Newport Aquarium provides a unique experience for guests who want to get up close with African penguins. Your visit is in a climate controlled room which means you don’t need any additional layers of clothing because African penguins are used to warmer temperatures.
We started our encounter by meeting in the lobby and then the group proceeded to the Penguin House. On our way to the Penguin House, we got to see the aquarium tanks from above. This perspective helps you appreciate the creative layout of the aquarium below.
We were given safety instructions before entering the Penguin House. We also walked on a mat to help us avoid taking in or out any germs during our visit which helps protect the penguins.
During the encounter you sit on the benches and do not move around once seated to help keep everyone safe.
While we were sitting, the penguins walked around wherever they wanted to go. Several of them would go under the benches from time to time and walk around close to our feet.
One of the employees shared interesting facts about the penguins as we watched them. He gave a lot of great info but it was hard to focus on listening as we were observing all of the activity around us.
The penguins were so much fun to watch. Each one demonstrated a unique personality.
During the encounter, you get an opportunity to touch the penguins. An employee secured the penguins head so that we could pet it’s back. The aquarium uses a 2 finger pet policy for all of its animals.
The aquarium has a photographer taking pictures during your encounter so that you don’t have to worry about trying to take pictures.
You are also allowed to bring your own camera with you. It was personally hard for me to try to take a lot of pictures while trying to appreciate the experience.
The staff came around during our 20-minute session to get a picture with each group and a penguin.
Pictures can be purchased by the image or you can purchase a USB with all of your images from your experience, which is the greater value. You can also bring back your Newport Aquarium USB back each time that you visit and get your future pictures for a low fee as well. I used my USB from a previous visit because I didn’t want to miss out on any pictures that the photographer took.
You can see that their action shot was WAY better than mine!
After your penguin encounter, you get a sticker to wear that says that you got to touch a penguin.
We were sad to see them go but it was a really cool experience. It’s also good to know that a portion of the sales for the penguin encounters is donated to the WAVE Foundation for penguin conservation programs.
Penguin Encounter Cost: $25 each (prices accurate at the time of posting, check website for pricing)
*Experience recommended for ages 4 and older
*Adults may bring infants up to 25 pounds with them free of charge, in a Snuggli-style front baby carrier.
**Annual Passholder Price: $20
You can find out more about the Penguin Encounters at Newport Aquarium from their website.
Disclosure: I was given complimentary encounters for review purposes. All opinions are my own.