Dive With Sharks at Mandalay Bay's Shark Reef Aquarium

Shark Reef, Mandalay Bay Hotel Complex, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
••• Natalie Tepper/Getty Images

Guests of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas have the opportunity to experience a truly only-in-Las-Vegas experience. Certified divers 18 years of age and older can swim among 30 sharks, schools of fish, and sea turtles in a 1.3 million gallon exhibit. As part of the program participants get a tour of the Shark Reef Aquarium, a behind-the-scenes look at how the aquarium works, and an up close and personal educational experience that will offer an in-depth look at the creatures that are often very misunderstood.

What to Expect When Diving With Sharks

The tour of the facilities is great and you get so much more out of the aquarium when there is someone explaining every aspect of the facility to you, but the truth is, the anticipation of diving with the sharks is huge and it dominates your thinking throughout the tour. Your tour will include fascinating information about sharks and the sharks at the facility. You’ll also learn about the efforts taken to educate the public about sharks and the educational programs that work to inform the Las Vegas visitors and residents of southern Nevada.

The tour will take you behind the scenes and you’ll learn about the feeding process, the filtration process, and the ways the health of the animals is ensured.

Soon you will be in your pre-dive orientation where you’ll be given instruction in safety procedures for you and the animals. The preparation involved takes the mantra “plan your dive, dive your plan” to the extreme and rightly so since you are diving in an enclosed space where the safety of the animals is of the utmost importance.

As you slip on the protective stainless steel chain maille suit over your wetsuit you feel like you could be on the deck of the Calypso preparing for a dive in the waters off the Galapagos with a world-class research crew. Your dive instructor on the dive will have so many shark facts to share that you’ll feel like an expert before you drop into the water.

Have no fear, your education will continue as you watch these awe-inspiring creatures swim around you as if you were invisible.

Review: My Dive With The Sharks at the Shark Reef Aquarium

Feeling the gentle glide of a dorsal fin on my thigh I examined the reef shark in such a way that I never thought possible. The water was saturated with sharks and my greatest concern was making sure to get the full experience recorded in my mind.

To watch a shark swim is to enjoy the graceful technique of a highly efficient swimmer. The observations I have made in the past were always of sharks darting in and around me. Rarely can you focus on a portion of their body and appreciate it. Rarely do you have the opportunity to keep such a close eye on the sharks as they glide past you.

As I sat on the sandy bottom of the Shark Reef Aquarium I was surrounded by a variety of sharks. Gone were the thoughts of currents and buoyancy, visibility, and food chain. You are left with the opportunity to examine and appreciate these magical creatures in an environment where you play a very small role and are simply left to appreciate the beauty of the sharks.

While some cultures fear and exploit the shark, in Las Vegas at Shark Reef Aquarium, the public is introduced to and educated in how the shark plays a role in the fragile ecosystem in the ocean that surrounds all of us.

Shark Reef Aquarium Details

This unique exhibit houses over 30 sharks; including Sandtiger, Sandbar, and White Tip Reef Sharks. The program is open to all Mandalay Bay Hotel guests above the age of 18 and SCUBA certified.

Limited Reservations are available.

Included:

  • One dive with the sharks in the 1.3 million gallon tank.
  • Video of the dive.
  • Up to 4 Admissions for diver’s guests to Shark Reef Aquarium (Tour & Exhibit Only) to view dive.