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Daytripper: AdventureAquarium
05/21/2007 - By by Gena Ansell-Lande

Daytripper: AdventureAquarium

Adventure Aquarium
1 Aquarium Drive
Delaware River Waterfront
Camden, NJ
(866) 451-AQUA; (800) 616-JAWS
www.AdventureAquarium.com


Sharks, hippopotami, free-flying birds and sea life from around the world converge at Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront, giving visitors a once-in-a-lifetime experience.Guests will be treated to immersive experiences, surrounding themselves with the sights and sounds of the marine and animal world, including barrier-free environments designed to provide up-close and interactive adventures. Adventure Aquarium features nearly 200,000 square feet of sea life and wildlife. Visitors will be in for a true adventure as they visit the West African River Experience featuring hippopotami, porcupines, and over 20 species of African birds in a free-flight aviary. For those folks that are feeling brave, how about surrounding yourself with sharks in a suspended 40-foot walk-through tunnel? Like its sister aquarium, Newport Aquarium, located at Newport on the Levee in Newport, KY, Adventure Aquarium is an accredited member of the American Zoological and Aquarium Association.

You will experience plenty of “Wow” moments during your visit to the Aquarium. From the 6,000-plus residents, which include not just fish that swim but birds that fly and two hippos that parade in an undersea viewing tank, there is much to see. The creatures come from around the world, and the information displayed about them — focusing on the odd and unique — provides you with much knowledge.

Some highlights of the Aquarium include:

The West African River Experience — In Africa, most creatures view man as nothing more than an exotic snack. Submerged in the rivers is one animal that poses more danger than any other — the hippopotamus. With tusks that can (but won’t) reach three feet in length and an extremely nasty temper, it’s responsible for more attacks on man than any other animal. And now you can come within chomping distance of these beasts at one of the world’s only indoor, underwater hippo exhibits. Plus, you’ll come faceto-teeth with African porcupines, duck beneath free-flying birds and find yourself surrounded by over 1,000 fish, living together just like they would in a real African river.

Shark Realm — The moment you walk into their new underwater shark tunnel, you’ll feel it. Hundreds of hungry eyes following your every move. Over 25 sharks and 850 animals live in the new 550,000-gallon, two-story exhibit. So you can surround yourself with some of the fiercest creatures in the sea. And if you’re really brave, we’ll even let you hop in the water and “swim with the sharks.” All under the guidance of a professional shark expert. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

4-D Theater — presented by PSE&G: It’s the closest you can get to being a fish without growing gills. This state-of-the-art 4D theatre, with daily shows, is designed to put you right in the middle of the action with a series of spectacular special effects. You’ll be hit with water spray, tickled with bubbles, blasted with wind and much more. Their first feature will take you to parts of the sea no one has seen before. “Deep Sea — 4D” details the travels and adventures of two subs, Hydra and Kraken, as they descend to the very bottom of the ocean floor.

Jules Verne Gallery — Get ready for an ocean odyssey! Named after the famed author of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, this exhibit features some of the most exotic and fascinating creatures of the sea, including a giant Pacific octopus, sea dragons, jellyfish, giant spider crabs and more. It’s the ocean as you’ve never seen it before!
Additionally, there are shows for practically every area of interest including dive shows, seal shows, shark and penguin feedings, hippo shows and live entertainment.

A nice way to conclude your day would be a stop in the gift shop. The store, which is 6000 square feet, features six exciting themed areas:
Wear or Beware — All the latest and greatest in ocean-themed apparel for kids and adults.
Chums — For younger adventurers, take home a totally huggable plush Chum and watch their faces light up with their new friend from the sea!

Where Danger is Your Middle Name — Personalize your visit and add your name to a wide variety of items.

Ocean Relics — Looking for a unique toy for that special child? Then look no further than Ocean Relics, where you can find the coolest toys around any reef.

Treasure Reef — If fine treasures are what you have in mind, then explore the Treasure Reef for special, high-end jewelry items.
The “Swim with the Sharks” Program

Guests now have the opportunity to participate in the “Swim with the Sharks” program, allowing any guest (over the age of 12) to snorkel along the top of the550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit andgo face-to-teeth with the scariest creatures in the sea! The Adventure Aquarium staff will begin the experience by briefing participants on what they can expect,teaching them about the animals they will encounter and giving a quick snorkeling lesson. (They'll also run through a few basic safety procedures.) Then, guests snorkel along the perimeter of the Shark Realm where they'll come within inches of sand bar sharks, sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks and others. Finally, after they’ve mastered Shark Realm, participants get the chance to swim with and feed stingrays in their “Ray Lagoon.”


“Swim with the Sharks” costs $115, which includes admission price for Adventure Aquarium, as well as a commemorative 6 x 8 photo of the experience, a souvenir t-shirt, and a mask and snorkel. There are three sessions per day, and each session allows for 5 guests. Advanced reservations are required. Good Luck!

Adventure Aquarium
1 Aquarium Drive
Delaware River Waterfront
Camden, NJ
(866) 451-AQUA; (800) 616-JAWS
www.AdventureAquarium.com

Admission & Hours
Open Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admissions are scheduled every hour beginning at 9:30 a.m.
Timed tickets and advanced reservations are recommended
Adults • $16.95
Children (2-12) • $13.95
(Children under 2 are free)
Seniors (65 & up) • $13.95

Directions:
From Northern New Jersey and New York via the New Jersey Turnpike or I-295:

From the New Jersey Turnpike, take Exit 4 onto Route 73 North. Following signs take Route 73 to Route 38 West towards Camden. Take Route 38 West and bear right at overpass to Route 30 West. Stay on 30 West approximately 1.6 miles to the “Mickle Boulevard/Aquarium” exit on the right. Off the ramp continue straight until the road splits. Following the blue “Waterfont/Aquarium” stay to the left onto Martin Luther King Boulevard. Follow MLK Blvd approximately 1.1 miles to Third Street and turn right on Third (north). Make a left at the second light, Market Street  (west) and stay on Market for three blocks to its end at Delaware Avenue. Make a left at Delaware Avenue (south), and get immediately into the right lane on Delaware Avenue. Look for the entrance to the parking area on the right less than one block after turning onto to Delaware.


From I-295 South take Exit 26- “676 North.” Take 676 North approximately 3 miles to Exit 5A “Mickle Boulevard.” Staying in the right lane go straight off of the exit ramp(east), follow blue “Waterfront” signs approximately 1.1 miles to 3rd Street. Turn right on Third Street (north) and follow it for two blocks to Market Street. Turn left at the second light, Market Street (west) and stay on Market for three blocks to its end at Delaware Avenue. Make a left at Delaware Avenue (south) and get immediately into the right lane onDelaware Avenue. Look for the entrance to the parking area on the right less than one block after turning onto to Delaware.


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