What’s the largest marine life park in Europe? Marineland in Antibes, France – and it’s set to get even larger thanks to a planned €30 million investment from owner Parques Reunidos.
The Spanish-based group will invest the money over the next three years, allowing it to develop the facility on the Côte d’Azur into Marineland Resort. Already the region’s most visited attraction with around 1.2 million guests a year, it currently comprises a marine park, waterpark (Aquasplash), mini-golf course (Adventure Golf) and kids entertainment area (Kids Island). Marineland is the only park in Europe to feature killer whales in its collection and to allow guests to swim with dolphins or dive among sharks.
As part of the expansion plans, a fifth park-within-a-park will be created by the name of Paradise Creek. Immersing guests in a sub-aquatic island adventure it will be an extension of the existing dolphin lagoon featuring turtles, killer whales, rays, tropical fish and many marine creatures. The park will also get a new 3D 360° attraction called A Turtle Odyssey, where audiences will be able to trace the life of a turtle, from birth to adulthood and through its oceanic routes. Sound familiar, SeaWorld fans? Opening next year, a 3-star Marineland Resort hotel will comprise 90 rooms and five suites spread across buildings dedicated to a dolphin, killer whale, shark, turtle and bear.
“The hotel completes the park experience by offering visitors the chance to totally immerse in the Marineland world and extend the length of their visit,” notes manager Bernard Giampaolo. “This hotel is just the beginning of new investments and more exciting experiences in our park”.
“Marineland is a strategic park for the group [due to] its high potential for growth,” says Parques Reunidos CEO Yann Caillère. “That is why we will be investing €30 million, looking to improve the experience of our visitors.”
The target is to reach 2 million annual guests by the time the improvements are complete in 2017.