Coral Reef Snorkel

Experience the thrill of a thriving Florida Keys coral reef

In the Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter, visitors to our Marathon aquarium go snorkeling in our 200,000 gallon salt water tank, a diverse coral reef environment with a wide variety of unique species of Coral Reef inhabitants native to the Florida Keys.

Want to experience what it’s like on the reef?

Go snorkeling in our Marathon aquarium, which is filled with a living ecosystem that closely matches what one would find on any coral reef just a few short miles from our location in the Florida Keys

The coral reef snorkel encounter enables visitors to get in the water and be a part of the action in the thriving ecosystem that exists in our aquarium environment. This unique Encounter introduces our visitors to the reef environment in the best way possible, via immersion in our exclusive Coral Reef tank.

Hand Feeding Sharks?  Who would believe you?

 Make sure you have photographic evidence to share with your family and friends!  Pre-purchase your photo and video packages and save 25%.

Experience life as it exists in nature

During the Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter, visitors will experience a personal interaction with a wide variety of marine fish species, while swimming over our custom creation of a simulated Florida coral reef patch.

The most exciting feature of our Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter is that it is separated from our shark tank by a clear plexiglass window. This allows Marathon aquarium snorkeling participants to come face to face with sharks while being protected from the predators!

For our participants who are looking to get a bit more “hands-on” during the Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter, our uniquely designed aquarium technology allows diving participants the opportunity to feed sharks and other predatory fish from our underwater feeding ports that connect the tanks.  Our tank allows both snorkelers and divers the opportunity to feed sharks and other predatory fish


Schedule of Events

The Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter runs daily between the hours of 9 AM – 4 PM

The normal schedule of events during the Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter includes the following sample schedule:

*Please arrive 15 minutes before your encounter to fill out necessary waivers.

:00-:10 Meet your instructor and watch an educational video about the Keys National Marine Sanctuary and learn what to expect during your Coral Reef Snorkel.
:10-:25 Shower, meet back at the Coral Reef tank, change into wetsuit, receive your gear and prepare for your encounter
:25-:50 Fish feeding and gear review. Get comfortable with your gear in the water from the platform, then explore the main tank environment and interact with a variety of tropical fish species
:50-:00 Post question and answer with your dive instructor, remove wetsuit, shower off then pick up your free photo in the photo room and fill out a questionnaire about your experience.

A typical Coral Reef Encounter includes:
  • Exclusive access to go aquarium snorkeling in our Florida Keys Coral Reef Tank.
  • All necessary supplies for a safe tank experience including use of Wetsuits, Mask, Fins & Regulators/Snorkels.
  • Private Changing Rooms with hot showers to slip into your Coral Reef Encounter Gear.
  • Time in our Coral Reef Tank with the guidance of our Dive Instructors to explore the underwater coral reef environment.
  • Close Interaction with a wide variety of local marine species
  • Opportunity to feed predatory fish in the adjacent Shark Tank!
  • Souvenir photo of encounter

While you are experiencing your time “on the reef” members of trained staff will be ever-present to provide you with guidance and safe supervision during any part of your experience in the Coral Reef Encounter.


Coral Reef Encounter Information

Look who you will meet on the Reef!


Coral Reef Encounters Run Daily for Marathon aquarium snorkeling on the Hour between 9 AM – 4 PM. Please see below for booking and availability of the Coral Reef Encounter.


Click here to download the Coral Reef Encounter Liability Release Form prior to visiting our facilities.


Each Coral Reef Regulator Encounter lasts roughly 90 minutes with a total of roughly 30 minutes in the Coral Reef Tank.

Each Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter lasts roughly 60 minutes.


Participants do not need to be certified to participate in the coral reef snorkel encounter.

Participants must be over the age of 5 in our Coral Reef Regulator Encounter and must be at least 8 to dive below the surface of the tank. Any age is welcome to participate in our Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter. No matter if you’re diving or at the surface you still get the opportunity to feed all the animals while snorkeling at our Marathon aquarium—including the sharks!

Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the tank. A parent/guardian must be available on deck (dry) if their 5-12yr old is participating in a snorkel encounter. A parent/guardian must be in the FKAE facility if their 12-16yr old is participating in a snorkel encounter. Any child between the ages of 5-12 participating in a Regulator Encounter must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian. A parent/guardian must be available on deck (dry) if their 12-18yr old is participating in a Coral Reef Regulator Encounter.

Maximum of 12 participants per Coral Reef Snorkel session.

A magical, tropical experience you won't forget.

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