About Dolphin Encounters in the Bahamas
Going to the Bahamas? Looking for the dolphin experience in a travel guide? Dolphin Encounters is one of the top tourist attractions in the Bahamas and is owned and operated by a local family. It began in 1989 when two Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins were rescued from an aquarium that closed in Nassau, Bahamas. The animals were relocated to a large all-natural seawater bottlenose dolphin habitat on Treasure Island (a.k.a. Great Guana Cay) Abaco, Bahamas. Soon after, six more dolphins joined our marine mammal family which created the foundation of what is today known as Dolphin Encounters.
The Abaco facility enjoyed instant success. In order to provide the state-of-the-art care for the dolphins, the company opened a new facility on Salt Cay (Blue Lagoon Island), only 3-miles from Nassau, in The Bahamas.
The bottlenose dolphins were carefully moved to the beautiful natural seawater facility on Blue Lagoon Island. In 1995, the facility underwent a multi-million dollar expansion which enlarged the dolphin habitat to over three acres in surface space and created depths of up to 25-feet. A modern fish preparation kitchen, photo/video lab, bathroom and changing facilities, gift shop and other amenities were also constructed.
In 2006, our beloved marine mammal family expanded to include six California Sea Lions that had lost their home and habitat at Marinelife Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina. Once again, Dolphin Encounters expanded creating a large, all natural habitat for the rescued five females and one male sea lions.
In 1996, Dolphin Encounters was chosen by Universal Studios to work on the movie "Flipper" starring Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood. The company provided three dolphins - to play the famous aquatic star. Dolphin Encounters was also involved in the making of several well-known commercials for companies such as Sony, and Visa as well as several music videos. Some of our dolphins also starred in the Mary Kate & Ashley adventure film, "Holiday in the Sun." Chances are you have also seen the dolphins of Blue Lagoon Island. They have been featured on CBS, NBC, E!, CNN, ESPN, MTV, QVC, Nickelodeon, Oxygen, many local ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates , the BBC, SKY News, VOX TV and many other international television and radio shows and networks, magazines and newspapers.
A few of our sea lions are also celebrities and have starred as the lead in the movies "Andre", "Slappy and the Stinkers", and various commercials and magazine shoots.
Dolphin Encounters Ltd. is a member of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, (IMATA) the largest organization of its kind. In 1997, Dolphin Encounters also became a member of the prestigious Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, confirming its status as one of the top marine parks in its field. During its short history, Dolphin Encounters has transformed itself from a dolphin rescue project with two dolphins and three employees to one of Nassau's foremost tourist attractions with eighteen dolphins, six sea lions and over 150 dedicated staff. Our natural seawater lagoon has facilitated many successful births, including three calves by our oldest female Princess, one of the original dolphins.
The facility offers a multitude of special education and marine conservation programs to local schools and underprivileged children. Dolphin Encounters has made the lifetime dream of many terminally ill children come true by participating in the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other similar organizations. Our facility also participates in research programs involving our dolphins and dolphins in the wild to help scientists learn more about marine mammals.
Over two million visitors from around the world have come to the Bahamas and participated in our dolphin experience programs as seen in many travel guides. Dolphin Encounters provides this rare opportunity in a safe environment with an emphasis on education and entertainment. Our main objective is to let guests interactively experience bottlenose dolphins and sea lions in their habitats and to heighten their awareness and understanding of these truly magnificent animals and similar species. Not far from Nassau, Bahamas, come visit us on magnificent Blue Lagoon Island or just learn more about the marine environment and the marine mammals under our care through our Education pages.