sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

3 Reasons to Try the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

The very popular Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in downtown Gatlinburg TN.
March 18, 2021

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is not only home to an amazing collection of sea creatures, but several extra attractions that can make your visit even more memorable! One of these attractions is the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, a boat ride that actually takes you into the aquarium’s famous Shark Lagoon! Here are the top 3 reasons why you need to experience the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:

1. Close Encounter With Sharks

The Glass Bottom Boat Adventure provides a unique close encounter with sharks where just 3 inches of glass separates you from these fascinating predators of the sea! As you relax on board, the boat glides into the aquarium’s shark lagoon where you can see the 12 foot sharks and other curious creatures right underneath your feet! Altogether, the Shark Lagoon is home to over 8,500 aquatic animals representing more than 75 different species! Whether you love the captivating world of sharks or just want to see what they look like up close, this is a unique and exciting activity that you will remember for a lifetime!

2. Fun Educational Opportunity


Another reason why you need to experience the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is because it is a fun educational opportunity! While riding on the boat, the Adventure Crew at Ripley’s will teach you all about the animals within the aquarium and what it takes to maintain the facility! This is your chance to learn more about sharks and the daily operations of the aquarium, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions! After your tour, you will be more knowledgeable about sharks and be able to share new shark facts with your friends!

3. Excellent Tour Value

While there is a nominal extra fee required to go on the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, it is one of the best values in the Smoky Mountains! There is hardly anywhere else in the world where you can get so close to sharks in a perfectly safe manner while paying just a few bucks! The boat launches every 20 minutes from 10 AM to 6 PM daily, giving you plenty of time to plan your tour. Keep in mind that only a limited number of people can go on each boat, so book early for your preferred time!

Where to Stay

front of sidney james hotel in gatlinburg

Stay just minutes away from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure with a stay at the Sidney James Mountain Lodge! Our affordable hotel is conveniently situated in downtown Gatlinburg, but just far enough off the Parkway so that you can enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the mountains! We offer a variety of comfortable room types to meet your needs, ranging from Queen Economy Rooms to Creekside Jacuzzi Rooms. While staying with us, enjoy all types of fantastic amenities including private balconies, an exercise room and indoor/outdoor swimming pools!

Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg today to stay near Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, where you can experience the thrilling Glass Bottom Boat Adventure! We look forward to welcoming you to the Smoky Mountains!