ATLANTA (May 24, 2011) — Just in time to beat the heat this summer, Georgia Aquarium’s newest, “coolest” experience allows guests to discover the fascination of the chilly unknown with the launch of the Beluga & Friends Interactive Program. Located within the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest Gallery, the Beluga & Friends Interactive Program is an inspirational journey connecting guests with beluga whales and other fascinating marine animals. This exploration into the arctic-themed habitat provides an exclusive and in-depth look into Georgia Aquarium’s daily animal care and conservation efforts of beluga whales.

“We are thrilled to offer a new,hands-on experience to inspire guests through our beluga whale ambassadors here at Georgia Aquarium,” said David Kimmel, Georgia Aquarium president and COO. “The Aquarium is committed to providing opportunities to increase knowledge, change attitudes, create emotional connections and ultimately transform behaviors, which can result in positive impact to beluga whale conservation.”

Beluga and Friends Interactive Program

As a leader in aquatic research and conservation, Georgia Aquarium is dedicated to inspiring and educating the public on beluga whales and the threats they face in the wild. There are estimated to be more than 150,000 beluga whales throughout their range in the northern seas that make up the Arctic. Major threats that impact beluga whales include risks related to increased rapid environmental changes.

The two-hour Beluga & Friends Interactive Program includes an educational and informative orientation, exclusive behind-the-scenes view of the beluga whale and harbor seal exhibit, the opportunity to interact with beluga whales alongside animal training staff, and general admission to Georgia Aquarium. All guests participating in the program will receive a souvenir Georgia Aquarium towel and photograph to commemorate their awe-inspiring experience. In addition, wetsuits, locker room and shower facilities are provided.

Guests can participate daily at 10:00 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., with times subject to change. The cost for the program is $169.95 plus tax, $152.95 plus tax for Annual Imagination Pass Members. Participants under 18 years of age must each be accompanied by a participating adult responsible for the minor and guests must be 60 inches tall to participate. Comfort in and around water, including standing in waist-deep water, is necessary to ensure a safe and engaging experience.

For more information on Georgia Aquarium’s conservation efforts or to reserve a spot in the program, visit or call 404-581-4000.


Public Relations Contacts:

Ashley Lansdale                                                                  


(404) 581-4251                                                                            



Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest, with more than 10 million gallons of water and six permanent galleries. It is considered one of the top Atlanta attractions and one of the best Atlanta sightseeing activities. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards, while promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity. Georgia Aquarium offers events in Atlanta throughout the year for guests of all ages, as well as engaging Atlanta kids’ activities and programs. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit