The £4m Blue Reef Aquarium in the Harbourside is to officially become the Bristol Aquarium from this week (January 21st).
It is hoped the new name will further strengthen the aquarium’s ties with the city and help underline its status as one of Bristol’s must-see family attractions.
The giant Harbourside aquarium, which is officially twinned with the world-famous Barcelona Aquarium, showcases aquatic wildlife from around the world in more than 40 naturally-themed habitats.
Two giant ocean tanks, complete with underwater walkthrough tunnel sections are home to tropical and native sharks and rays and other displays feature everything from giant octopus and seahorses, to piranhas, jellyfish, coral reefs and freshwater stingrays.
Highlights include a life-size recreation of a sunken ship, a Bristol harbourside scene – complete with stunning murals, a ‘walk-in’ seahorse display and a wooden footbridge, over the open-top giant coral seas display.
Blue Reef’s Susie Merelie said: “The aquarium has become one of the city’s most popular attractions for families. As Bristol Aquarium we can better communicate the scale and quality of the visitor experience.
“We’re extremely proud of Bristol and we hope Bristolians will see us as their aquarium and be equally proud of what we have to offer both locals and visitors to the city.
“The new name will also help to differentiate us from the Blue Reef Aquariums around the country as Bristol is a much, much larger attraction,” she added.
The decision to simplify the aquarium’s name has been welcomed by officials at Destination Bristol which is responsible for marketing the city and who believe it will help to further strengthen the city’s national and international credentials.
“Bristol is extremely fortunate to be home to a number of truly world-class attractions and heritage sites. Emphasising the connection between the city of Bristol and its aquarium can only help us in promoting the fantastic wealth of visitor attractions the city plays host to which focus on natural history and the environment,” said Destination Bristol’s managing director John Hallett.
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