We are committed to an Aquarium that is open and accessible to everyone. Visitors using wheelchairs and visitors with visual impairments are welcome at the Aquarium free of charge. Guide dogs and service dogs are also welcome.
Visitors with hearing impairments also benefit from description panels throughout the Aquarium. These panels include exhibit descriptions, species identification, discussions of conservation issues and much more. Many of the descriptive panels include photographs or diagrams as well as text.
Many Aquarium exhibits incorporate elements that are helpful to visitors with visual impairments, such as oversized typefaces, bold illustrations and colorful graphics.
- Visitor drop-off and pickup is allowed at the Aquarium’s main entrance.
- There is one automated doorway (enter from the front plaza).
- The Aquarium is 237 yards away from the MBTA Aquarium Station (on the Blue Line)
- An elevator provides wheelchair access to the Aquarium station and platforms.
- For more information about public transportation access, call the MBTA’s Customer Support Line at 617-222-3200/ 617-222-5146 (TYY) or visit the MBTA’s accessible services page
An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter is available from 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month. ASL interpreters can be arranged to enhance the Aquarium experience for visitors who are hearing impaired. Assisted listening devices are also available at the Information Desk and Simons IMAX Theatre Box Office.
Groups of 15 or more can arrange a special guided tour by calling (617) 973-5206.
For reservations, please call 617-973-5206 at least two weeks in advance, based on availability.
Text Relay Services (TRS)
You can dial 711 on your telephone and be connected with a TRS Operator. Once connected with an operator, provide them with the Aquarium phone number: 617-973-5206. This free service will connect you to the Aquarium where we’ll be able to answer any of your questions.
- At the Edge of the Sea exhibit on the third Level, visitors are encouraged to gently pick up and examine sea stars, periwinkles, horseshoe crabs and other animals in this exhibit.
- The Temperate Waters Gallery on the second level has a textured handrail to help visitors understand evolution, survival in harsh habitats and the function of fish shape.
- At The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank on the first level, visitors can reach out and gently stroke cownose rays, bamboo sharks and other species of animals as they swim gracefully through the water.
- At the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center open air exhibit, visitors can explore various animal artifacts such as seal flipper bones and skulls as well as various interactives.
Simons IMAX Theatre
The following options are available for selected IMAX films
- Assisted listening devices
- Closed captioning devices
- Show scripts
Limited numbers of reflectors for captioning are available at the theatre box office 15 minutes before show time. Please ask for the theatre director or manager on duty. A form of ID must be provided to borrow equipment. For quicker service, make a request at the Aquarium box office when purchasing or picking up tickets or call 617-973-5206.
Wheelchair accessible seating is located at the top of the theatre, there is space for up to six wheelchairs. Elevator access will bring you to the top to the theatre.
Aurora, Asteria and Cetacea boats
- One wheelchair accessible restroom at rear of main deck
- Wheelchair access to main deck only; including exterior bow and stern (decks 2 & 3 accessible by stairway)
- Galley located on main deck and/or rear
Available in the Aquarium lobby, the guide includes a map
The Aquarium has five wheelchairs that guests may borrow for free. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To sign out a wheelchair, please speak to our staff at the Information Desk in the main lobby. A driver’s license is required in order to rent.
Medical and Emergency Assistance
Please contact a staff member at the Information Desk – or the closest staff member to you in an emergency.
For allergen information or questions regarding menu items in the Harborview Café, please contact our café managers: 617-590-2540
Automated External Defibrillators
Two automated external defibrillators (AED) are located throughout the Aquarium, one in the IMAX theatre. First Responder personnel have been trained in their use.
If you have special accessibility needs or questions, please call Central Reservations at 617-973-5206.