NEWPORT, Ky. — Newport Aquarium announced today Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels, an extensive new exhibit that will be opening in spring 2020. Guests will discover the ruins of a long-ago sunken ship scattered across the sea floor, now home to hundreds of animals including mysterious eels, brightly colored fish and curious crustaceans as they thrive in this accidental reef.
Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels will be one of the biggest developments since Newport Aquarium opened in 1999 and represents over a million-dollar investment in the guest experience. It will fully transform the 20-year-old space previously known as Dangerous & Deadly into an open and immersive environment for guests to explore.
“We’re always listening to our guests to figure out what new adventures they want in their next visit,” said Newport Aquarium Executive Director, Eric Rose. “To be able to create an artificial reef teeming with ocean life, thriving in a sunken ship is really going to wow them. But it’s not just the fun of this environment that we get excited about, it’s also the chance to teach visitors about the value of artificial reefs and ocean conservation.”
Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels will feature five zones, each with its own unique ship elements and animals to discover:
Captain’s Quarters: Rising up from the sea floor, the mast of the ship and tattered sails flow high above the remains of the captain’s quarters. A group of majestic green moray eels reaching up to 5 feet long have made their home there as masters of the ship. Nearby, the ship’s wheel awaits your turn as a fun photo opportunity with the eels and other residents including spiny lobsters and hundreds of fish.
Treasure Chest: The ship’s treasure was lost to the sea but has been found by beautiful jewel colored fish who now make the treasure chest their home. Step into their luxurious reef to be surrounded by 270 degrees of beautiful sea life and gleaming gold coins, a perfect spot to take a photo among the real treasures of the sea.
Cargo Hold: Fascinating animals thrive among the barrels and crates that held the ship’s cargo. Flamboyant cuttlefish with tentacles, undulating fins and mesmerizing color-changing camouflage scuttle about. Dozens of garden eels pop up from the sand and flow with the current while strange and colorful frogfish imitate corals as they await the approach of their next meal.
Ship’s Anchor: The ship’s anchor now plays anchor to a thriving community of fish. The chain moray eel runs the roost with its impressive black body covered in yellow chain-like rings. It shares this safe spot with tangs, triggerfish, grouper and more.
Ropes and Rigging: Enter the ship’s wreckage and pop-up into a dome to be surrounded by the ropes and pulleys that once held everything together. They now form a forest of protection for the animals that call it home. Find venomous and beautiful lionfish with their long flowing fins, scorpionfish with their venomous spines and the purplemouth eel with its long fin running the entire length of its body.
Annual Pass Deal:
From November 1 to December 31, 2019 Newport Aquarium is offering Annual Passes on a “Buy 3, Get 1 Free” sale. Annual Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase, so guests can use them now to experience Scuba Santa’s Water Wonderland and into next year, including a VIP Passholder-only preview party for the opening of Shipwreck: Realm of the Eels in the spring.
To learn more, visit NewportAquarium.com or call 800-406-FISH (3474).