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Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg

Fun Activity at the Gatlinburg Aquarium: Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure

If you’ve ever been to the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, then you know how much fun it is to walk around the different exhibits and see all kinds of cool creatures. One of the coolest exhibits is Shark Lagoon where you can go through a tunnel built under the tank to get up close and personal with the sea creatures. But did you know there’s a way you can get even closer? Keep reading to learn more about Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure!

About Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure
Under water at an aquariumUnder water at an aquarium

shark in ripley's aquarium of the smokiesWhen you take a ride on Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat, you’ll only be separated from the sharks and fish by 3 inches of glass! You’ll be riding around above the Shark Lagoon where there’s lots of colorful fish and sea creatures. There’s over 8,500 animals in the Shark Lagoon alone! You may even get a good look at Sally, the Green Sea Turtle, but we definitely expect you to see a few sharks as you ride around!

When you get on board the Glass Bottom Boat, Ripley’s Adventure Crew will talk to you about the animals and the aquarium as you tour. You’ll also learn about what it takes to keep the entire facility running smoothly!

The Glass Bottom Boat ride is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. This experience is not available from 11:40 am to 12 pm Mondays through Fridays. The boat launches every 20 minutes and each ride can hold up to 10 people.

Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure is an add-on to your ticket. You can upgrade your ticket at the Gatlinburg aquarium at any time.

Other Experiences at the Aquarium

The Glass Bottom Boat at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies isn’t the only extra experience you can add to your regular admission ticket! You can meet Sally the sea turtle in person or be right next to a penguin! The variety of attractions is what makes Ripley’s one of the highest-rated aquariums in the United States! Here are some of the other experiences you can have at the Gatlinburg Aquarium:

Turtle Time

sea turtleDuring the Turtle Time experience, you will get a tour of the husbandry department and even get a behind-the-scenes look at what a training session with Sally is like. If Sally is feeling up to visitors, you may even get to feed her lettuce during your 45-minute program!

Penguin Paintings and Encounter

Another experience you may want to add onto your regular admission to the aquarium is the Penguin Paintings and Encounter. Guests will get to meet penguins in person in the indoor and outdoor habitat. During the Encounter, you’ll be able to pet a penguin and get a souvenir photo made with them. For the Penguin Painting experience, you can watch the African penguins create art right in front of your eyes! Then, you’ll get to take the art piece home with you!

More About Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

The aquarium has lots of hands-on attractions and beautiful exhibits you’ll want to see. You can stop by the Discovery Center where everyone can touch a moon jelly and horseshoe crab. Then, at Touch-A-Ray-Bay, you can reach out and touch the rays as they glide in front of you. Of course, you’ll have fun seeing the Rainforest exhibit, the coral reef exhibit, and everything else in the museum!

We know you’ll have a blast going on The Glass Bottom Boat Adventure when you visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Want to know what else you should do while you’re in town? Check out these other fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains!