Beluga Encounter

Meet the belugas where they live! Standing side by side with a trainer on an underwater ledge, you’ll be face-to-face with a whale.


  • Put on waders and enter the water of the Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat
  • Touch a beluga’s skin
  • Try a few training techniques
  • Enjoy a few surprises!

Includes admission:
The Beluga Encounter ticket also includes express entry to the aquarium, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.

Celebrating a birthday during your Beluga Encounter? Add a “Happy Birthday!” buoy, to be presented during the encounter, for $50*. Call 312-692-3355 to arrange this special surprise.

*Beluga Encounter purchased separately.


$199.95 a person ($139.95 for members)

Add a professional photographer to capture your experience and receive digital photos to commemorate your special encounter for $30 a person. Contact us at 312-692-3355 for more information.

Includes Beluga Encounter, express entry, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation.

Group size

Each session is limited to 6 people.


Guests with special needs and/or special requests must contact our office at 312-692-3355 before making a reservation. For the health and safety of the animals at Shedd, each situation will be reviewed by the Marine Mammals team for approval. All participants will be required to stand for approximately 30 minutes without assistance and follow any directions given by our trainers.

Participants must be at least 60 inches tall. Children up to 15 years-old must be accompanied by a participating paid adult age 18 or older.

A waiver must be signed by a parent or guardian for any participant 17 years or younger.

Photography and video recording are not allowed during this experience. Participating Guests should meet at the Northern Trust Suite on the day of their visit.

Guests will need to understand information and instructions given in the English language or arrange for a paying translator to participate.


Program includes:

  • Standing in cold water for 30 minutes (without assistance)
  • Use of stairs
  • Lifting arms
  • Ability to walk/wear chest waders

We believe there should be no boundaries to your Shedd Aquarium experience. If you have an accommodation request related to a disability, please contact us at or 312-692-3355.

We look forward to assisting you. Please visit Shedd Aquarium’s Accessibility Guide to learn more.

Gift Certificates

An extraordinary gift idea! To purchase a gift certificate, please call us at 312-692-3355. Certain restrictions apply.

Refund Policy

Participants who need to reschedule may do so up to 10 days before their scheduled experience. Attempting to reschedule after 10 days will result in forfeiture of the experience with no exceptions. If a participant needs to cancel the experience and is unable to reschedule, no refund will be made. Please note that all Shedd experiences are nonrefundable. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.

Find next available beluga encounter

How many people are coming?

Members - please log in when prompted during checkout to unlock your member-exclusive price! Discounted tickets are limited by member level.

Ages 12 and older. Guests ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a paying adult age 18 or older.