When you’re in need of an escape is there anything more relaxing than watching fish drift lazily past or discovering the wonders of the sea from the comforts of your home? Our virtual guide to some of the world’s best aquariums will take you deep underwater where stripy and colourful fish dart between dancing seaweed and spiky sea anemones.
Lose yourself amongst shoals of silvery fish and track the lone predators of the deep with live feeds and online tours, here’s our best virtual Aquarium experiences.
National Aquarium Baltimore USA
The National Aquarium opened its doors in 1981 as part of the redevelopment of Baltimore’s Inner Harbour. The area is wonderful to explore on foot with the aquarium taking a central spot in the heart of the restaurant, cafes and attractions. It is home to more than 20,000 fish, amphibians and reptiles and now you can go online to see the aquarium in action.
A number of live cameras bring a virtual aquarium into your home and focus in on their Blacktip reef, the Pacific Coral Reef and their Jellies Invasion experience. These mesmerising webcams are the perfect way to enjoy life beneath the waves as brightly coloured fish dart in and out of view. See Spotfin butterflyfish, sharks and much more here.
Plymouth National Marine Aquarium
The UK’s largest aquarium is based in Plymouth’s historic Barbican marina and is home to a fantastic selection of marine animals and fish found around the British coast and further afield. Exhibits at the National Marine Aquarium include an Atlantic Ocean zone and Blue Planet zone looking at sea life as far away as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The aquarium regularly allows visitors to see behind the scenes in its ‘Laboratory’ and is running a series of live events via Facebook to show how their Biologist divers are working to achieve their aim of connecting people with the Ocean.
The Facebook live events also work as question and answer sessions so fans of underseas adventures can get their queries answered by marine experts. Dates and times of forthcoming Facebook live events can be found here.
Aquarium of the Pacific – Southern California’s Largest virtual Aquarium
Long Beach California is home to one of America’s largest aquariums. Situated on the idyllic Rainbow Harbour the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to more than 100 exhibits which cover the waters of the Northern Pacific, the Baja region of Southern California and the coral reefs of the Tropical Pacific.
The Aquarium of the Pacific are focusing their webcams on their June Keyes Penguin Habitat and the nests being built by their Magellanic penguins. For nearly sixty days a year the cameras are keeping an eye on the eggs and chicks as they get ready to join the rest of the nursery before becoming part of the colony. See these unique penguin nest boxes here.
OdySea Aquarium, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona is home to the OdySea Aquarium where you are taken deep into the world of sharks and marine animals. This multi-level aquarium has a fully enclosed Deep Ocean Escalator which takes you down into the underwater world of thousands of ocean creatures. You can see rays drifting lazily above you and watch as whitetip reef sharks emerge from the depths.
The Aquarium also takes a fascinating journey following a single drop of water as it travels from raindrop to lake and river, before arriving at the ocean, allowing guests to learn about the creatures it meets on its way. With more than 65 exhibits and 370 different species you can get an immersive online experience here and relax in the comfort of your home as shoals of exotic fish drift by.
St Louis Aquarium
In the heart of America in the landlocked state of Missouri the St Louis Aquarium is a rarity in that it has located itself far from the coast. The Aquarium which was built as part of the revival of the city’s Union Station has 44 different exhibits and over 13,000 sea creatures and marine animals.
Online visitors can get front row seats to explore the aquatic life in their 120,000 square foot aquarium thanks to their regular Facebook live events three times a week here and if you fancy taking a virtual tour through the aquarium to discover more about their incredible work take an immersive online journey through St Louis Aquarium here.
California’s Monterey Bay
California’s Monterey Bay aquarium is a non-profit and much of its work has focussed on research and conservation efforts for sea life, birds and otters. It is home to over 80,000 animals and plants in 200 different exhibits which explore the habitats of Monterey Bay. Their incredible Open Sea exhibit is a staggering 35 feet tall and contains over 1.2 million gallons of water.
Monterey Bay is now switching on its webcams for visitors around the world to see more of their conservation work. There are ten different cameras working at any time, so you can check out the amazing kelp forest, watch sharks silently swimming looking for prey or delight as the playful sea otters go about their day on any of their cameras here.
We hope you’ve been inspired by our selection of the world’s best virtual Aquarium experiences. If you’ve enjoyed our collection of the best underwater adventures, check out our favourite online zoo experiences here.