Meet the belugas where they live! Standing side by side with a trainer on an underwater ledge, in this 75 minute experience you’ll step into chest-deep water and come face to face with a beluga whale
- Put on waders and have the opportunity to look a beluga whale in the eye
- Touch a beluga whale
- Try a few training techniques
- Enjoy a few surprises!
6 years and older. Participants up to 17 years old must be accompanied by a participating paid adult age 18 or older. For the safety of the animals, no one under the age of 6 may attend the tour.
Participants must be at least 60 inches (5ft or 1.5 meters) tall.
Offered select dates at 9:45 a.m. or 1:45 p.m. through June 2022.
(No encounters on 12/25)
$200 per person
$170 per member
Admission to the aquarium is included with the purchase of a Beluga Encounter.
Beluga Encounters begin promptly at 9:45 a.m. Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled encounter time.
Select dates also have a 1:45 p.m. session. Please arrive 15 minutes early for this time slot as well.
Participants must be at least 60 inches (5ft or 1.5 meters) tall. Children up to 17 years-old must be accompanied by a participating paid adult age 18 or older.
A waiver must be signed by all participants. A parent or guardian must sign for any participant 17 years or younger.
We recommend that guests with shellfish and seafood allergies do not participate in this encounter as well as those who are at risk for lymphedema.
Please note: this is one of the select Extraordinary Experiences that requires proof of full vaccination and a mask for the health and safety of the animals. Individuals over the age of 16 also must provide photo identification matching their proof of full vaccination. For individuals who have previously received a medical or religious exemption, in order to participate, you will need to show proof of the exemption, and a negative COVID-19 test administered by a medical professional within the last 72 hours prior to the encounter. While with the whales, a mask covering the nose and mouth must be worn.
We strive to remove barriers to your Shedd Aquarium experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please contact us at [email protected] or 312-692-3355. We review each request individually against the participation requirements and will follow up with you as swiftly as we can.
- Standing in cold water for 20 minutes (without assistance)
- Use of stairs
- Lifting arms
- Ability to walk/wear chest waders
Please meet at the Information Desk, in the main foyer a minimum of 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time. Please note, late comers may not be able to join the encounter and will forfeit the program. Please be on time for your experience.
Those in your party who are not participating in the experience are not permitted to follow along and are not allowed in the behind-the-scenes areas. Please arrange a time and place to meet with your party after your experience.
6 years and older. Participants 6 to 17 years old must be accompanied by a participating paying adult. For the safety of the animals, no one under the age of 6 may attend the tour.
All participants must be at least 60 inches tall (5 feet), and children 17 and under must be accompanied by a paying participating guardian.
You will be wearing neoprene waders during the encounter, so wear comfortable clothing. All participants must wear a mask, socks, a short-sleeve shirt and either shorts, jeans or slacks. You do NOT need a bathing suit or wetsuit as you will not be swimming in any of the habitats. Please bring a change of clothing and a towel as you may get wet during your encounter. Participants cannot wear jewelry (including wedding rings) or artificial fingernails. There will be lockers available for all personal belongings.
Beluga Encounters are an extraordinary gift idea! Purchase a gift certificate online, redeemable for Extraordinary Experiences, general admission, or membership. Or call us at 312-692-3355. Certain restrictions apply.
$200 a person ($170 for members)
Participating guests should meet at the Information Desk on the day of their visit.
Email us or call 312-692-3355 with questions. We are unable to take reservations by email.
If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us.
Photography and video recording are not allowed while participating in the Beluga Encounter. However, a photographer will be in the area taking photos of the experience. You will receive one free image with the option to purchase more.
No refunds. Participants who need to reschedule may do so up to 10 days before their scheduled experience. Otherwise, date and time exchanges cannot be accommodated. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.