About us

Nausicaá, located in Boulogne-sur-Mer in the heart of the French Opal Coast, is the National Sea Centre and the largest aquarium in Europe.

Nausicaá, an aquarium with a mission

For more than 30 years, Nausicaá has introduced the general public to the marine environment, the incredible biodiversity that it harbours and the importance of the ocean for mankind. Nausicaá's crew works with its partners to improve our knowledge of marine species and to strive for their conservation.

Children in front of the big tank of the high seas in Nausicaa

We believe that we can only protect what we love, and this love for the Ocean guides all our actions.

The Nausicaá team

Since it was officially opened on the 18th of May 1991, Nausicaá has welcomed more than 20 million visitors, including 5 million schoolchildren. Through its exhibitions, conferences and mediation activities, Nausicaá is an aquarium with a mission, a centre of scientific culture dedicated to the ocean, which promotes awareness of the link between mankind and the sea. A visit to Nausicaá is an opportunity to learn more about the sea and to understand how to protect it.

Nausicaá has a crew of 220 passionate employees whose ambition is to transform its millions of visitors into committed supporters of the Ocean.

An engaging venue that combines wonder and education

With 58,000 animals representing 1,600 different species in an exhibition area of 10,000 m², Nausicaá gives visitors the opportunity to marvel at what the Ocean has to offer.

This unforgettable experience is a journey of discovery, entertainment and encounters, along a tour that embraces the most innovative technologies to create wonder, education and enlightenment.

Aerial view of Nausicaa's building

A renowned centre for scientific mediation and culture

It is part of the Centre's public service mission to welcome school audiences. Through its partnership with the French Ministry of Education, Nausicaá provides teachers and their pupils with a constantly updated educational offer adapted to each school level, from nursery school to university.

This educational and awareness-raising mission was rewarded by UNESCO in 1999 with the title of Centre of Excellence for Marine Environmental Education.


A commitment to preserving marine species

Preserving biodiversity lies at the heart of Nausicaá's mission and it is involved in many European conservation programmes aimed at preserving endangered species. In addition, there are several hundred births at the aquarium every year, reflecting the expertise of the aquariological team in caring for the animals and their well-being each and every day.

Beyond its walls, Nausicaá is involved in numerous projects aimed at conserving animal species on location in collaboration with associations working in the field.

In 2018, the Nausicaá Endowment Fund was created to help finance these actions and to take action as close as possible to threatened species in their natural habitat.

An influential role for a healthy Ocean

At European and international level, Nausicaá strives to ensure that the Ocean is factored into the commitments and decisions made: participation in international events such as the Climate and Biodiversity COPs and negotiations on the law of the high seas. Every 8 June, Nausicaá celebrates the ocean by organising activities and events around World Ocean Day to raise public awareness of the need to preserve the marine environment.

Nausicaá is also the partner of many European projects with an educational, scientific and citizen mobilisation focus.


A centre committed to innovation and the blue economy

Providing support for blue innovation is part of Nausicaá's proactive response to the environmental challenges that we are facing. By creating the Blue Living Lab in 2019, an incubator for projects for a blue economy, Nausicaá is placing innovation at the service of this cause and fostering the growth of startups that innovate with and for the oceans.

Nausicaá is also invested in a sustainable seafood consumption programme, called Mr.Goodfish, which was launched in 2010. This programme is part of an approach to managing ocean resources sustainably by involving all the stakeholders in the sector, from fishermen to consumers.

A major player in the tourism industry

As the second most visited site north of Paris, Nausicaá is a major tourist attraction in the Hauts-de-France region, attracting visitors from all over the world.


Job creation, economic impact on the Boulogne-sur-Mer area: Nausicaá makes ambitious CSR commitments, it is boosting the local economy and encouraging visitors to discover other tourist attractions in the region.


Check out Nausicaá's unique architecture


What Nausicaá offers goes well beyond the simple aquarium. This is evidenced by an architecture, scenography and sound design that are alternately fascinating, confusing and unique in the service of the living and the messages of Nausicaá.