Sail the seven seas at Antalya Aquarium
The southern province of Antalya has a new attraction, the Antalya Aquarium, which opened yesterday. With tens of thousands of fish and sea creatures in 40 tanks, the aquarium offers different attractions like the snowy ‘Winter World’
The Antalya Aquarium, Europe’s second and the world’s fifth largest aquarium, opened yesterday in the southern province of Antalya on an area of 30,000 square meters in Arapsuyu Olbia Canyon.
Thousands of fish and sea creatures have been brought from various countries under expert supervision to be displayed at the aquarium. The facility, which includes over 40 thematic tanks with titles like “World Oceans,” “Turkish Seas” and “Three Islands,” also has a 131-meter-long and three-meter-wide tunnel aquarium system, which is one of the longest in the world. The aquarium holds seven tons of water.
Swimming in pool
Visitors will also be able to swim with sea creatures like thornback rays and sharks in a swimming pool depicting the Maldives.
“Winter World” will offer a different experience to visitors. In the city’s 45-degree summer heat, visitors can cool down in the 1,200-square-meter snowy section of the aquarium, where it will be minus 5 degrees Celsius. There will be igloos, cafes, slides and animal mockups. Visitors will also be able to play in artificial snow.
The giant aquarium, which is expected to become a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), cost 85 million Turkish Liras. The official opening ceremony will be held in October.
New attraction in the city center
At a press conference held to introduce the aquarium to members of the press, Antalya Metropolitan Mayor Mustafa Akaydın said the project had been initiated on Nov. 29, 2011, and was finished within a very short time. “In terms of its tank capacity, the aquarium is the world’s fifth and Europe’s second largest one, and also the longest one in the world. There will be 40,000 fish species there in 40 tanks with different themes.”
Akaydın said the Antalya Aquarium was one of the most special and most significant investments made in the city’s history.
He said the facility would make big contribution to Antalya tourism. “We need to create new attractions in the city besides sea, sun and sand. Now we have two centers in the city center, Kaleiçi and a museum. The third one will be this aquarium.”
İrfa Demirok, one of the partners of the Antalya Aquarium Company, said one of the world’s best sculptors had participated in the construction. “The life support and water system technologies are the best in the world. Visitors will find themselves in an unexpected world.”
He also said the project’s architect, capital and construction team were Turkish.
The giant Antalya Aquarium will be open from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. every day. The entrance fee will be 30 liras for Antalya Card holders and 23 liras for children.