Singapore’s S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa has over 800 species on display, including manta rays, sea snakes, octopi, dolphins, and sharks. Yet despite having only opened its doors in 2013, this burgeoning aquarium is already one of the top visitor attractions in the country!
As part of the larger Marine Life Park at RWS (which also includes the Adventure Cove water park, and the Maritime Experiential Museum) the S.E.A. Aquarium prides itself on having the largest glass window in an aquarium in the whole world, even larger than the famous viewing panel at the Dubai Aquarium. So, all in all, I was very excited to get the chance to have a look around this immense attraction. The S.E.A. Aquarium opens between 10am-7pm every day, and this means that it is operating for a full hour before Universal Studios Singapore opens its doors. The admission price is S$29 (around £14) for a one-day pass, and this represents very good value. It is wise to combine a trip to the aquarium with a look around the Maritime Museum here – complete with its Typhoon Theatre, where you can experience the feelings of a typhoon out at sea – as both attractions are situated under the same roof (though require separate admissions).
One of the first things you encounter at the S.E.A. Aquarium is the underwater viewing tunnel, which includes sharks swimming overhead. Lots of people stand here and take photos, and I also saw a couple of divers doing something in the tank, maybe some technical work at the bottom. That was very brave of them with sharks swimming around above them! As with all aquariums, there are dark exhibits as well as larger, lighter ones. I saw electric eels and jellyfish, plus the odd Japanese spider crabs in some of the darker places in the aquarium. You are advised not to take flash photography while you are perusing the exhibits, as to not disturb the creatures on display.
The aquarium is divided into 10 distinctive areas, each with a somewhat local theme. These areas are as follows: Strait of Karimata & the Java Sea, Strait of Malacca & the Andaman Sea, Bay of Bengal & the Laccadive Sea, Ocean Journey, Open Ocean, Persian Gulf & the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, East Africa, South China Sea, and Shark Seas. Each of these areas have their own major fishy attractions, and I must say the aquarium is presented very well, and a good, cohesive story can be told as you are walking around from exhibit to exhibit. I have a keen interest in the Asian region so I was happy that the aquarium focused on local habitats – seeing as the aquarium is based in Singapore I guess there is no need to focus on the Atlantic Ocean, for example!
For most people, though, the highlight of the S.E.A. Aquarium is the huge underwater viewing panel towards the rear of the attraction, which is claimed to be the largest of its kind in the entire world. There is multi-tiered seating and standing areas here, and it is very dark – almost like an IMAX cinema! I found the area to be very noisy and full of echoes courtesy of the school children around on the day, so for me it was not necessary to stay in this area for too long, but for sure it is extremely impressive to have a look for 5 minutes. The manta rays glide through the water seemingly happy and oblivious to our presence.
After a good couple of hours at the S.E.A. Aquarium overall, I decided to head back out to Resorts World Sentosa and visit the adjacent Universal Studios Singapore, but not before a light lunch at the appropriately named Fish & Crab Shack!
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