ATLANTA (July 1, 2016) - Georgia Aquarium's Journey with Gentle Giants program offers guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience and only guaranteed opportunity anywhere in the world to snorkel or scuba dive alongside whale sharks. Journey with Gentle Giants has been named as one of USA Today's 10Best: New travel adventures for 2016 and is included on The ATL Bucket List: 41 Things You Need to do Before You Die by Thrillist. During a program, guests will swim or dive in the Aquarium's Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot exhibit, one of the largest single aquatic habitats in the world. Immersed in Georgia Aquarium’s most diverse habitat and guided by Aquarium dive masters, participants will learn about Georgia Aquarium’s conservation and research efforts with animals found in Ocean Voyager, and swim away with memories for a lifetime. Learn more about this unique experience below!

By The Numbers: Journey with Gentle Giants 

  • Journey with Gentle Giants has welcomed over 40,000 participants since beginning in 2008.
  • Over 1,600 military personnel and veterans have participated in the Veterans Immersion Program
  • Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot contains 6.3 million gallons of saltwater with depths ranging from 20-33 feet.
  • The Ocean Voyager gallery has 4,574 square feet of viewing windows and features one of the largest viewing windows in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide.
  • Four whale sharks inhabit Ocean Voyager, which range in length from 18-22 feet long.
  • Ocean Voyager is also home to four manta rays. Georgia Aquarium is the only aquarium in the Western Hemisphere to house whale sharks and manta rays. 
  • Thousands of other animals can be seen in Ocean Voyager, including various species of rays and a green sea turtle.

Swim with Whale Sharks

The Journey with Gentle Giants swim program is held daily at 4:30 p.m. Each program lasts two and a half hours, including the swim portion and behind the scenes tour. The cost for Aquarium members is $212.95 plus tax, and the cost for non-members is $239.95 plus tax. Price includes the swim program, admission to the Aquarium and all galleries, program equipment, certificate of participation, t-shirt and a souvenir photo. Guests do not need to be dive certified to participate in the swim program, but all participants must be 12 years old or older.

 

Dive with Whale Sharks 

The Journey with Gentle Giants dive program is held daily at 3 p.m. with an additional dive on Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. The program lasts two and a half hours, including the dive and behind the scenes tour. The cost for Aquarium members is $302.95 plus tax, and the cost for non-members is $335.95 plus tax. Price includes the dive program, admission to the Aquarium and all galleries, program equipment, certificate of participation, t-shirt and a souvenir photo. All participants must be 12 years old or older. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult in the water. Guests must be Open Water certified to participate in this program. 

 

Closed-Circuit Rebreather Dive

Experience diving with whale sharks in a new way at Georgia Aquarium with the closed-circuit rebreather dive program. Held Saturday and Sunday at 10:45 a.m., the program lasts three and a half hours, including an hour-long dive. The program cost includes the closed-circuit rebreather dive program, admission to the Aquarium and all galleries, program equipment, certificate of participation, exclusive t-shirt, souvenir photo and HD video of the experience. Participants must be 15 years old or older and be Open Water SCUBA certified. 

 

Learn more about Georgia Aquarium's whale sharks and even see how they are fed by following Georgia Aquarium's #SharkWeek coverage on Facebook! For more information on Georgia Aquarium’s Journey with Gentle Giants program and to make a reservation, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that contains more than 10 million gallons of water and has the largest collection of aquatic animals. Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to be a scientific institution that entertains and educates, features exhibits and programs of the highest standards, and offers engaging and exciting guest experiences that promote 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 www.georgiaaquarium.org.