Cretaquarium first opened its doors to the public in December 2005. It recently underwent extensive renovation, involving the addition of new tanks, species, educational programmes and innovative services. Now, as one of Europe’s largest aquariums, Cretaquarium offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the magnificent Mediterranean Sea world.
From large predator sharks to microscopic sea horses and spectacular jellyfish, the diversity of marine life is showcased against a backdrop of Cretan underwater seascapes, such as the rocks at Matala (South Crete) and the seabed at Vai (Southeast Crete).
The Aquarium Visit
The Mediterranean seascape comes to life in 60 different tanks, varying in size from 125 to 900,000 litres of sea water, totalling 1.7 million litres in all. There are one hundred observation points for visitors to admire approximately 2,500 Mediterranean and tropical organisms. A full tour taking in all exhibits and species lasts about 2 hours. On the aquarium visitors’ route, state of the art AV systems and innovative interactive devices such as touch screen info points, video projectors, a periscope, microscopes and stereoscopes for observing microscopic creatures add to the experience, providing supplementary information and helping to create a comprehensive view of how the Mediterranean marine ecosystem functions and is structured.
The clip from their new online campaign:
Cretaquarium offers individuals and groups audioguide systems in 9 languages. Small hand-held devices that operate as simply as a mobile phone add to and enrich your visit with explanations, comments and popularised information you can listen to at your own pace, simply by dialling the tank number. It is also possible to book personal guided tours in Greek, English or French. Tours in further languages can also be arranged if advance notification is given.
Education – Promoting Awareness
As part of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Cretaquarium popularizes and disseminates scientific knowledge about the marine world, with special emphasis on the Mediterranean and the seas around Greece.
Apart from the usual tours, Cretaquarium also offers schools in remote areas the chance to make a distance visit via webcam. Once arrangements regarding technical details have been made with Cretaquarium staff, the virtual tour is held live, using interactive communication. Visitors can act as they would at the aquarium, asking questions and focusing on what interests them most. Further information on the above is available on the aquarium website at http://www.cretaquarium.gr.
The Cretaquarium building complex is situated in the grounds of the former American Base at Gournes, 14 km from the city of Heraklion and Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport. It lies 20km from the Minoan palace of Knossos, close to Crete’s internationally renowned tourist resorts at Hersonissos, Malia, Stalida, Elounda, Gouves etc.
Find the website here: www.cretaquarium.gr
Source: Incredible Crete, iEfimerida