With 10 aquarium zones and the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel, the Marine Life Park’s S.E.A. Aquarium is set to marvel and immerse guests in the fascinating world of vast oceans and other marine habitats.
Update 20/11/2012: Marine Life Park will soft open on 22/11/2012. Both S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark will be open to the public.
Here is my review and photo tour of Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium, a new attraction at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) that will be open to public soon. This is a general review of the Aquarium and will be followed by a series of shorter entries to give each zone a spotlight.
I visited the S.E.A. Aquarium during a preview session on the 17th. Right at the start, guests were informed that not all exhibits are available. Some aquariums look barren, with just a few creatures swimming in them. According to some crew members, several tanks are still incomplete. So treat this review and photo tour as a “first impressions” review. I should be re-visiting the Aquarium again after and append second opinions to this entry if necessary.
There is a lot to see and take in at the S.E.A. Aquarium. A typical trip might take about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. Visitors may also be delighted to know that access to Maritime Experiential Museum (MEM) is also included in admission to S.E.A. Aquarium
While the smaller enclosed aquariums are beautiful and breathtaking, the “mangrove” and “coastal” displays were not. The lighting could be improved at those areas.
The Aquarium Tunnels (Strait of Karimata and Java Sea, Shark Seas) actually have an “open air” tank. While this offers natural lighting, it is actually hard to view the exhibits in these aquariums due to reflections being more obvious.
The Open Ocean Gallery was a little disappointing. It just does not look as amazing as advertised. Yes, it’s HUGE and earns the Aquarium bragging rights. However, the overall presentation is not as impressive as the Shipwreck Habitat. Hopefully it will improve when more specimens are added. However, there were too many distracting elements: The line of Ocean Suite windows at the top are the worst offenders. The Ocean Dome also looks very intrusive. I was also surprised at the viewing panel at the ceiling.
Transitions between Aquarium zones are minimalistic – just walls, either plain, some with artwork and some with video screens. I was hoping some dramatic theming like the Grand Aquarium at Ocean Park Hong Kong.
Despite these flaws, S.E.A. Aquarium is a must-see for people with an interest in marine life. The entire Aquarium is nicely designed and is definitely both an educational and relaxing experience. If you loved Underwater World (another aquarium at Sentosa), then you will definitely want to see this one. This is also a potential hideaway from a hot day at Universal Studios Singapore, being completely enclosed and air-conditioned.
Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium is expected to soft open sometime next week (actual date unknown, but could be between 19/11/2012 to 23/11/2012).
Marine Life Park will soft open on 22/11/2012. Both S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark will be open to the public.
Here are the Marine Life Park: S.E.A. Aquarium ticket prices:
$29 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$20 Child (Ages 4-12)
$20 Senior (Ages 59 and above)
$20 Student discount (Show Student ID pass at RWS Ticketing Booths to enjoy discounted price for student) (Discontinued??)
Priority Queue Pass
$10 per guest
Includes admission to Typhoon Theatre and access to priority queues for admission to S.E.A. Aquarium.
UPDATE JAN 2013 Changes with One-Day Pass
From January 2013, there are some changes with one-day passes. In short, One-Day Pass comes with Typhoon Theatre admission on certain days.
Also, the Student discount appears to be discontinued.
On Off-peak dates, One-Day passes include the following:
Admission to S.E.A. Aquarium, Maritime Experiential Museum and Typhoon Theatre.
On Peak dates, One-Day passes include the following:
Admission to S.E.A. Aquarium and The Maritime Experiential Museum.
For admission to Typhoon Theatre, a Priority Queue add-on is required.
On Peak dates, Priority Queue passes can be purchased as an add-on. It provides:
Admission to Typhoon Theatre and access to priority queues for admission to S.E.A. Aquarium.
Priority Queue may not be used on its own for admission to Maritime Experiential Museum or S.E.A. Aquarium.
UPDATE 23/11/2012: Upgrade to Annual Pass:
According to S.E.A. Aquarium, One-Day passes can be upgraded to Annual Passes by paying the difference in cost. That means a $59 top-up for Adults and $38 top-up for Child and Senior. Students above the age of 12 will need to top-up $68 for an Annual Pass.
$88 Adult (Ages 13-59)
$58 Child (Ages 4-12)
$58 Senior (Ages 59 and above)
These annual passes entitle its holder to unlimited admissions to S.E.A. Aquarium and Maritime Experiential Museum for a year, and includes benefits* such as:
- Free entry to Typhoon Theatre on Non-Peak dates. (A fee of $10 applies for Annual Passholders during Peak dates.
- $3 discount for Marine Life Park admission tickets (S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark)
$1 discount for Typhoon Theatre at Maritime Experiential Museum
- Priority Lane to enter S.E.A. Aquarium
- 10% discount at Marine Life Park F&B outlets
- 10% discount for guided tours and educational programmes at Maritime Experiential Museum
- 10% discount for merchandise at Maritime Experiential Museum (which includes S.E.A. Aquarium souvenirs)
Entering the S.E.A. Aquarium
I’ve already revealed some of the initial parts of S.E.A. Aquarium, including the entrance in this Sneak Peek entry. The entrance to Marine Life Park – S.E.A. Aquarium is located at the Maritime Experiential Museum (MEM). Let’s take a walk inside S.E.A. Aquarium.
Strait of Karimata and Java Sea
The S.E.A. Aquarium experience begins with the Shipwreck habitat, which links with the Typhoon Theatre’s storyline.
I was quite surprised to be able to see the roof of the Aquarium.
Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea
This zone is a break away from the usual aquarium presentation. There are floor aquariums and lens aquariums. The Discovery Touch Pool should be a hit with the younger ones, as they get to touch sea stars and sea cucumbers.
Guests are supposed to wash their hands at the nearby sink before touching anything. It was funny to see some kids dipping their hands into the pool right after they were kindly told to wash their hands at the sink.
There is a nice cylindrical aquarium here called Coral Garden.
Here’s a floor aquarium here too, although nothing much to see during the preview.
Bay of Bengal and Laccadive Sea
The exhibits here showcase mangrove and coastal habitats.
There are two convex dome aquariums, which were pretty cool.
Nothing here at the moment except dolphin sounds. Divers can be spotted doing some work here.
Edit 19/11/2012: Some dolphins have arrived at Marine Life Park and are undergoing quarantine.
In this section, guests go deeper into the ocean and discover the mysterious species. Sea jellies seem to be the highlight here with several Aquariums showcasing different species (and in different ways).
This is the epic exhibit. The Open Ocean is the world’s largest aquarium viewing panel, at 36 metres wide and 8.3 metres tall. The panel is said to be 70cm thick.
Anyway, there is a lot to take in here. Thankfully, this entire area (also known as the Ocean Gallery) has three tiers and anyone could stand anywhere and marvel at this massive window into the ocean.
The mysterious line of windows at the background are Marine Life Park’s Ocean Suites. 11 Suites that offer a private viewing panel into the Open Ocean.
There is also the Ocean Dome, a more enclosed area with windows along its side and a large window above (showing more than it should).
The view at the ceiling doesn’t look as appealing.
Arabian Gulf and Arabian Sea
The Arabian habitats feature shallower waters, a contrast from the deep and wide ocean experience earlier.
The Red Sea zone has a central focus on coral reefs.
This is the smallest Aquarium zone… I think.
South China Sea
Lastly, Shark Seas feature several species of sharks… except Whale sharks. We all know what happened a while ago.
It’s a bit hard to spot certain species though (or they’ve not been added).
As I’ve said earlier, some aquariums are still incomplete. I might revisit S.E.A. Aquarium for a second look.
In other news, it seems that the tired/sad/shy dolphins have been replaced: