An Unforgettable Adventure: Swimming with Whale Sharks at the Georgia Aquarium

Ocean Voyager Entrance

Hey there, fellow adventure seekers! Recently I had the incredible opportunity to swim alongside the gentle giants of the sea at the Georgia Aquarium and I LOVED every single minute of it! I’ve been wanting to do this for quite awhile now and when I checked their website and saw some openings available I snagged it as quickly as I could. Here’s a little recap of my experience swimming with the magnificent Whale Sharks.

I arrived 15 minutes before the scheduled experience time as I was required to fill out the waiver form. Once the time had come, myself and the other 5 participants were guided back to the part of the aquarium that is the home of the Whale Sharks. I was absolutely blown away by the massive size of the “tank.” I mean, I knew it was big but didn’t think it was that BIG! I had seen it numerous times from the observation window below but never from the top like this. You get about 5 min to just take it all in and of course snap a selfie or 2 before you have to go into the classroom for a brief safety session. Once everyone has a clear understanding of the rules and expectations then we were released to the locker rooms where we found a locker with our name on it and tucked away inside was a towel, wetsuit, shoes, and souvenir t-shirt. They also provide you with gloves, a snorkel, and a mask once you get back out on the deck.

The vastness of the exhibit is still just mind-boggling! Once in the water, you test out the gear before you’re sent off in pairs to swim through the crystal-clear water with stunning marine life surrounding you. I’m not going to lie, I was definitely a little nervous to come face-to-face with one of the gigantic Whale Sharks for the first time. BUT THEN IT HAPPENED…while rounding one of the curves they came right near us and swam on by unbothered by their visitors. The Whale Sharks’ enormous bodies and distinctive patterns are mesmerizing. On the inside, I was smiling ear to ear but I had to remember to refrain from actually doing that physically because I would essentially drown myself. HA! Funny, not funny, right?

This was definitely an experience like no other. As my time swimming with the Whale Sharks came to an end I was a little sad but definitely ready to get out of the water and into a warm shower. Once you’ve changed back into street clothes then you head back into the classroom to view the footage taken by the videographer of the day. We were extremely lucky and had our swim captured by Liz who is an award-winning videographer. The 6-minute video is available for purchase and is emailed to you before you even make it to the exit of the aquarium.

If you ever have the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants at the Georgia Aquarium, seize it without hesitation. I highly recomend it as it really is an experience you will never forget!

Lastly, I want to send a HUGE thank you out to the Georgia Aquarium Dive Team that helped make this experience incredible! If this sounds like something you would love to do make sure you check out the Aquarium’s website to view dates and times that are available to book this experience or one of their other encounter offerings. If I could I would register for them all!

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