FAQs

Do I need to book before I visit?

We advise all visitors to pre-book whether or not you are paying or using your complimentary annual return pass, as we are currently limiting our visitor numbers to help keep our volunteers and staff safe and to benefit our visitors experience and avoid overcrowding in the Aquarium.

Do I have to wear a mask when visiting the Aquarium?

Masks are no longer legally required in most public spaces. However, government guidance recommends that people still wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where they are mixing with people they don’t know. Therefore we ask visitors to wear face coverings at all times except when dining.

Can I bring my pet?

No pets, other than licensed service animals, are allowed in the Aquarium.

Can I bring my assistance animal?

Due to our zoo license, only licensed service and assistance animals are allowed in the Aquarium.

How do I book tickets to visit?

Prebook your tickets prior to arrival using our online bookings system and use contactless payments onsite where possible. Contactless payments are available by bank card, apple pay or android payments and are limited to £45 per transaction

When you book you will be requested to pick a date and a timed session. This is so we can safely monitor/limit the number of visitors at the Aquarium each day. 

If you have not booked your session before arrival, you will not be able to enter the Aquarium.

Online bookings are available up to 1-hour before the entry time.

If you are using your in-date valid free return annual pass, you must book a session before arrival. Visitors that qualify for free entry (e.g. carers, under 3’s) must still book a session.

What happens if I lose my complimentary year pass?

If you or your family member loses your cardboard pass, let our Ticketing Team know when you next arrive. We’ll have your details saved on our system and for an admin fee of £1 we will be able to replace your pass for you.

How much will tickets be when I visit?

There are now three ticket types depending on when you’d like to visit us:

  • Saver – If you’re visiting for the first time in November to March (or live in a PL postcode, all year)
  • Standard – If you’re visiting in April to July, September and October
  • Peak – If you’re visiting in August

Please visit our Ticket Prices and Types page for ticket type prices.

No matter when you want to visit us, the following will always be true:

  • All tickets come with a free year pass to the Aquarium
  • Child tickets are always half the price of Adult Tickets
  • Senior tickets are always £2 less than Adult Tickets
  • Student tickets are always £5 less than Adult Tickets
  • If you live in a PL Postcode, you are now able to purchase a ‘Locals Pass’ meaning you’ll always pay the Saver ticket price

We’ve tried to ensure our new ticketing structure is accessible to all, as we want to ensure as many people as possible can connect with the Ocean through our Aquarium. No matter which option you choose, you’ll receive a Complimentary Year Pass on arrival to the Aquarium, so you can book to visit us as much as you like for a year.

What are the arrival times?

To ensure all visitors have a stress-free welcome we operate an arrival window system. When booking your ticket please select the hour in which you want to arrive. Once you’re in the building you can stay as long as you like.

  • 10:00 – 11:00
  • 10:30 – 11:30
  • 11:00 – 12:00
  • 11:30 – 12:30
  • 12:00 – 13:00
  • 12:30 – 13:30
  • 13:00 – 14:00
  • 14:30 – 15:30
  • 15:00 – 16:00
  • 16:00 [Last entry]

Online bookings are available up to 1-hour before the entry time.

If you are using your free return annual pass, you must book a session before arrival. Visitors that qualify for free entry (e.g. carers, under 3’s) must still book a session.

How do I qualify for a Local’s Pass?

If you live in a PL postcode, please bring proof along with you to qualify for a Local’s Pass. Examples of proof we’ll accept include:

  • Current UK Driving License
  • Current Passport
  • Utility bill (gas, electricity, water, or landline phone) dated from the last 3 months
  • Council tax bill for current tax year
  • Bank statement dated from last 3 months
  • Building Society or Credit Union statement dated from the last 3 months
  • Tenancy agreement

How do I book to return with my Local’s Pass ticket?

All returning Complimentary Year Pass ticket holders, including those who previously visited with a Local’s Pass, must book a time slot for return visits. Slots can be booked via our General Admissions section on our booking page. Tickets are free to book as many times as you like all year round no matter what ticket you have.

What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 or have to isolate?

If you test positive for Covid -19 please reply to your booking confirmation email with a new date you’d like your booking moved to.

Can we bring a picnic with us?

Yes, you’re very welcome to bring a picnic with you when visiting the Aquarium. 

We ask that all picnics are eaten outside and request that your waste is taken home with you for responsible disposal.

Are you offering any discounts?

Currently we are not offering any discounts on admissions (excluding Wet and Wild deal with Dartmoor Zoo, to receive your discount please reply to your booking confirmation email and we’ll process it within 2-4 working days).

However, if you work within the NHS, Blue Light services or Armed Forces we would be pleased to offer a 10% discount on food and drink and gift shop purchases. Please bring some valid ID to be used at the time of purchase.

Why is the National Marine Aquarium a charity?

The National Marine Aquarium is the Ocean Conservation Trust’s window to the Ocean and is an essential element in the delivery of our habitat restoration and behaviour change programmes.

Our charity has been running the UK’s largest charitable aquarium for over 20 years. Our Aquarium was the first UK aquarium set up specifically to further learning, research and conservation of the marine environment.

How is the National Marine Aquarium funded?

The National Marine Aquarium is operated by the Ocean Conservation Trust. We receive no revenue support and is entirely dependent on visitor income to cover the costs of operation and to support our charitable work. We do apply for grants and sponsorship funds wherever possible but these go to supporting specific projects and not the day to day running of our Aquarium.

Can I smoke at the Aquarium?

We do not allow any form of smoking inside the building. This includes the use of any e-cigarette/vaping devices. This is to ensure that we avoid any confusion on reports of sources of smoke within the building. We do have a garden in which members of the public may smoke if they wish.

Any more questions you may have for us, please email our team on enquiries@oceanconservationtrust.org

We hope to sea you soon!

The National Marine Aquarium (NMA) is the UK’s largest aquarium, located in Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth. It is run by the Ocean Conservation Trust, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the Ocean.

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