Mark this down as the best COVID-19 business innovation so far. The Georgia Aquarium is going to let its visitors swim with its sharks. That’s a hell of a way to sell tickets but it sounds promising.
It seems counterintuitive that, during a time when people aren’t going out because of the danger of doing so, a business would entice them to visit by offering them more danger but damned if this doesn’t make me want to go to the Georgia Aquarium. The difference is, basically, that the danger is acceptable if it’s rad enough.
And this swimming with the sharks attraction is legit. You’re in the tank with the sharks. In a dive cage, of course. But still. It sounds pretty fun to LARP as Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws. The Georgia Aquarium’s press release lays it all out.
Inside the main exhibit, for the first time, guests can enter the waters of the shark habitat – from the safety of a dive cage. No dive certification is necessary as participants are guided by Georgia Aquarium Dive staff. Both experiences and additional details are coming soon, but spots can be reserved now.
The mission of the new shark exhibit is to educate guests on the importance of these misunderstood creatures to healthy ocean ecosystems. Through interactive gallery features, hands-on immersion experiences, and compelling research, the Aquarium hopes guests will leave with a renewed sense of respect for all shark species – not just the hammerheads, silvertips, sand tigers, and tiger sharks that may grace the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the gallery.
According to the Georgia Aquarium, children ages 12-17 are allowed to dive in with the sharks as well, but must be accompanied by an adult. The price of the dive is $233 for non-members and $189 for members. You do not have to be a certified SCUBA diver to participate either.