BLUE LAGOON ISLAND -- One of Nassau/Paradise Island's most popular
attractions also can prove to be a profitable venture for travel
agents. Dolphin Encounters pays 15% for its interactive dolphin
A 20-minute ferry ride takes travelers to Blue Lagoon Island,
home to 15 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. The two most recent
additions were born in September and October, and the matriarch of
the clan is Princess, a 32-year-old dolphin.
Dolphin Encounters makes it a point to let travelers know its
programs should not be considered shows.
Encounters touts the interactive and educational nature of its
Before visitors participate in any of the programs, they attend
a lecture about dolphins. Trainers offer background information
about the facility as well as how guests should interact with the
It is OK to give a dolphin a belly rub, and in fact, dolphins
have belly buttons. This factoid also serves as a guide to
interacting with the creatures. The belly button is a stop sign,
and Dolphin Encounters tells participants to not go below the belly
Other fun facts for visitors -- a dolphin's eyes, nose and mouth
are the most sensitive areas; they have 88 to 120 teeth, and their
tail is quite powerful. They can use it to travel 20 to 25 miles
Guests have the option of choosing from three programs. They can
be merely observers for $15. The rate covers roundtrip
transportation from Paradise Island to Blue Lagoon, the lecture and
observing the dolphins and guests.
Observation participants are not allowed on the platforms or in
the water with the animals.
The program ranges from three to three-and-half hours, including
the boat ride. Children 3 years of age and younger can observe for
The Dolphin Encounter costs $75 and includes the boat ride, the
lecture and interaction with one or more dolphins.
Participants start out in a shallow water platform, where they
get a quick greet-and-meet with the dolphins. They are then split
into smaller groups and head to a platform. Participants sit on the
edge of the platform waiting for their turn to interact with the
The wait goes by pretty fast as the dolphins shake hands, dance,
squawk, eat, splash and generally ham it up for their guests all at
the command of a trainer.
Be prepared to get wet, and the more squeamish you seem, the
more likely you are to get splashed by your new buddies.
Participants spend about 10 to 15 minutes in waist-deep water
during their interaction, where the nicest part seems to be
rewarding the dolphin with a soft belly rubdown.
The program takes about three to three-and-half hours, including
the boat ride. Children 3 and younger go for free but must be
accompanied by a paid adult to enter the water. Children 4 and
older must purchase an encounter ticket. Dolphin Encounters
recommends that children 10 and younger be accompanied by a paid
adult in the water.
The facility also advises travelers to not bring camera
equipment that is not waterproof on the encounter platforms.
The Dolphin Swim Program costs $145 and features the boat ride,
the lecture and interaction with one or more dolphins in water that
is "too deep to stand."
Highlights include a pet and feed session, a kiss from a
dolphin, dancing with a dolphin and having a dolphin jump over the
swimmers. The session concludes with a "footpush" across the water
by the animals.
The program runs about three to three-and-half hours, including
the boat ride, and guests spend about 30 minutes with the
Participants must wear life jackets; they also have the option
of renting a wet suit.
Visitors can use waterproof cameras during the swim, but
camcorders are not allowed in the water. Fins, masks and snorkels
are also not allowed.
The minimum age for participants is 4 years old; a paid adult
must accompany children 4 to 12 in the water.
Dolphin Encounter advises travelers to make reservations weeks
in advance. The firm suggests a week in advance for the encounter
program and six to eight weeks in advance for the swim program.
In addition to Dolphin Encounters, Blue Lagoon and Stingray City
offer tours on Blue Lagoon Island. Guests can attend a dolphin
encounter, have lunch, snorkel with stingrays and relax on the
island all in one day. The three firms operate separately, but
guests can combine each activity.
Dolphin Encounters also offers a wedding package that includes
two dolphins in the wedding ceremony. The price is $3,000.
Phone: (242) 363-1003
E-mail [email protected]