Santander Aquarium: Cantabrian Maritime Museum.

The first time we went to Santander plans to do with the child what he likes most (natural parks, aquariums, reserves …) and only Cabárceno appeared, one of our favorite places. I found it strange that I did not get any aquarium while in the sea and on that occasion we did not visit it because of that ignorance. I wasn’t looking with the right words!

A few months ago we returned to Cabárceno and again I looked for a nearby aquarium and then if I noticed that there is the aquarium of Santander, only that it is known as the Cantabrian Maritime Museum and although you look a little google you can think like me that there is not because it does not appear as an aquarium.

The fact is that we finally visited it and I must say that it is spectacular, so I come to tell you a little and recommend your visit.


Cantabrian Maritime Museum.

You will find the museum near the beach of Los Peligros, in the Bay of Santander. It has no loss and it is easy to park in the area.
The Museum’s bar-restaurant is currently closed, but opposite is the Cantabrian Federation of Olympic shooting, where there is a bar where you can have a drink, breakfast or lunch.

The Museum has an access ramp, lift and parking for people with reduced mobility.

Generally, if you eat at the museum restaurant they discount the entrance, but it is temporarily closed as I said, so make sure before you go in case they have already reopened.

The price of tickets is € 5 children from 5 to 12 years and € 8 adults. Children under € 5 enter free.
There is a price reduced to € 5 for people with disabilities, unemployed, over 65, youth card, student and hosteller.
For large families the reduction remains at € 6 adults and € 3.5 children under 12.

On Sundays from 14:00 admission is free for all, but with prior reservation.
The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 18:00 from October to April and from 10:00 to 19:30 from May to September.

The museum by floors.

First, know that photographs are not allowed in the part of the museum that they indicate, even if there were people who jumped to the bullfight. For that reason, the photographs in this part are not mine, they are from the web.

The part of the Museum is really impressive and I recommend that you see it calmly. As soon as you enter they will tell you how to see the museum, from top to bottom and not the other way around.

2nd floor.

On the 2nd floor is the collection of water sports and technological avant-garde where the evolution of traditional fishing boats is shown to those currently used in rowing and sailing regattas on the one hand and naval construction and industry, the mastery of the most suitable navigation procedures and penetration into the underwater world on the other.
The rest of the space is occupied by the terrace and the restaurant.

1nd floor.

The 1st floor is fascinating and very complete, with two collections: fishermen and fisheries and The Cantabrian Sea in history.

The part of Fishermen and fisheries is dedicated to the people of the sea related to fishing and shellfishing, from the first communities that faced the marine environment and its resources. The trade, the boats, the peculiar ways of life, clothing, beliefs and social organization, as well as the modalities of sale and canning industry complement the panorama.

In the section The Cantabrian Sea and the sea in history you can see how important maritime activity has always been in the Cantabrian.

With the dioramas and models we will see the organization of the ports, their defense, trade and war on the sea, ships and illustrated scientific expeditions, as well as detailed miniatures in detail on fishing, tools, boats and conservation and marketing techniques.

Ground floor.

It is the part through which we entered the museum and here we were already allowed to take some photographs, especially with the impressive skeletons of three cetaceans or the large-scale model of a frigate that presides over the central courtyard.

On this floor there is reception, the workshop classroom, the multipurpose room and the shop.
This part of the museum attracts a lot of attention to the little ones, since it is where the replicas, skeletons and models of the fauna of the sea are located, including a giant squid that reached Cantabrian waters.

Floor 0: the long-awaited aquarium of Santander.

And finally we come to the most long-awaited part of Noah, the unmissable aquarium of Santander. And it is that not long ago it has been remodeled as we were told and is really beautiful, well kept and well located.

The aquariums we will see represent different underwater natural environments in a total of 20 aquariums that house more than one million liters of seawater.

On the tour we will see several small tanks and a large central tank that we can visualize from different points and with different windows: from normal size windows to the large panoramic view with bleachers or the curved area where mantas and sharks pass over our head.

The large central tank has capacity for more than 700,000 liters of water and is observable from several openings in the circular route, including a large window 8 m long, 3.4 m high and 20 cm thick or a small section that goes into the large tank so that you feel totally like a fish in water.

Inside the 20 aquariums you can see about 2,000 specimens of 250 species (sharks, dogfish, rays, groupers, sunfish, sea bass, tuna, octopus …) that populate the underwater environments of the Cantabrian Sea accompanied by explanatory panels. The sample is divided into:

Intertidal zone (5 tanks)Shallow bottoms (3 tanks)Coastal bottoms (2 tanks)Shady environments (4 tanks)Phanequeros and cabezos (1 tank)Platform bottoms (1 tank)Coastal neritic environment (1 tank),Artificial environment: the port (1 tank)

Pecualiares species (3 tanks).

The Santander Aquarium and the Museum where it is located occupy a building with four floors and a total constructed area of 8,500 square meters, includes the remodeling of the old building and the newly built townhouse, the work of José María Páez.

The exhibition spaces and public concurrence constitute 56%, allowing a maximum occupancy of 1,188 people. The rest houses technical areas, reservation rooms, research rooms, library, laboratories, workshops and administration.

All the staff are of a kindness that is appreciated, and at all times they attended us with a smile. Special mention to the woman in charge of guiding us through the right plants when entering, who at the exit of the aquarium took my son to a room where he showed him some stuff and from where he left with a few sea shells and a huge smile on his face.

The entrance is not expensive at all for a Museum with aquarium in which you can stay perfectly 2 hours calmly and that has so much to see.
Without a doubt, recommended plan if you visit Cantabria. Perfect to take advantage of a cloudy or rainy day.

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