Dive under the sea at new Exploris Aquarium experience

Northern Ireland’s Exploris Aquarium has opened a new Under the Sea experience offering a diver’s view of the ocean depths.

Located in Portaferry on the beautiful Ards Peninsula, Exploris Aquarium is one of Northern Ireland’s top visitor attractions. The aquarium and seal sanctuary has recently opened a new experience that enables visitors to enjoy an up-close view of marine life by passing through an underwater tunnel.

The Under the Sea experience offers a captivating view of some of the aquarium’s residents including eels and a Honeycomb Ray as they swim around and over the tunnel.

The new experience adds another perspective for visitors to the aquarium who can already enjoy several viewing zones including the Viking Zone, The Narrows, Tropical Paradise, Turtle Bay, Seal Sanctuary, Otter Mayhem, Capybara & Duck Pond, Penguin Island, Caiman Den and the Tropical Rainforest.

A team of aquarists and guides are always on hand to answer questions and there are numerous talks and feeding demonstrations throughout the day. The aquarium also runs special events throughout the year such as the Night at the Aquarium food and tour experience and talks by noted marine experts.

Exploris is located in the Strangford Lough Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, also designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest. It is one of the most richly bio-diverse regions in Europe and a wonderful place to indulge in a spot of bird watching.

It’s also a great place to get out on the water to kayak, sail or wind surf. The Glide with the Tide experience offers a unique way to discover the beautiful marine environment and its riches whilst having a bespoke food tour to sample the best of the area’s produce.

There is also lots of history and heritage to explore. A short ferry ride from Portaferry will take you to the village of Strangford where the eighteenth-century Castle Ward is located. This beautiful mansion, famed for its mixture of architectural styles, is open for tours. The Castle Ward estate also provided some of the most recognisable backdrops from the Game of Thrones TV series.

Old Castle Ward’s courtyard doubled as Winterfell and was where Bran first learned archery. Fans of the series can do a tour that includes dressing up in Stark costumes and learning to shoot with bow and arrow.