PICTURES, VIDEO

Resorts World Sentosa's Dolphin Island to open on Sept 30

Dolphins and their handlers going through their paces at a closed section of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS)’s Marine Life Park. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Dolphins and their handlers going through their paces at a closed section of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS)’s Marine Life Park. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
A marine mammal specialist interacting with a bottlenose dolphin at the Marine Life Park in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). -- FILE PHOTO: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA
A marine mammal specialist interacting with a bottlenose dolphin at the Marine Life Park in Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). -- FILE PHOTO: RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA
The first batch of dolphins arrive from the Philippines at Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Marine Life Park on Nov 19, 2012. -- FILE PHOTO: RESORT WORLD SENTOSA
The first batch of dolphins arrive from the Philippines at Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) Marine Life Park on Nov 19, 2012. -- FILE PHOTO: RESORT WORLD SENTOSA
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, looks as the dolphins sail through the air. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, looks as the dolphins sail through the air. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, looks as the dolphins sail through the air. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, looks as the dolphins sail through the air. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, playing with one of the dolphins. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
Andrew Schleis, assistant director of marine mammal operations at Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa, playing with one of the dolphins. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JOYCE FANG
During an interactive session, Shi Yi the dolphin gets to show off its playfulness by splashing on (from top) marine mammal trainer Andrew Baptise, 28, Little Arts Academy staff Jason Ang, 25 ,Khathiravan s/o Kumaran,10, Jayson Ang, 9 and Zandley Teo
During an interactive session, Shi Yi the dolphin gets to show off its playfulness by splashing on (from top) marine mammal trainer Andrew Baptise, 28, Little Arts Academy staff Jason Ang, 25 ,Khathiravan s/o Kumaran,10, Jayson Ang, 9 and Zandley Teo, 9. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Under the guidance of marine mammal trainer Eliza Lee,26 , Muhammad Zhafir,10, gets a rare kiss on his cheeks by Hui Hui the dolphin while Richelle Ho, 8, looks on at the Adventure Cove in Resorts World Sentosa on Sep 18, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND F
Under the guidance of marine mammal trainer Eliza Lee,26 , Muhammad Zhafir,10, gets a rare kiss on his cheeks by Hui Hui the dolphin while Richelle Ho, 8, looks on at the Adventure Cove in Resorts World Sentosa on Sep 18, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Dr Alfonso Lopez, chief veterinarian at the Resorts World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park, examining a dolphin with a trainer’s help. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Dr Alfonso Lopez, chief veterinarian at the Resorts World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park, examining a dolphin with a trainer’s help. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Trainers interacting with dolphins at Resorts World Sentosaa’s Marine Life Park on Sept 13, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Trainers interacting with dolphins at Resorts World Sentosaa’s Marine Life Park on Sept 13, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
A dolphin trainer feeding a dolphin at Resort World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park on Sept 13, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
A dolphin trainer feeding a dolphin at Resort World Sentosa’s Marine Life Park on Sept 13, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Marine mammal trainer Eliza Lee teaching kids from The Little Arts Academy how to interact with dolphins on Sept 18, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Marine mammal trainer Eliza Lee teaching kids from The Little Arts Academy how to interact with dolphins on Sept 18, 2013. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Those much-awaited bottlenose dolphins at the Marine Life Park at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) finally have a date to make a splash with the public.

The huge marine park will open its new Dolphin Island attraction on Sept 30, but do not expect a mass audience show like those at Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast. Think up close and personal instead.

In groups of five or fewer, up to 80 people a day will be allowed in the water to get acquainted with the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Each group will have half an hour to interact with a dolphin while accompanied by a trainer.

The sessions, conducted in the shallow edges of the dolphins' 11 interconnecting lagoons, are open to non-swimmers, but visitors must be above 122cm tall to take part.

Prices exceed that of Sentosa's other dolphin experience - the Underwater World's Swim With The Dolphins, featuring the humpback variety - at $198 versus $170. Children 12 and under and those over 60 pay $188.

Those who prefer to stay dry can watch for $68 each, or $58 for children and seniors. RWS announced this yesterday as it invited 10 children from The Little Arts Academy to be Dolphin Island's first guests.

Its director of marine mammal operations Adrian Penny said: "Education is our main goal. Visitors get to learn a variety of things about dolphins, especially their anatomy."

Animal rights groups are calling for the rehabilitation and release of the 24 bottlenose dolphins back to the wild. Three of the original 27 caught from the Solomon Islands died from bacterial infections before they arrived in Singapore last year.

davidee@sph.com.sg