One of Coral World's newest attraction is inside the shark pool.
Visitors to the park can put on a snorkle, mask and weights for stability and stand in the middle of the shark pool for about 10 minutes.
Visit the Coral World Marine Park Web site
Skip ahead to "Just What You Need To Know"
Coral World started the wading-with-sharks program on a suggestion by a shore excursion manager. Park officials thought it would be a good way to make the park more interactive.
"Obviously, this isn't something everyone will do," Marketing Director Allegra Kean said.
Before entering the shark pool, I learned a bit about the sharks at Coral World (nurse, lemon and black tip reef sharks). There are 375 species of sharks in the world. Only 30 of those have a history of attacking humans. Of course, three of those 30 were in the pool.
The sharks stayed well away from me when I first entered, but after a few minutes the sharks resumed their "normal" swimming pattern, passing within a few feet of me. I was awe-struck.
Worth the $19.75? Definitely – if you can get in.
For now, there are only three shark pool visits scheduled per day, with four people allowed per visit. To reserve your spot, call Coral World well in advance.
Just What You Need to Know
Hours: Coral World is open every day all year, barring dangerous weather, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket sales end at 4 p.m. daily. There are three separate times each day you can go wading with sharks — call early for times and availability.
Best time to go: Weekends may be more crowded at Coki Point, and afternoons may be quieter than mornings.
Time commitment: About an hour for wading with sharks, more if you want to see the rest of Coral World.
Admission: Admission is $18 for adults, $9 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children under 3 years old.
ATM on-site: Yes.
Gift shop: Yes.
Parties and Special Events: Coral World is available for weddings, birthday parties and other special events.
Parking: There is limited free parking.
Taxi: A taxi ride from Havensight is about $10 per person; from Red Hook it's about $6.
Other attractions nearby: Wave runner rentals, Coki Beach Dive Club, Coral World Water Sports (with kayaks, parasailing, glass bottom boats and more).
6450 Estate Smith Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Phone: (340) 775-1555
Toll Free: (888) 695-2073
Fax: (340) 775-9068
Web site: http://www.coralworldvi.com
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