Sea Otter Encounters

Dive into a world of whiskers and wonder, where curiosity meets cuteness and charisma knows no bounds. Introducing Sea Otter Encounters, an extraordinary one-of-a-kind experience at Vancouver Aquarium!

Sea Otter Encounters promise an interactive, intimate encounter founded on the best animal welfare practices with the aquarium's most charming residents, leaving you with memories you'll cherish fur a lifetime.

What To Expect:

🔮 Sea The Behind-The-Scenes Magic: Get a glimpse into a day-in-the-life of a Marine Mammal Trainer! Go behind the scenes of Canada's largest aquarium, meet the team, and see where they work. Learn about our trainers’ daily routines and exactly how much work goes into providing world-class care for rescued northern sea otters. Spoiler: it's a lot.

🤎 Learn From The Experts: Connect with the individuals who care for our rescued northern sea otters and know them better than anyone else. Learn about topics like our otters' rescue stories, care needs, enrichment exercises, and... quirks, of which there are many. This is your chance to interact with the pros, ask questions, and learn firsthand. You'll walk away knowing more about our rescued otters, more about our conservation efforts, and more about the amazing people who make sure our animals are healthy and happy. Oh, and probably more about otter poop too.

🦦 Get Up Close: One of our Interpreters will guide you into our rescued otter habitat, normally off-limits to the public, where our rescues rule the waves! You'll have a front-row seat to watch their acrobatic antics, graceful flips, and expertly crafted somersaults. Your heart might do some flips, too!

🦐 Snack Time Shenanigans: Ever wondered what sea otters snack on? Find out during your exclusive otter feeding session! Discover what is on the menu of otter-approved snacks, à la carte style. Then, alongside a Marine Mammal Trainer, you’ll serve lunch to our furry friends! Watch in awe as they chomp down on their favorite treats and hopefully rate your meal two paws up.

👋 Get Hands-On: Become an honourary member of our Marine Mammal Team alongside our o-fish-al trainers, there to guide you every step of the way. Learn how our trainers prepare their diets and get a chance to toss food to an otter yourself! The fun doesn’t stop there! You will also learn more about our extensive enrichment program and you will get to design and build your own enrichment session! Challenge yourself to get creative and find ways to stimulate otter senses and keep their minds sharp. Capture moments with your camera and, if you make a good impression, perhaps you'll even capture an otter's heart.

So... otter you waiting for? Book your Sea Otter Encounter today!

Otter Encounter Otter Encounter


   Things To Know

  • General admission is required on top of your Encounter tickets. General admission must be purchased for the same day as your selected Otter Encounter for all guests in your group who are not Vancouver Aquarium members. If you arrive to your Encounter without general admission tickets, you will be asked to purchase them at our Admissions desk before entering the aquarium.
  • Encounters start at 1:00 PM sharp. Please plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early. One of our Interpreters will meet you at the Sea Otter Encounter sign next to our Guest Services desk, located near the Aquarium entrance.

  • Sea Otter Encounters are approximately 50-60 minutes from start to finish, but you are welcome to explore the other wonders of the Aquarium before or after your encounter! Don't miss our all-new limited time exhibit, Monsters Of The Abyss.
  • Secure storage is available for personal items like coats and bags, though we recommend leaving valuables at home. Vancouver Aquarium is not held responsible for any lost items.
  • Filming of any kind is strictly prohibited behind-the-scenes where our Marine Mammal Team is hard at work, but you’re welcome to take photos and videos during your Otter Encounter!
  • The encounter takes place rain or shine, allowing you to experience the authentic Canadian climate just like our sea otters. Dress accordingly based on the weather forecast.

  • Closed toe shoes are required for all participating guests during the program. We strongly recommend wearing shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. After all, every zone is a potential splash zone when playful otters are involved!
  • This program is protective contact for the safety of our animals, and guests will always be protected by a barrier. You may have the opportunity for hand-to-paw contact. While our otters are usually eager to extend a paw, we cannot guarantee it. Just like humans, otters have their own unique personalities and sometimes, they simply might not feel like it. We do our best to mentally enrich and positively reinforce our rescues to display certain behaviours but will never make them do anything they don’t want to. Rest assured you will still have a paw-some time!
  • Important: At the Vancouver Aquarium, respect is like a current that flows both ways during every Sea Otter Encounter. We kindly request that all participants treat our dedicated staff and incredible animals with the utmost respect and consideration. For the safety of our valued guests, staff, and animals, the minimum age to participate in an Sea Otter Encounter is 8 and up. Your party will be asked to present valid government-issued I.D. upon arrival. Vancouver Aquarium reserves the right to deny entry to guests in violation of our code of conduct or age requirement. No refunds or requests to reschedule will be accommodated.
  • Please note your scheduled Sea Otter Encounter may be cancelled at any time, should it be deemed necessary to prioritize the health and welfare of our sea otters. In such an event, we will promptly arrange for your experience to be rescheduled for a later date. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in ensuring the well-being of our furry friends!

Please be aware that our new Sea Otter Encounter program may pose physical challenges for some guests. Currently, the experience involves navigating stairs, traversing uneven surfaces, as well as periods of crouching, kneeling, and standing for extended periods (1+ hours).

Regrettably, we are unable to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs at this time. However, we're committed to exploring innovative solutions to enhance accessibility for all guests. For more information, please visit our Accessibility page.

For all Animal Encounter experiences that are cancelled with more than 48-hour notice, we will provide a 50% refund. No refunds will be offered if the guest(s) cancel within 48 hours of or do not show up for the experience. Subject to availability, we will charge a $100 change fee to rebook for another date and/or time.

General Admission

General Admission

Book a private Sea Otter Encounter for your group of up to 5 guests. Price per person is the same for all age groups (8+). No discounts will be given to groups with less than 5 guests.

General admission to the aquarium must also be purchased for all guests in your group on the same day as your selected Sea Otter Encounter.

$420 per group
Ages 8+. All guests 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.

For up to 5 guests
Taxes included

Book Encounter
Membership Rate

Membership Rate

Book a private Sea Otter Encounter for your group of up to 5 guests. Price per person is the same for all age groups (8+). No discounts will be given to groups with less than 5 guests.

All guests in your group who are not Vancouver Aquarium members are also required to purchase general admission for the same day as their Sea Otter Encounter to participate.

$370 per group
Ages 8+. All guests 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.

For up to 5 guests
Taxes included

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Sea Otter Encounters are not just a unique experience; they are a love letter to the wonders of wildlife.

The rescued sea otters that you will encounter had a second chance at life thanks to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Society.

Join us on our mission to protect these incredible creatures and learn how you can help endangered marine mammals at

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