SARASOTA, Fla. — No bathing suit required for the new virtual reality cinema experience at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium that allows visitors to swim with humpback whales.
Riders sit in a pod that surrounds them with sound and provides a little movement to the experience. A VR headset gives a 360-degree view.
"As we're looking forward to building our new aquarium we want to incorporate more virtual reality, augmented reality, interactive experiences," said Stephannie Kettle, the public relations manager at Mote. "This is our first steps into those tech type of experiences for our guests."
Visitors can pick from nine different experiences. The humpback whale expedition takes you to the South Pacific to visit the Islands of Tonga. Each year, humpback whales flock to the tropical waters to mate and give birth.
"We're really appealing to all different types of guest," Kettle said. "We have the tech-savvy ones, we have the ones that like the animals and we can incorporate all of that together into messaging about conservation and saving out animals."
The virtual reality cinema experience at Mote is open to the public. It costs $6 to ride.
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