Something a little bit special is hiding past the shark tanks at SEA LIFE London. You’ll have to #BraveTheBugs of the rainforest adventure, creep past the crocs and float through the giant pacu’s before you find it. You’ll know your getting closer when you feel a chill in the air, a very welcome relief after the heat of the tropics.
A brrrr-illiant icy white will set the tone of this new expedition. One that will take little (and big) adventurers on a journey over and under the icy terrain of the North and South Pole!
It’s the brand new Polar Adventure at SEA LIFE London!
We were very excited to be invited to the launch of #PolarAdventure at SEA LIFE London during the Easter holidays. We’ve been to a few launches at SEA LIFE London, and I don’t think I’ll ever get past that feeling of complete awe of being inside before opening time.
There’s that hushed magical feel as you find yourself suddenly tip toeing, alone, over huge tank tops.
The only one to see a sudden flurry of sea horses blissfully dancing across their habitat or jellyfish flouncing.
And that humbling feeling as a stealthy shark steals past you, full of life and seemingly watching you!
It’s a rare treat!
The Polar Adventure is a new zone set within SEA LIFE London. It’s not as big as some of the other zones, but it’s got some fantastic interactive features and helps to make more sense of the existing penguin colony exhibit, which is most definitely a highlight.
Penguin point is the action packed start to the Polar Adventure zone. Little Button adores the penguins and was thrilled to now be able to see all the Penguins names displayed proudly. It was quite hard trying to spot who was who as they were very active and quite curious of us during our visit.
This little one kept popping up as if to say hello and seemed every bit as fascinated with us as we were with him.
We also had the chance to see the penguins enjoying breakfast, something that we always seemed to have missed before!
After the penguins had had their fill we were all surprised by the arrival of Bjorn the polar bear!
For a few hair raising split seconds Bjorn felt very real!! His handler told us to keep still as polar bears can sense fear. Well… the three of us did stand deadly still trying not to move as Bjorn nuzzled us. Which is completely hilarious – but somehow at the time wasn’t a laughing matter!? I’m not sure if Bjorn will always be around at SEA LIFE London, but if you do get a chance to meet him, the little ones will love him.
Just around the corner there were hurricane machines which you could stand in to see what polar winds might feel like. We didn’t try these as Little Button was far too eager to find Artie the polar bear, but it did look like loads of fun. – Especially for the older adventurer.
Further into the zone was Artie the polar bear, an augmented reality exhibit that we were all really excited to see in action. It’s an ambitious exhibit which involves the projection of a polar bear and cub video footage being overlaid over real-time footage projected into the same space. Which, as an overall effect, gave the illusion of you getting up close to the polar bears.
In the end, Little Button interacted with this the most and kept coming back to see what the polar bears were up to. She loved how it looked like she was stroking them on screen. Pretty cool isn’t it?
A frozen ice wall tucked behind Artie the polar bear was a great touch and the little ones couldn’t keep their hands off it. I think little tactile interactive elements like this really add to the experience and help to keep little hands busy.
Next to this was a screen of animated life-sized seals playing. This was brilliant fun and in the darkened space, just like Artie the polar bear, felt like it could just be really happening. Ekk! Little Button was trying to keep a straight face in this clip as the seals appeared to be interacting with her.
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Opposite the seals were real Spider crabs to watch. And to mark the end of the Polar Adventure was a gorgeous Beluga dome, where, standing inside, it felt like the Beluga’s were looking out at you. SEA LIFE work with partner charity The SEA LIFE Trust to support projects that protect marine life across the world. This includes opening the first open water sanctuary for Beluga whales in captivity! – Amazing stuff. You can read more about this here.
*Image courtesy of SEA LIFE London.
We love the new Polar Adventure zone – especially the Artie the polar bear exhibit! It has some fascinating interactive elements that add yet another layer to explore in SEA LIFE London.
Prior to our visit I did wonder how the digital elements would fit in, as of course, visitors specifically come to see real marine life. However, it’s been done so tastefully that it enhances that submersive feeling, rather than detracting from it. – A job well done.
And of course, as soon as we stepped out, Little Button wanted to know when we would be visiting again. As they say… the proof is in the pudding!
We would definitely recommend a visit to SEA LIFE London. We’ll see you over by Artie?
*Hit play and you’ll catch a very quick glimpse of us at the launch!
— SEA LIFE London (@london_aquarium) 24 April 2019
*Want to know more about Sea Life London? Check out our posts Ocean Invaders at Sea Life London and Can you #BraveTheBugs at the new Rainforest Adventure at Sea Life London.
Disclosure: We were invited to an exclusive launch of the new Polar Adventure at SEA LIFE London Aquarium. All views are my own and I can definitely say that we all LOVED IT!