighting fish from around the world. The ‘Red Sea’ zone showcases the colourful boxfish, triggerfish and fire shrimp that inhabit its warm, salty waters, while the ‘Ocean Journeys’ zone is home to cool water creatures like moon jellyfish and giant Japanese spider crabs. One of the most unique exhibits is for the ‘Strait of Karimata’, the tropical body of water that separates Borneo and Sumatra, with schools of grouper, trevally and batfish swimming around the rotting wood of a shipwreck.
If you still have nightmares from the movie Jaws, you may want to avoid ‘Shark Seas’ where more than 200 sharks — hammerheads, silvertips, sandbar sharks — swim over and around you as you walk through a glass tunnel. For little ones, there’s a touch pool where you can hold harmless sea critters like sea stars and sea cucumbers.
The most spectacular exhibit is the ‘Open Oceans’ zone which boasts the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel – a whopping 36 metres wide and eight metres high. We spent 30 minutes watching in awe as leopard sharks, manta rays and schools of hundreds of fish swam past us in a stunning panorama. This is the exhibit that confirms the claim of being the world’s largest aquarium. For a fishy splurge, it’s possible to stay in an Ocean Suite at Equarius Hotel which looks into this tank.
As of February 2013, the S.E.A. Aquarium is still in its soft opening phase. As you walk around the blank walls and half-filled tanks are apparent and a planned dolphin show has not yet opened to the public. The aquarium’s decision to capture 27 wild dolphins near the Solomon Islands caused a lot of controversy and two of the animals died en route to Singapore. We’re not so sure we’d see the show.
Admission to the S.E.A. Aquarium costs S$29 for adults, S$20 for children aged four to twelve and is free for children three and under. Though it wasn’t listed on the official price sign when we visited, if you have a valid student card admission is discounted to S$20. This also includes admission to the Maritime Experiential Museum which shares the same building.
If you’re looking for somewhere nearby for lunch, we recommend Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa.
Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront
T: 6577 8888
Open daily 10:00–19:00
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