Flowing Toward Oceanic Education
September 1, 2013
Coral World Ocean Park
Those looking for a unique waterpark experience, one without the thrill rides and splash zones, can delight in the undersea world of Caribbean marine life at Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
“We have found that visitors to St. Thomas have become more interested in having real experiences,” explained Trudie Prior, general manager. “If those experiences have an environmental component, all the better. Our goal is to educate while entertaining, and, with that in mind, we have been introducing activities that bring our guests into close contact with the marine ecosystem and the animals that inhabit it.”
In 2001, the Sea Trek Helmet Dive debuted, which allows participants to walk under the sea, even if they do not know how to swim. The special helmet keeps your head dry, as you breathe normally and it provides the air, weight and stability to walk upright under water.
More recently, SNUBA was added, which is a cross between snorkeling and scuba diving. Additionally, there are two encounter programs at the park, which allow four guests at a time to get into the water with turtles and sharks. There is also the Nautilus, which is a boat that takes guests 8 feet underwater, to explore the coral gardens, filled with beautiful, brightly-colored tropical fish. Finally, the park offers a unique program for guests to interact with South American sea lions on land and in the water.
“To ensure that our guests have a truly memorable experience at the park, our top priority is providing outstanding customer service. A friendly, engaging staff can turn a rainy day into a positive experience. From the moment a guest arrives at our ticket booth to the moment we say goodbye, we want our guests to feel welcome. Our staff is encouraged to reach out to guests, show interest in them and educate them about our islands. Ultimately, it is the people you meet who make your day memorable,” Prior said. – A.L.