Georgia Aquarium Whale Shark or Manta Ray Specialty Dive Certification

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The PADI Whale Shark Distinctive Specialty Certification and Manta Ray Distinctive Specialty Certification at Georgia Aquarium offer the unique opportunity for guests to learn more about whale sharks or manta rays through academic lecture and direct observation. Participants will receive a Student Manual beforehand, an educational tour, additional time in the water for the opportunity of an intimate whale shark or manta ray encounter, collector's pin, bracelet and a PADI Whale Shark or Manta Ray Distinctive Specialty certification card, depending on the program in which you are participating.

Georgia Aquarium is the only environment in the world to offer these unique distinctive specialty certifications. Guests have a guaranteed opportunity to dive with manta rays, whale sharks and thousands of magnificent animals in the Ocean Voyager exhibit, built by The Home Depot. Any certified diver from a recognized dive organization is qualified to participate in either of these specialty certifications.

*Please note that you may only participate in one specialty per dive.

 

Learn more about each specialty:


Whale Shark Specialty:

Certified Open Water Divers participating in the Journey with the Gentle Giants Dive Immersion Program will now have an opportunity to earn a unique PADI Distinctive Specialty Certification offered nowhere else in the world. Become one of the few to earn the Georgia Aquarium Whale Shark Distinctive Specialty Certification. This unique opportunity is available to all divers certified by any recognized national or international training organization, similar to the PADI Open Water Diver Certification.

Manta Ray Specialty:

Certified Open Water Divers participating in the Journey with the Gentle Giants Dive Immersion Program will now have an opportunity to earn a unique PADI Distinctive Specialty Certification offered nowhere else in the world. Become one of the first to earn the Georgia Aquarium Manta Ray Distinctive Specialty Certification. This unique opportunity is available to all divers certified by any recognized national or international training organization, similar to the PADI Open Water Diver Certification.

 

Interested in participating?


How: The PADI Whale Shark or Manta Ray Distinctive Specialty Certification is available as an add-on to your Journey with the Gentle Giants dive when you purchase online. If you have already purchased your dive, please call the Call Center at 404-581-4000 to add the Manta Ray or Whale Shark Distinctive Specialty Certification to your program.

When: Dives occur twice a day on the weekend; 11 a.m. dive, participants should arrive at 9:50 a.m. for the Manta Ray Specialty and 10:10 a.m. for the Whale Shark Specialty. Both Manta Ray and Whale Shark Specialty guests should arrive at 2:15 p.m. for the 3 p.m. dive.

Who: Registered participants in the Journey with Gentle Giants Dive Immersion Program can sign up for this whale shark or manta ray specialty. The minimum age to participate is 12 years old, and any diver under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating open water certified adult diver in the water. Proof of open water SCUBA certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization must be provided, along with photo identification. All participants must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated prior to participating in the program. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.

Pre-Requisites:

  • Open Water Certification or higher

  • Completion of PADI Participant Medical Statement (similar to statement in Open Water Training, included in whale shark or manta ray student packet upon registration and payment)

  • Completion of Safe Diver Statement and Liability Release (included with student packet upon registration and payment)

  • Minimum age is 12 years old (Journey with Gentle Giants Dive Immersion Program requires all divers in the Ocean Voyager exhibit to be 12 and over)

  • Any diver under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating certified adult diver in the water. All participants must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated prior to participating in the program. Guests under the age of 18 must have the program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines signed and dated by their parent or court appointed legal guardian.

  • Prior reading of the student package included in the email upon registration. It is not required; however, the Georgia Aquarium recommends that any diver who has not recently been in the water participate in a refresher course with the emphasis on buoyancy control.

What to bring: Proof of open water SCUBA certification from a nationally or internationally recognized organization; completed forms