Why go to Nausicaa
Nausicaá is a great sea life center, where you can easily spend half or a whole day. More than an aquarium, it's a great sea life center and so well designed that you feel you are exploring the whole watery world. In a nutshell, Nausicaá has 4.5 million litres of water, 34,000 animals and reproduces all the seas on earth.
In the 1980s, the plan was to build a new kind of aquarium that would both entertain and educate, and above all, raise awareness of ocean-related issues and problems. Supported by the mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the project was begun in 1987 and formally opened on May 18th, 1991. Since then it has expanded both in terms of space and ambition in what it exhibits.
In 2010, the European Mr Goodfish campaign was launched here in France. The idea is to encourage the public to get actively involved in preserving marine resources; it’s run under the World Ocean Network in association with the Acquario di Genova in Italy, and the Aquarium Finisterrae in Spain.
There are plenty of don’t miss exhibits and displays. You may find it difficult to get the children to move on; there are plenty of interactive exhibits to hold their interest.
There’s a stunning jelly fish column where the strange umbrella-shaped creatures move gently around, drifting with the currents or moving more rapidly operating tyheir own system of jet propulsion. These creatures that we quite rightly keep away from in the sea, are strangely hypnotic, and very beautiful in their transparent shapes.
There’s a touch tank occupied by turbot, stingray and other fish which will come up to be touched or stroked by the crowds of both children and adults who stand at the edge.
There are plenty of sharks in their own pool just near the restaurant. Contrary to the usual perception, these creatures, though they may look threatening, are not as fierce as you think. But as you walk through the shark tunnel, you can't help feeling just a bit wary.
There’s a penguin beach where the curious creatures waddle up to look at you.
Don’t miss the sea lion reserve outside at the back of the main center, looking out onto the beach. The California sea lions love to perform, showing off their latest moves like fishy rappers. Catch them at feeding time and they’re even more lithe and acrobatic.
Eating and drinking
There are several different restaurants and bars. There’s an excellent gourmet restaurant, and this being France, it’s always full of families, taking advantage of the set price menus which range from 18 to 27.50 euros. It stays open until 10pm.
The Bistrot du Port is more relaxed with a wide menu of well-priced snacks, ranging from an excellent fish soup or toasted ham and cheese sandwich to ice creams, pastas and dishes like chicken tajine or risotto.
The shop offers a good chance to stock up on serious items, like well-designed hats and waterproof jackets and coats for all ages, to a wide selection of gifts.
is a great sea life center, where you can easily spend half a day, or even a day is easy to get to and there is free parking outside in the main public car park.
From Brussels (220 kilometers, 137 miles), take the E40, E17, A25 via Ghent and Dunkirk, then the A16 to exit 32, signposted Sortie Boulogne – Nausicaa. Follow signs for the center.
From Paris (250 kilometers, 155 miles), follow signs to Cergy-Pontoise on the ring road (A89), then the A16 autoroute. Follow signs for Amiens then take exit 32, signposted Sortie Boulogne – Nausicaa. Follow signs for the center.
By Eurostar or TGV from London or Paris to Calais-Frethun, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Nausicaa. Information on Eurostar.
From Boulogne-Ville station to is a great sea life center, where you can easily spend half a day, or even a day it’s a 20-minute walk. Or take bus, line number 20, direction Boulogne-sur-Mer - Place de France, get off at " Place de France, then take bus line 01, direction Wimereux Baston, get off at Boulogne-sur-Mer - Nausicaa.
Further information on local buses.
Practical InformationNAUSICAA, Centre National de la Mer
Bvd. Sainte Beuve
Tel.: 00 33 (0)3 21 30 99 99
Website Open daily 9:30am-6:30pm; July and August 9:30am-7:30pm
Closed December 25th, January 1st to 2pm, January 7-25th, 2013
Ticket sales stop an hour before closing time
Admission Adult 17.95 euros
Students and unemployed 12.50 euros
Over-60s 16.45 euros
Child from 3 to 12 years 11.70 euros