Before, S.E.A. Aquarium, Singapore had Underwater World that was extremely inconvenient to get to and was way smaller in comparison to the current aquarium we have now. S.E.A. Aquarium first opened its doors in November 2012 which has now managed to accommodate over 100,000 marine animals that spans to a thousand species. The aquarium itself is massive and definitely relaxing — so rain or shine, this place definitely will not affect your itinerary.
I purchased the tickets from Native’s Marketplace which offers a more competitive price as compared to purchasing the tickets on site or from the RSW website itself. For this Lunar New Year, S.E.A. Aquarium is offering a special promotion of purchasing 3-day visits for the price of two! So, if you can see yourself visiting the aquarium often, this deal is definitely for you.
Upon entry, you’d be greeted with two exhibitions but head towards the left first for the Shipwreck Habitat. This theatre-like room has several rows of glowing benches that allows visitors to unwind and watch the bigger fishes such as guitar and zebra sharks swimming around a tank that replicates a shipwreck environment.
Connected to the Shipwreck Habitat, visitors would have to walk through the dome-like exhibit to begin their actual journey through the aquarium. Here, visitors would get the chance to have a 360-degree view of the predators swimming over and beside you. Though the walk is short, this exhibition will help to educate visitors on why sharks are extremely important to the ecosystem. Fun fact, without sharks, the smaller fishes that feed on planktons and other microorganisms would be extinct too.
Despite its name, surprisingly Singapore’s S.E.A Aquarium does not actually have live corals in their tanks (but there will be a small one later). The reason for this is because the reef animals would actually destroy the corals if there were live ones present. However, no worries, I didn’t know about it until the end because it looks incredibly realistic. The Coral Garden would be the heart of the aquarium, I’d say, because it features all of the adorable fish that you would have probably seen in Finding Nemo.
Freshwater Species Exhibition
As you progress further, you’ll come across the Freshwater Species Exhibition. S.E.A. Aquarium manages to replicate an amazing mangrove, swamp-like kind of habitat for you to watch these large fishes swimming in the shallow waters. Simply put, S.E.A. Aquarium has a mini River Safari for you to view all these freshwater species that even includes these colourful tree frogs that are incredibly poisonous (and shy, they would be impossible to spot if it weren’t for their bright skins), just don’t expect to see pandas though.
Seeing the dolphins swimming extremely close to the viewing area has without a doubt been thrilling. With only four dolphins swimming around the shallow waters, and showing off their skills of upside down swimming, this has been the highlight of my trip. Families with young children often stay in this enclosure particularly longer than others as it can be extremely entertaining to see the dolphins’ performances.
This was easily my most favourite gallery because there’s just something about jellyfish and their (venomous) tentacles that were just so mesmerising to me. I would safely say that this was also a favourite for many others because we had to queue to get an up close view of the jellyfish (this is all due to safe distancing measures). Each species are placed in their own representative tanks and all of the tanks are constantly changing in colour. Due to this effect, the jellyfish absorbs the light’s colour and reflects them perfectly — making it one of the most Instagrammable spots in the aquarium.
Open Ocean Habitat
Famous for its Aqua Gastronomy restaurant, this aquarium is home to the huge manta rays hovering over the other large fish. The Open Ocean Habitat makes it incredibly accessible for everyone to view the large fish swimming around. This is because the gallery itself has three separate floors and the tank itself is incredibly wide so it is almost impossible for you to get a solo-shot in this spacious habitat.
With and without the social distancing guidelines, visitors would still have to wait for their turn before getting their chance to interact/feed the live animals. Initially, there were two separate tanks for visitors to engage with the marine animals but when we went there, only one was open. The tank consists of a starfish and a sea cucumber which guides would explain that it is incredibly safe to touch. It was slightly nerve wrecking for me to touch a live sea animal for the first time but eventually, it was enjoyable. The starfish surprisingly has a rough texture as compared to the sea cucumber so clearly, I enjoyed petting the sea cucumber more.
With that, your journey would roughly come to an end, there are other small exhibitions for visitors to view but they were generally more underwhelming compared to others. In all, I took nearly 2 hours completing the entire aquarium due to its extensive size and interesting exhibitions which provided me with a lot of interesting knowledge regarding the marine animals and even the world’s oceans.
I definitely did enjoy my time there especially as a first-timer because the marine animals were intriguing to watch and I especially enjoyed watching the dolphins (one of the most intelligent creatures) swimming upside down and taking various Insta-worthy pictures there. So, if you’re running out of activities, I would highly recommend visiting Singapore’s S.E.A. Aquarium especially since Singapore’s unpredictable weather makes it impossible to do outdoor activities sometimes.
Address: 8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island, 098269
Opening Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays from 11am–5pm
Saturdays and Sundays from 9am–5pm