In person Animal Encounters are currently suspended. To book a Virtual Animal Encounter, click here
Myrtle the green sea turtle is our most famous resident.
This encounter gives you a deep understanding of her home—the New England Aquarium’s sparkling, four-story centerpiece, the Giant Ocean Tank. The encounter is offered Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays and school vacation weeks.
You will start with a personalized tour spiraling up the exhibit’s ramp alongside Aquarium staff members who know Myrtle and her tank mates the best. Leave the public exhibit path and slip behind the scenes for a guided peek at the science, technology, husbandry, and food preparation necessary to manage this 200,000-gallon exhibit. Every day is different, you never know what you’ll see. The highlight of the experience is a chance to step out onto the platform where surface feedings take place. You might serve up krill to needlefish or even a head of lettuce to Myrtle herself.
How it works
- Check in at the Information Desk in the Main Lobby by 10:30 a.m. (15 minutes before the start of the tour). A member of the Aquarium’s dive team will meet you in the Lobby and escort you into the building to start the tour.
- You will spiral up the exhibit path around the Giant Ocean Tank, pausing at different windows where the diver can share interesting tidbits about the exhibit or animals passing by. This is a great time to ask questions!
- Once you reach the top of the exhibit, you will head behind the scenes to tour the offices, food preparation kitchen, scuba gear splash room and experience the hustle and bustle of this working space. You will meet the staff and volunteers who can share a bit about what they do to help maintain the 200,000-gallon exhibit.
- Finally, head out to the Yawkey Coral Reef Center to look into the heart of the four-story exhibit. See how the divers access the exhibit and get to know some of the sea life at the top of the reef. You will have an opportunity to step out onto the feeding platform and feed some of these animals—whether it is barracuda, needlefish, or Myrtle herself!
- Throughout this program participants will gain a strong appreciation for marine animals and learn how to conserve and protect our oceans.
- After the feeding, your guide will answer any remaining questions and you will be free to explore the rest of the Aquarium.
- Lasts about 1 hour
- Limited to 2 participants per session
- For visitors ages 12 and older, visitors younger than 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult
- Cost: $125 per person, plus the cost of admission, admission is required ($110 for Members)*
- Wear closed-toe shoes with traction. High heels are not allowed. The behind-the-scenes areas may be wet and you may get salt water on your shoes and clothing.
- Cameras are allowed, but they must have a wrist or neck strap to prevent being dropped into the exhibit. Friends and family will be able to take pictures at the top of the exhibit during the feeding.
- The program occurs during a scheduled feeding session. If participants do not arrive before 10:30 a.m., they may miss the feeding opportunity. There will be no refund for participants who do not show up or arrive late.