On the 19th of May 2018 the 10,000 m² extension of NAUSICAA, in Boulogne-sur-Mer near Calais (France), will open to the public. It will be home to a new visitor experience called “Journey on the High Seas” which will include a 10,000 m3 tank, 22,000 new sea creatures and an 18-metre-long transparent tunnel. The extension will make NAUSICAA one of the largest aquariums in the world.


Built in the shape of a Manta Ray, the new extension is a large-scale architectural project designed by Jacques Rougerie and houses of one the largest tank in the world, holding a staggering 10,000 m3 of water (equivalent of 4 Olympic pools). Step by step, visitors will through various panoramic viewing angles discover the giant aquarium which recreates the ecosystem of the high seas modelled on the island of Malpelo, off the coast of Colombia. 22,000 marine creatures will be added to the NAUSICAA community including hammerhead sharks, manta rays, shoals of fish, etc. The new interactive and fun attractions include an 18-metre-long transparent tunnel, a sub-water trench measuring 7.5 metres with viewing points along the way, will lead the way to the highlight of this extension: a spectacular 20×5 meters panoramic window offering a full view of the tank and its ecosystem.

NAUSICAA is much more than just an aquarium. It is a centre where the unique marine environment can be explored in a fun, educational and scientific way, with a primary focus on the relationship between man and the sea. In 25 years, NAUSICAA has welcomed over 16 million visitors and become a major player in raising awareness of the marine environment and the sustainability of our oceans. Above all, the Centre’s role is to educate and encourage the general public how we can protect our marine life for the future, the impact of our resources and how we each can help towards marine conservation. NAUSICAA is labelled UNESCO “Centre of Excellence” due to its awareness-raising activities and achievements.

The new NAUSICAA extension has been a true architectural, aquatic and technical challenge and have never been realised to this scale in Europe before. The large-scale project is being implemented by the Communauté d’Agglomération of the Boulonnais and once again cements NAUSICAA’s role as a major tourist player in the Hauts-de-France region.

Key figures: 

22,000                – number of creatures added to NAUSICAA community with new extension

58,000                – total number of creatures in NAUSICAA community

1,200                  – number of unusual species

10,000 m2          – exhibition area

100 m2               – area of the big viewing panel (20 metres long, 5 metres high)

6                          – number of weeks it took to fill the big tank completely

10,000 m3          – volume of water in the big tank

16,000 m3          – total volume of water at NAUSICAA

7 km                   – length of the water treatment pipes


How to get there: From Great Britain to France, by ferry (P&O, DFDS) from Dover to Calais or through the Channel Tunnel, then take motorway A16 towards Boulogne-sur-Mer. Or take a Eurostar service from London to Calais Fréthun (1 hour) followed by a regional train (15 minutes) to Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Entrance to NAUSICAA will cost €25.90 for adults and €19.50 for children. Other concessions available.


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