Swimming With Dolphin Programs in California

by Kelly Berry
Dolphins are some of the most intelligent and friendly aquatic creatures.

Dolphins are some of the most intelligent and friendly aquatic creatures.

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Swimming with dolphins is an unforgettable experience that may come along only once in a lifetime. In the state of California, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (sixflags.com) and SeaWorld San Diego (seaworld.com) make this once-in-a-lifetime experience a reality by offering a number of dolphin swim programs so that visitors can enjoy their perfect dolphin encounter.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Dolphin Discovery

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California, offers a Dolphin Discovery program that guarantees one-on-one contact with bottlenose dolphins. The Dolphin Discovery program begins in the classroom where participants learn about dolphin behavior and training techniques. After the educational session, each participant is given the chance to swim with a dolphin inside a training pool. Trainers instruct participants how to get the dolphin to do tricks, and all participants are given a chance to show off with their new finned-friend. At the time of publication, the program is roughly two hours long and costs $125 per person; reservations are required.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Trainer for a Day

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom also offers a more in-depth dolphin experience through its Trainer for a Day program. Participants in the Trainer for a Day program get the chance to shadow real-life marine trainers for the day. Guest trainers will spend roughly seven hours learning the tricks of the trade, literally. Handshakes and kisses are just a few of the tricks guest trainers will learn to perform with bottlenose dolphins. At the time of publication, the program is $400 per person; reservations are required.

SeaWorld San Diego: Dolphin Encounter

SeaWorld in San Diego, California, is also a marine park popular for its dolphin encounters. SeaWorld San Diego offers a Dolphin Encounter program, a great way to get up close with dolphins without getting wet. The Dolphin Encounter program is a trainer-led poolside experience in which participants get to feed, touch and communicate with dolphins, without getting in the water. The 15-minute experience introduces participants to the history, protection efforts and training techniques of dolphins. At the time of publication, SeaWorld San Diego's Dolphin Encounter is $50 per person; reservations are required.

SeaWorld San Diego: Dolphin and Beluga Interaction Programs

SeaWorld San Diego also offers Dolphin Interaction and Beluga Interaction programs, giving guests the opportunity to swim alongside bottlenose dolphins and white beluga whales. During the programs, participants swim with, feed and communicate with the park's trained aquatic friends. Both programs are about one hour long, including an educational session and a 20-minute hands-on encounter in their pools. At the time of publication, the programs cost $190; reservations for the Dolphin Interaction and Beluga Interaction programs can be booked online.

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