Beluga Encounter

Meet the belugas where they live! Your beluga encounter begins as Shedd’s animal experts lead you through an informative orientation about training and animal care, the beluga you’ll meet and the best way to have a safe and fun experience. Then you’ll pull on waders to enter the Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat.

Standing side by side with a trainer on an underwater ledge, you’ll be face to face with a whale! You’ll touch the beluga’s skin, try a few training techniques and enjoy some surprises. At the conclusion, you will receive a complimentary photo of your experience. – as if you could ever forget it!

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.


$250 a person ($200 for members)

Includes Beluga Encounter, express entry, admission to all exhibits and a ticket to the next available aquatic presentation. You will receive a complimentary photo of your experience.

Group size

Each session is limited to 6 people.


Guests with special needs and/or special requests must contact our office at 312-692-2730 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 12 years old and 60 inches tall. Children ages 12-15 must be accompanied by a participating paid adult age 18 or older.

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.

Gift Certificates

An extraordinary gift idea! To purchase a gift certificate, please call us at 312-692-2723. Certain restrictions apply.

Refund Policy

Rescheduling must occur as of close of business 10 days prior to the date of the experience. Refunds will not be issued for any changes made less than 10 days prior. For additional details, see our refund and cancellation policy.

Accessibility Needs

If you have any accessibility needs, please contact us.

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 15 must be accompanied by a paying adult age 18 or older.