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Ocean Park Animal Month—In High Definition Celebrate the City’s Love of the Sea with Overnight and Behind-the-Scene Programmes at Grand Aquarium

2011-03-31

(Hong Kong – 31 March 2011) In light of the recent opening of Aqua City and the warm welcome it has received from local as well as overseas visitors, Ocean Park has developed a number of exclusive programmes for this year’s Animal Month—In High Definition, exclusively presented by ANZ Hong Kong, from 2 April to 9 May. It will provide guests with an even closer look of the new Aquarium and to promote marine conservation. Guests will have an opportunity to observe nocturnal behaviours of their beloved marine animal ambassadors through a unique overnight camping programme inside the Grand Aquarium or take a behind-the-scene tour of the state-of-the-art life support and filtration system, which supports the new Aquarium. Families can also learn how to prepare sumptuous sustainable seafood dishes from an Ocean Park chef. To inspire broader public support for protecting the ocean from pollution, the Park will also showcase unique artworks made from plastic waste collected from local beaches.

Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park, said, “Aqua City has not only given Hong Kong a brand new tourist landmark, but also marked a new chapter in Ocean Park’s commitment to conservation education and advocacy. We are very much heartened by the fact that the public has so warmly embraced Aqua City, including the new Grand Aquarium, our new signature Neptune’s Restaurant and the conservation-themed nighttime Symbio! Show. During this year’s Animal Month—In High Definition, guests will have a rare opportunity to encounter their favourite animal ambassadors at the Grand Aquarium in the deep of the night and see first-hand how we keep them happy and healthy. Equally important, families visiting the Park will be inspired to adopt sustainable seafood choices and protect marine environments by recycling plastic waste.”

Since its launch earlier this year, Ocean Park’s new flagship theme area Aqua City—with the world-class Grand Aquarium, the Neptune’s Restaurant, the spectacular nighttime Symbio! Show, and new themed merchandizes and retail space—has promptly captured the imagination of the world. Local guests and visitors from around the globe have been acquainting themselves with some 5,000 animal ambassadors through spectacular displays that include the world’s largest viewing dome in an aquarium and one of the worlds’ largest panoramic panels.

Every Saturday, as well as Good Friday and Easter Sunday, during the Animal Month—In High Definition period, guests can enjoy an exclusive nocturnal encounter with their favourite animal ambassadors inside the Grand Aquarium through Night time in the Ocean’s Depths. The programme fee (adult/child: HK$1,380/1,180, HK$1,242/1,062 for Smartfun members) for the overnight excursion covers dinner at Neptune’s Restaurant and breakfast at the Panda Café. Tents and sleeping bags will be available for use by participants. On-line registration for the programme is now available at Ocean Park’s website. Regardless of whether a guest takes part in the overnight programme, he or she will still be able to stay at the Park into the evening to enjoy the Symbio! show—an ancient tale about the symbiotic relationship between humans and the Earth told in stunning light and sound effects, bask in the captivating ambiance of Neptune’s Restaurant while savouring a sumptuous meal, or shop for gifts and souvenirs at the various themed retail spaces throughout Aqua City.

Guests aspiring to become amateur aquarists do not want to miss the Grand Aquarium Ed-Venture, a behind-the-scene guided tour that allows the public a rare glimpse of the Grand Aquarium’s extensive life support and filtration systems, as well as the custom-made transportation tank and hauling system that were used to move the giant napoleon wrasse, groupers and sharks from the Atoll Reef to their spectacular new home. Participants will also learn about the meal preparation process for the animal ambassadors. The Programme fee is HK$80 or HK$72 (for Smartfun members)—the same rate applies to adult and child. From 16 April to 8 May, guests can meet the Park’s Conservation Ambassadors at the giant viewing panel of the Grand Aquarium at three designated timeslots (1:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:00pm) to learn more about marine conservation. A marine conservation Q&A challenge will follow, in which 20 daily winners will be entitled to a free Grand Aquarium Ed-Venture on the same day.

To further enrich the conservation advocacy and education on offer at Aqua City, Ocean Park will host a unique exhibition entitled Plastic Re-imagination along the queue line leading into the Grand Aquarium. Launched by Kaisei, a non-governmental organization based in both Hong Kong and San Francisco, the exhibition features one-of-a-kind artworks created by Hong Kong students from plastic waste collected off local beaches. Through the art pieces, guests will learn about the impact of plastic waste on marine life and environments and will gain a deeper appreciation as they visit the animal ambassadors inside the Grand Aquarium.

Ocean Park will also take the celebration of marine life of the Grand Aquarium to the outdoor setting near the Lagoon by staging the Happy Fish Party, which will feature giant sea animal puppets and colourful dancers. Guests might even get the chance to dance with their favourite marine animals.

At Whiskers Harbour, parents and kids can learn how to contribute to marine conservation in their everyday life by visiting the Little Chefs’ Fish Academy for an interactive workshop on sustainable seafood. Not only can they learn about basic fish biology and the concept of sustainable seafood, they will also be able to observe a live demonstration of preparing a sustainable seafood dish. Younger guests will also have the opportunity to showcase their artistic talent by decorating fish cookies, which they can take home to enjoy.

During the Animal Month—In High Definition period, the Waterfront Plaza will feature the Help Our Waters Learning Gallery, which enables visitors to explore the negative effects of plastic waste through interactive touch-screen stations, educational videos, photographs, as well as interpretive displays and narratives. Kids will also be able to show their support for recycling by joining the performances of the Green Gong Group, an earth-friendly percussion troupe that creates rousing rhythms with instruments made from recycled materials.

From 29 March to 7 May, some 160,000 holders of ToysRus Star Card can all receive a 10% discount on any of five Ocean Park’s “Unique Experiences” programmes, including “Nighttime in the Ocean’s Depths”, “Lunch and Pandas”, “Honorary Pandas Keeper Programme”, “Dolphin Encounter” and “Behind-the-scenes tours”. For a given transaction, each Star Card member can purchase up to four seats at the discounted rate for each of the eligible “Unique Experiences” programmes. To benefit from this promotion, ToysRus members would need to fax a completed application form (which can be downloaded from Ocean Park’s website) to the Park’s Education Department for seat reservation.

Dr. Zeman added, “With Aqua City recently opened, this year’s Animal Month—In High Definition will make Ocean Park even more of a must-visit destination over the Easter holidays. So I encourage parents to make plans for the school holidays and book tickets ahead of time!”