The London Aquarium relaunches after a £5 million makeover

by Owen James

The reviews have started coming in of the revamped Sea Life London Aquarium, which is located on the South Bank of the Thames river here in the city that headquarters AquaDaily.

The highlight of the London Aquarium relaunch is new ‘Shark Walk’ over the surface of the water.

Perspex viewing windows enable you to look down on tiger, brown, zebra and nurse sharks, as well as southern stingrays, and an escape route has been built in for those who find a 4-metre long shark scarier than they expected to.

The aquarium, which employs 64 staff and is now aiming to position itself as a research and breeding centre, says that dozens more fishes have been added to the collection, which includes the world’s biggest captive shoal of cownose rays.

The Times has reviewed the new aquarium, noting that:

At £15.25 a ticket for an adult and £11.75 for kids, the spruced up London Aquarium isn’t cheap.

There is a small discount for a family of four, but you’ll easily spend quadruple that on a round of ice creams in the café. It can get crowded and the darker, smaller parts of the tour can be a bit claustrophobic, so avoid peak times.

But there’s a bountiful supply of amphibians to look at. Watching the rays being fed, listening to a shark talk and making sea life badges will keep most kids and adult fish fans amused for the best part of a day.

The revamped London Aquarium isn’t vastly different from its former self, but it remains a safe bet for an Easter outing.

The Evening Standard says the sharks justified the trip:

The £5million refit has seen several changes, most notably a glass tunnel under the tropical tank and a floating glass walkway above the sharks. And yet at first glance, not a lot seems to have changed in the depths of the former County Hall building. [...]

There are masses of educational videos and notices, but in reality it’s the shark walkway that makes it worth the £15.25 entry fee.

The aquarium was re-opened last night with a Return to Atlantis-themed launch party for 450-guests, as the management also stressed its credentials as a conference and events venue.

With London Zoo’s Biota! being built out in East London, the London Aquarium must hope its new sharks have some long-term bite.

Check out Katy's Tropical Fish Guide for more aquarium info.

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