10 Reasons to Visit Nausicaá Aquarium



10 Reasons to Visit Nausicaá Aquarium

Located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, in the heart of the Opal Coast, Nausicaá is the largest aquarium in Europe. It’s a unique place where young and old alike can marvel at the beauty of the marine universe, understand environmental issues and, above all, learn to love and protect the ocean.

With family or friends, embark on 4.5 hours of total immersion via three immersive, educational and fun tour routes which reveal the beauty of the ocean and underline its essential role in the future of humanity.

1. Nausicaá, a centre committed to preservation

Since 1991, Nausicaá’s mission has been to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding ocean preservation. Over three decades, more than 20 million visitors, including five million schoolchildren, have been made aware of the fragility of the word’s oceans. Nausicaá has been, since the beginning, a committed centre and participates in numerous conservation programs, research activities and reproduction programmes: more than 2,000 births take place there each year! 

A clownfish and anemone © L Merlier

2. Journey to the High Seas  

An unforgettable experience awaits at Nausicaá, which has reproduced the island of Malpelo off the coast of Colombia. Admire the spectacle of the ocean facing a large bay 5m high by 20m long and meet breathtaking species such as grey sharks, the manta ray, schools of sparkling fish and much more besides. 

Take a Journey to the High Seas at Nausicaá © H Lamblin_Iconocom

3. New for 2024: Destination abyss

This year, dive down more than 4,000m to discover the wonders that inhabit the deep seabed. It’s breathtaking! Through workshops, a new exhibition, conferences and events, this little-known, fragile world will no longer keep any secrets from you.

Discover marine life as you’ve never seen it before © L Merlier

4. Discover the giants of the High Seas via augmented reality

Discover the High Seas, so inaccessible and about which we know so little. Meet the majestic animals that inhabit this part of the ocean thanks to an augmented reality device, unique in the world, in one of the most fascinating spaces in Nausicaá: the 100m2 large bay. Equipped with HoloLens 2 Microsoft glasses, animal holograms of unparalleled definition will take you on an immersive, sensory and spectacular experience.

A Loggerhead sea turtle © L Merlier

5. Shore and Men Route

Embark on your first world tour via the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Tropics, the Californian coasts… During this trip, you will be able to understand how humans and the oceans coexist and create their future together. You will discover unique biodiversity and distant ecosystems as well as the many services provided by the sea to humans. 

Learn how humans and oceans coexist © A Rosenfeld

6. Sea lion medical training

Every day the team takes care of the sea lions’ physical and mental development by offering them different activities throughout the day. From a health point of view, they train the sea lions to be handled by humans so they can brush their teeth, listen to their heartbeat, treat small wounds or even do an X-ray or ultrasound.

Up close and personal with sea lions © H Lamblin_Iconocom

7. In the Eye of the Climate course

Dive into the heart of the climate machine and discover your power: to act. Prepare for a futuristic journey which will immerse you in hurricanes, melting ice, rising water levels. This route illustrates how real climate upheaval is and how it is experienced on a daily basis. Discover the essential role of the ocean in climate regulation and become an agent for change. Don’t miss the specially designed immersive room with its 430m² of screens from floor to ceiling. Here you can enter a climate observation teleportation module which will take you from the poles to the ocean and from the forest to the city on a journey around the planet. 

Climate change is one of the topics explored © S Pannier

8. Extra treats for visitors

During your visit to Nausicaá, which takes about 4.5 hours, you will find plenty of activities to join in with along the way, all included in your entry fee. Watch the animals being fed and the sea lions being given a check-up, take part in quizzes, pick up a booklet full of games and activities, and be sure to use an audio guide (available in English). 

Check the times and watch the animals being fed © Philippe TURPIN

9. Organised activities

Nausicaá offers a range of special activities the whole family will enjoy: 

  • The behind-the-scenes tour: Spend an hour with a guide and explore behind the scenes of the Haute Mer basin. The technical aspects of this immense 10,000m3 basin (the largest pool in Europe) are sure to impress. 
  • The shark tour: For 90 minutes, a guide will lead you through the two tour routes – Voyages en Haute Mer and Des Rivages et des Hommes – to discover astonishing stories about sharks and especially the secrets of sharks in Nausicaá. There are 500 species of sharks present in all the seas of the world, which makes for some great stories. Suitable for age eight and over. 
  • Blue Academy workshops: For 1 or 1.5 hours and accompanied by a guide, take part in fun and creative workshops with your family which are sure to change your perspective on the ocean. Four workshops are offered suitable for age three and over. 


Organised activities include a chance to learn all about sharks © H Lamblin_Iconocom

10. Look after the animals yourself

For half a day and accompanied by one of Nausicaá’s experts, you can share the daily life of the aquarium’s team as they care for the animals. This experience will allow you to get closer to the animals and discover what it’s like to be an aquarist, looking after sea lions, reptiles, manta, sharks and more. This unique and magical experience will also raise awareness of the need to protect the oceans and the species that live there. 

Spend half a day helping to look after the animals © J L Bourgain

PRICES 2024  

High season (July and August) 

Adult: €30

Child: €23

Free for children under three years old 

Seniors, students, job seekers, people with disabilities: €26.50 (adult), €19.50 (child)

Large family card holders: €25 (adult), €18 (child)

Low season (except July and August) 

Adult: €28.50

Child: €21.50

Free for children under three years old 

Seniors, students, job seekers, people with disabilities: €25 (adult), €18 (child)

Family offer (from 4 tickets purchased including 1 adult) or holder of the large family card: €24 (adult), €18 (child) 


Enjoy 15% off when 4 tickets purchased, including an adult ticket (offer valid outside July and August). 

Opening hours  

9.30am to 6.30pm all year round 

Nausicaá will be closed on December 25, 2024. On January 1, 2025, Nausicaá will be open from 2pm to 7pm. 

For more information, visit www.nausicaa.fr

Go deeper: take a video tour of Nausicaà

Lead photo credit : Golden jellyfish at Nausicá, Europe's largest aquarium © J Alexandre

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in aquarium, coast, coastal towns, north of France, Pas de Calais, wildlife

Previous Article The Astonishing Gift Louis XVI Had Made for Marie-Antoinette at the Château de Rambouillet 
Next Article The Fabulous Flamingos of the Camargue’s Pont du Gau Park

Related Articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *