Registrants and their families have free daily access to Salt Cay’s lagoon beaches, double hammocks, beach chairs and picnic tables, fresh water showers, bathrooms and changing rooms, volleyball, ping pong, coconut bowling, unsinkable float mats, innertubes, big boss noodles, inflatable aqua park, and inflatable tropical paradise park, as well as access to the island’s interactive animal facility to observe friendly dolphins and amazing sea lions. Dolphin swims for family members and sea lion and dolphin encounters can be booked at a reduced rate.
Dolphin Encounters, located on Salt Cay, 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 the 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, the 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 lion.
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 the 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 the 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. The natural seawater lagoon has facilitated many successful births, including three calves by the 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. The facility also participates in research programs involving the dolphins and dolphins in the wild to help scientists learn more about marine mammals.