Every ticket purchased will help ensure the future of the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium

It’s o-fish-al. After being closed for more than three months, the Vancouver Aquarium, an Ocean Wise initiative, will reopen to the public on Friday, June 26. Every ticket purchased will help ensure the future of the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium, which continues to face bankruptcy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and three-month closure.

Safety of visitors, staff and animals remains the Vancouver Aquarium’s top priority. In accordance with Government guidelines, the Vancouver Aquarium will offer a new, timed-ticketed, one-way flow experience that will allow visitors to encounter the wonder of our ocean, safely and in a crowd-free setting.

“In our 64-year history, we’ve never been closed for more than a few days and so we are extremely excited to reopen and welcome back visitors and members,” said Karen Howe, Director of Visitor Experience. “Our new, reconfigured layout will take guests on a journey through our main floor galleries allowing people to learn and engage with Vancouver Aquarium exhibits and animals in new ways.”

Since opening in 1956, the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium has inspired more than 40 million people, and four generations of BC families, to love and care for the ocean and its creatures.

In adherence of physical distancing directives from the office of the Provincial Health Officer, the Aquarium will initially be operating at approximately 20-30% of normal capacity for this time of year.

Full details about the new Vancouver Aquarium experience and COVID-19 protocols can be found at vanaqua.org/notices, but highlights include:

  • All visitors, including members, must reserve tickets online, in advance, at vanaqua.org/tickets. Tickets are date and time specific to control the number of people in the Aquarium at one time.
  • Guests will be given approximately 1.5 hours to follow a one-way flow through six-zones and more than 85 indoor and outdoor exhibits on the Vancouver Aquarium’s main level (the lower level of the Vancouver Aquarium will be closed during the initial opening phase).
  • Face masks must be worn by all visitors (excluding children aged 3 and under). Masks can be purchased at our gift shop, if you don’t have one.
  • Hand sanitizing stations, physical distancing measures, enhanced cleaning and safety signage are in place throughout the Aquarium.
  • Vancouver Aquarium members are encouraged to return! Members must reserve their free tickets online, in advance, for a specific date and time and will be able to enjoy ‘Member Early Opens’. Details
  • Guests who are unwell or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter the Aquarium. If you are sick, please be kind to others and stay at home.

Cute and fluffy sea otters, boisterous sea lions, as well as turtles, jellies, snakes and insects are just a few of the 70,000 creatures for visitors to discover (or rediscover!) at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Don’t miss the Vancouver Aquarium’s new exhibit Water Babies: Parenting 101 highlighting the weird and wonderful ways marine life parent, offering tongue-in-cheek parenting tips inspired by aquatic life. In addition, new in F&B for summer 2020 will be Vancouver Aquarium Picnic in the Park. Purchase a picnic basket or bag from the Ocean Wise Cafe and enjoy a leisurely lunch or a snack in Stanley Park with your group. Picnic in the Park will be available as of early July. More details coming soon.

The Vancouver Aquarium closed on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While closed, the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium lost almost all revenue and yet was still faced with more than $1 million dollars a month in animal care and facility costs.

Despite very successful fundraising and numerous community partnerships, the not-for-profit Vancouver Aquarium’s financial need has not gone away. The Vancouver Aquarium is still facing bankruptcy and fighting for long-term survival.

“We wouldn’t have been able to reopen without the amazing support from our community. Thank you to everyone who donated and supported us so far,” said Lasse Gustavsson, President and CEO, Ocean Wise. “If you love the Vancouver Aquarium and appreciate the research, education, animal rescue and conservation work that Ocean Wise does, we encourage you to buy a ticket and come back to visit us. Every visit helps to ensure the future of the Vancouver Aquarium and the important work Ocean Wise does.”

The Vancouver Aquarium’s reopening is in full compliance with orders from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and recommendations from WorkSafeBC. The Aquarium’s reopening plan has been submitted and reviewed by the Provincial Government.

Full details on the Vancouver Aquarium’s enhanced COVID-19 safety and cleaning procedures can be found at vanaqua.org/covid.

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