Sometimes the best way to describe something is by saying what it isn't. Dolphin Cay isn't an aquarium, it's not an entertainment facility, and
it doesn't stage marine shows.
Opened in 2007 in time to provide a safe haven for 17 stranded dolphins whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Dolphin Cay is one of the world's largest open-air, man-made marine mammal habitats. Located on the west side of the Atlantis, Paradise Island property, the 14-acre environment includes an 11-acre lagoon complete with coves and sandy beaches, 7 connected "residential" pools, a state-of-the-art education center, an animal rescue-rehabilitation hospital, an animal pharmacy, a quarantine, and a separate sea lion center.
Dolphin Cay is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), and the International Marine Animal Trainers' Association (IMATA). Through its partnerships with the University of Florida's School of Veterinary Medicine and University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Dolphin Cay plays an active role in the development of the advanced research and knowledge about marine mammals.
Every visit to Dolphin Cay supports the Atlantis Blue Project Foundation, creating and promoting solutions for a wide range of marine conservation challenges from coral reef degradation to marine species in decline.
During our incredible interaction with sea lions, guests have the opportunity to wade into the water and meet one of the playful and curious sea lions.
Early risers and our youngest guests start the day on our beach while the resident bottlenose dolphins play. Share the joy of our dolphins’ morning ritual by immersing yourself in their world.
Get inspired by the ocean’s greatest athletes! You’ll be the first on-the-water with dolphins in this 45-minute, early morning fitness program.
Perfect your balance and improve your techniques while you paddleboard in our peaceful 14-acre dolphin habitat.
Discover how curious the resident dolphins can be while you kayak among them in their habitat. Our bottlenose dolphins invite you to share their morning joy.
Immerse yourself in the crystal clear lagoons of Dolphin Cay and discover the majesty of our bottlenose dolphins.
Sit with your feet in the water beside our renowned dolphin behaviorists to feed, enrich, learn about and care for these incredible marine mammals.
Wearing a wetsuit and sitting in waist-high water, you will have the chance to get close to the dolphins, face-to-face,
feeling that personal connection.
What could be better than swimming freely with these extraordinary mammals in deep water? Underwater acrobatics and the rush of feeling the dolphins swim beside you are only a part of this magical encounter.
Work alongside Aquarists feeding fish and sea turtles. This customized and thrilling experience brings your children behind the scenes to learn how the professionals at Atlantis care for over 50,000 sea animals.
If you want to dig deeper into what we do at Dolphin Cay, then this extraordinary 6-hour experience is the one for you.
The Stingray Experience offers an incredible, hands-on encounter with hundreds of sleek stingrays and colorful tropical fish.
Discover the dynamic, underwater world of Atlantis as you experience the opportunity to snorkel alongside exotic tropical fish and even sharks in the Ruins Lagoon.
Lounge as little or as long as you wish on the secluded sands of Dolphin Cay’s private beach and enjoy beach-side service as dolphins jump and play just a few feet away.
Learn about dolphins, sea lions, coral reefs and ocean conservation. Download PDF's with tons of information. Educators are welcome to use our Resource and Activity Guides in their classrooms.
THE DOLPHIN CAY STORY
The Dolphin Cay story started back in August 2005, as Hurricane Katrina was racing toward the Gulf Coast. In the hours before the storm barreled ashore, 12 of 17 dolphins were evacuated from the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, and given temporary sanctuary in various marine facilities scattered throughout the eastern United States. 6 of the dolphins were washed into the Gulf of Mississippi, continuing to return to the site of the Oceanarium to find food. After the storm had passed, Atlantis agreed to reunite the stranded dolphins (now living in an above ground pool at the local Naval Base) and evacuees and began work on a purpose-built marine habitat.
Transporting dolphins isn’t easy. A team of 150 people was assembled, including marine specialists and a veterinarian. Wee Tee, Echo, Sasha and Naia (who had been living at the Baltimore Aquarium and at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey) came together in Philadelphia. Their plane then flew on to Mobile, Alabama, where Jill, Kelly, Jacki, Michelle, Tamra, Toni, Noah, Elijah, Cherie, Brewer, Katelyn and Johnah (who had been living at the Navy Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport and Florida’s Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach) were waiting. Upon arrival on Paradise Island, the dolphins were transported to a spacious saltwater acclimation habitat in Nassau Harbour, where they lived through 2006.
The acclimation habitat was an important transition for the dolphins. Its natural sandy bottom and 1.5 million gallons of Bahamian ocean water allowed the dolphins to slowly adjust to their new surroundings. A staff of 45 marine mammal specialists monitored them around-the-clock.
Finally, in January 2007, the dolphins were acclimatized and Atlantis’ Dolphin Cay was ready. It remains one of the largest and finest man-made, inland dolphin habitats in the world.
To ensure the safety of our animals, personal cameras (including those in cellphones or other electronic devices) cannot be used during your program.