ATLANTA (August 1, 2013)Georgia Aquarium is giving guests an opportunity to meet and interact with one of the Aquarium’s most beloved animal species with the launch of a new interactive program, the Penguin Encounter. This unique program, which will offer its first sessions beginning Sept. 9, grants the rare, up-close experience of engaging with these charismatic birds. Georgia Aquarium houses African penguins in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery. The exhibit features more than 25 nesting areas integrated into naturalistic rockwork, and comes equipped with a state-of-the-art lighting system that mimics the natural light cycle from twilight to moonlight.

“Our Penguin Encounter is an amazing program in which guests will get to enjoy these incredible animals up close and learn about them by engaging with our expert zoological staff,” said David Kimmel, Georgia Aquarium president and COO. “Through inspiring experiences like this encounter, we are able to inform the public about Georgia Aquarium's rescue, research and conservation initiatives on behalf of aquatic animals.”

The Penguin Encounter is designed as a special educational experience where guests will not only interact with the remarkable birds, but will also learn about how Georgia Aquarium cares for them.  Guests will also gain information on Georgia Aquarium’s research and conservation initiatives taking place on their behalf. Over the course of 30 minutes, guests will also enjoy the opportunity to touch one of Georgia Aquarium’s African penguins, and will leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of these extraordinary birds. Additionally, program participants will receive a souvenir photo of their experience, courtesy of Georgia Aquarium.

Penguin Encounter at Georgia Aquarium

Sessions are available twice daily. The cost of the program is $54.95 plus tax, and guests must have already purchased a Total Ticket general admission to participate in the Penguin Encounter. Program participants must be at least 7-years old. In the absence of a participating parent or adult guardian, participants under 18 years of age are required to have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

This program joins the Aquarium’s five other animal interaction experiences, which include the in-water Beluga & Friends Interactive Program and the “Journey with Gentle Giants” Swim or Dive Program, as well as ‘dry’ Encounter Programs, which also include the Dolphin Encounter and Sea Otter Encounter..

Pin the Names on the Penguins

Launched on August 12, for a limited time Georgia Aquarium fans have the opportunity to help name the aquarium’s newest African penguins via a Facebook enter-to-win contest. Choosing from a selection of names, votes will be tallied and winning names announced prior to the first day of the new Penguin Encounter Program on September 9.  Each guest has the opportunity to enter once per day and receive more entries if they decide to “share” the contest with their Facebook and Twitter networks. The grand prize winner will receive two Southwest Airlines ® tickets to Atlanta, a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta, Downtown, 1-year supply of Angel Soft ® Bath Tissue courtesy of Georgia-Pacific, general admission and a Behind-the-Scenes tour for two to Georgia Aquarium and the opportunity to experience the newest Penguin Encounter [link to PE page]. Two second prize winners will receive a Georgia Aquarium Penguin Encounter prize package. More information on the contest can be found on Georgia Aquarium’s Facebook page. (link)

African Penguin Conservation at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium is a part of the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP), which oversees the breeding in participating AZA institutions with the goal of maintaining or increasing genetic diversity, thus ensuring the longevity of the species in human care. SSP programs significantly contribute to field conservation efforts, species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease issues, establishment of assurance populations, public education, as well as many species-focused conservation efforts.

For more information on Georgia Aquarium’s new Penguin Encounter or to book an experience, visit us online or call 404-581-4000. To enter to win the Pin the Name on the Penguins contest, visit Georgia Aquarium on Facebook starting August 12.


Contact Public Relations:

Jessica Fontana

PR Specialist

(404) 581-4391



Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be an entertaining, educational and scientific institution featuring exhibits and programs of the highest standards; offering engaging and exciting guest experiences promoting the conservation of aquatic biodiversity throughout the world. 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