When the iconic Shedd Aquarium introduced its Extraordinary Experiences program to visitors, it was met with fanfare: Crain's called the Beluga Encounter "a hit," while the Chicago Tribune praised the Trainer for a Day program as "awesome," "[like] an amazing dream."
With this offer, Travelzoo subscribers have the opportunity to be among the few people to reserve these unique encounters for half off:
- Beluga Encounter -- $125, reg. $250: Visitors will learn about animal care and feeding from a beluga expert. Following that, whale enthusiasts will strap on some waders, get into the water and meet one of Shedd's adult beluga whales -- the whale will swim right up to visitors, where they'll be able to interact with the whale, perhaps tickle its tongue and even help perform a few training techniques with the whale.
- Behind-the-Scenes Tour -- $28, reg. $55.95: This 50-minute guided tour takes visitors to see how Shedd's 32,000 animals are cared for and fed. Tours travel behind the galleries for a view of the aquarium from the inside out, and visitors will get to view the animal healthcare center, where preventive care and innovative water-quality practices keep the animals healthy.
- Update (June 9, 8:45 a.m.): The Trainer for a Day package is now sold out. Behind-the-Scenes Tours and Beluga Encounters are still available. Trainer for a Day -- $175, reg. $350: This four-hour experience lets you experience what it's like to be a marine mammal trainer and care for Shedd residents such as dolphins, sea lions, otters, penguins and beluga whales. Visitors will work side by side with a Shedd trainer to prepare meals in the Abbott Oceanarium kitchen, learn about the training process, assist with daily routines and experience multiple training and feeding sessions.
A limited number of each experience is available and may sell out.