Merlin transforms Aquarium
April 7 saw the unveiling of Merlin Entertainments’ new-look London Aquarium, introducing the Sea Life brand into the British capital for the first time.
“Guests are going to enjoy an aquarium experience in a whole new league,” believes general manager Toby Forer. “Not only are there hundreds of new marine creatures, the displays are dramatic and dynamic and we’ve transformed previously under-utilised space. Our ultimate aim is to tell a serious eco story in an entertaining way and we believe we’ve got the perfect blend of visual spectacle, interactivity and access to aquatic.”
Following a six-month multi-million pound transformation, visitors can now enjoy a world-class aquatic experience in the heart of London, featuring thousands of marine creatures spread over three floors and 14 themed zones.
Highlights include the world’s biggest collection of Cownose rays, a 25-metre blue whale skeleton-themed tunnel and a spectacular nerve-testing Shark Walk finale. A memorable design feature, the skeleton also has a serious role to play – reminding guests of the vulnerability of the world’s oceans in danger of becoming marine graveyards without careful conservation.
Sea Life’s high profile Save Our Seas campaigns, for example, have already successfully petitioned to outlaw shark finning in European waters and persuaded the European Parliament to increase protection for the nesting beaches of Mediterranean Loggerhead Sea turtles.
Located within County Hall by the banks of the River Thames, the Sea Life London Aquarium is just a stone throw’s from Merlin Entertainments’ famous London Eye. The attraction was due to be “officially” opened by mayor Boris Johnson on April 17, where Merlin chief executive Nick Varney will join him.