Attending a dolphinarium can become a memorable entertainment during a trip to Russia. There are dolphinariums in many Russian cities; the majority of them are branches of the Utrish Dolphinarium LTD – the largest enterprise of this kind in Russia and one of the largest in Europe. The entertaining programmes in the dolphinarium branches can boast high quality and are competitive at the international arena.
The Utrish Dolphinarium was founded in 1984 and organized its first demonstrations of trained dolphins and fin-footed animals at the Black Sea shore between the cities of Novorossiysk and Anapa near the village named Malyi Utrish. It was the first entertaining dolphinarium on the territory of Russia and the second on the territory of the USSR. Nowadays dolphinariums function in such Russian cities as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Vladivostok, Gelendzhik, Sochi, and Essentuki. In the past branches of the Utrish Dolphinarium also functioned in Yugoslavia, Israel, Chile, and Argentina.
There are two dolphinariums in Moscow: a branch of the Utrish Dolphinarium and a dolphinarium of the Moscow Zoo. The latter gives 30-minute performances with trained bottle-nosed dolphins, a white whale, and the fin-footed. Performances at the Utrish Dolphinarium in Moscow last about an hour and feature such animals as Black Sea bottle-nosed dolphins, white whales, walruses, seals, and northern sea lions.
Entertaining programmes are available on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; entrance for children under 6 is free of charge. Prices for adults and children over 6 vary from 180 to 250 roubles. The dolphinarium audience hall was designed to be comfortable for visitors and to provide a good view of the performance.
Apart from the general entertaining programme, the Moscow Dolphinarium also provides some specific services, such as swimming with dolphins in the pool (for adults and children over 12) and dolphin therapy for children. A session of swimming with dolphins must be ordered beforehand due to a great number of the willing. Normally, people are divided into groups of 4 for swimming with 2 dolphins in the pool.
In 2001 the Utrish Dolphinarium organized the first in Russia centre of dolphin therapy for ill children in order to get a positive psychotherapeutic effect. At the present moment dolphin therapy work is held in several branches of the Utrish Dolphinarium in Russian and abroad.
Moscow: the Utrish Dolphinarium in Moscow: Mironovskaya Street, 27, Water Sports Palace (Semyonovskaya metro station).
Moscow Zoo dolphinarium: Bolshaya Gruzinskaya Ulitsa, 1, Moscow Zoo (Barrikadnaya or Kracnopresnenskaya metro station).
St. Petersburg: Krestovsky Ostrov, Konstantinovsky Prospect, 19, “Spartak” swimming pool
Sochi: Adler, Lenina Street, 219/2
Gelendzhik: Lunacharskogo Street, 130
Rostov-on-Don: Kirgizskaya Street, 12a
Vladivostok: Batareynaya Street, 4
Essentuki: Engelsa Street, 34a