An integral part of the marine life park on Sentosa Island is Singapore’s S.E.A. Aquarium which provides an immersed experience among the denizens of the deep blue sea. Aquariums are transported through tanks and tunnels where sharks, dolphins, rays, and rare species like the chambered nautilus are king.
When it opened in 2012, it was the biggest marine life facility in the world. The total collections at the aquarium currently comprise of 800 marine species to give a total of 100,000 creatures. They are sub-divided into 10 different geographical locations with diverse regional habitats.
The journey through the facility's Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea zone is a heaven for young and old alike. Part of this zone features a glass floor that allows tourists to glimpse brilliantly hued wrasses and enjoy the sight of gobies feasting on plankton. The Discovery Touch Pool is a sure hit with youngsters as they interact with pencil sea urchins and sea stars.
The recreated Bay of Bengal and Laccadive Sea boasts assorted species with highlights of staghorn coral, yellowface angelfish, and mangrove dwelling silver batfish. A school of more than 20 dolphins is a key draw of the Ocean Journey. The eerie sight of floating sea jelly and fish swimming in what seems choreographed motion plus Japanese giant crabs are among other eclectic draws here.
In other areas, visitors are able to join indigenous creatures from the Red Sea, the South China Sea, and the lakes of East Africa as they meander through clear glass tanks and above underwater tunnels. A small grotto in the South China Sea gives younger visitors the chance of getting bird’s eye views of snaking moray eels.
A giant manta ray reigns supreme over the ray exhibits. Shark Seas is not for the timid as it is inhabited by 200 of the species. Among these are the scalloped hammerhead and the sandbar sharks. The sight of voracious silvertip sharks swimming effortlessly through the water is an enthralling spectacle.
A bonus of any S.E.A. Aquarium tour is the opportunity of dining at the Ocean Restaurant. Tables are positioned alongside the panels of glass tanks. The experience of dining on the delectable creations of master chef Cat Cora with marine creatures as a backdrop is liberating. Menu options such as smoked salmon, monkfish steak, crab, tuna tartar or suckling pigensure even the most discerning of gourmands will be happy.
S.E.A. Aquarium is open every day from 10:00 to 19:00 but the Ocean Restaurant closes at 22:30. The aquarium is close to Sentosa Express Monorail’s Waterfront Station and bus stops. Sentosa Island Boardwalk gives pedestrian access.