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This page contains the various topics covered by Nausicaá's FAQs

Poisson arc en ciel, Nausicaá, Centre National de la Mer
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Buy your tickets online

Purchasing your ticket online guarantees you access to the Center during peak periods.

Visit Nausicaá in the morning

During busy periods (weekends, bridges and school holidays) we advise you to favor an arrival as soon as the Center opens, or from 3 p.m. Taken by time? Take advantage of the 2nd day offer at €5, valid the day after your visit.

Check the weather forecast : choose sunny days!

The crowd is generally lower on days with good weather: take advantage of this to benefit from an optimal experience!




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Practical information


Dated tickets are only valid on the date selected when you purchased them.

Click on the pink "buy" button (top right on the website pages)
Enter your e-mail address and password, or create your account. → Read here how to create your account.
Select the desired ticket(s)
Finalise the purchase

More details on our prices

We accept Sodexo vouchers, as well as ANCV holiday vouchers, at the Nausicaá cash desks. However, we do not give any change for these vouchers.

Chèques Vacances connect vouchers are accepted by the Nausicaá online ticketing service.

Once you have purchased your Nausicaá tickets online, a confirmation e-mail is sent to you, with an attachment. Simply print this attachment. You can also present this attachment on your smartphone, without having to print your ticket.

A child must always be accompanied by an adult to visit the Centre, which is why we have applied this requirement to online ticket purchases.

More details on our prices

Once you have passed the security gate, you can go directly to the admission gates, without having to queue at the cash desk.

Buy online

More details on our prices

To create an account, click on the pink icon at the top of our pages. Then click on "create an account" at the top and follow the instructions.
If you are unable to log in to your account, enter your e-mail address and click on "Forgot your password". An e-mail will be sent to you to recreate your password.

This is an e-mail prompting you to complete the purchase of your tickets. If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, it means that your sale has not been completed. Therefore, the operation has to be repeated.

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Special rates - Nausicaa special offers

€28.50 per adult and €21.50 per child at the cash desk and on the web for permanent exhibitions in the off-peak season.

€30 per adult and €23 per child at the cash desk and on the web for the permanent exhibitions in the peak season (July and August).

In order to limit queues at the ticket office, it is highly recommended to buy tickets online.

For more information on all our rates, please check out our dedicated page:

→ More information on the rates

For the 2023 season, Nausicaá presents the family offer, which entitles you to a 15% discount on the "off-peak" rate.

This offer is valid outside July and August, and is available from 4 tickets purchased, including one ticket at the adult rate (aged 12+).

→ See all our rates

The student rate is €25 in the off-peak season and €26.50 in the peak season (July-August) upon presentation of proof (student card for higher education)

→ See all our rates


Nausicaá offers special rates for teachers, accessible only at Nausicaá cash desks. Remember to bring proof to benefit from it.

→ See all our rates

Is there a reduced rate for the number of tickets purchased to visit Nausicaá?
For a minimum of 4 tickets, including one adult ticket, you can take advantage of the family offer (available on the web and at the cash desk)

From 20 tickets onwards - and 7 tickets for people with disabilities - you can take advantage of the group rate, available on the web for ticket purchases by credit card. To book a tailor-made group tour, please contact our dedicated team via our booking form.

→ Access to booking form group




The Dated ticket is non-exchangeable and non-refundable

→ Please contact us for more information

→ See the general terms of sale

Works council tickets can be exchanged if you place a new order. The amount of the exchanged tickets will be deducted from the amount of the new order. A form, the order form and all invalid tickets must be returned to us by registered mail.

Please note: If you purchase tickets via a web reseller or an Inter-company group of works councils, the latter must send us the request and not the final customer. The credit note will only be issued to the organisation that made the original financial transaction.

Please check the validity dates of this promotion beforehand. This offer is valid at the cash desk at the entrance of Nausicaá only. It cannot be combined with other promotions and it cannot be exchanged or refunded.
This CAB (Communauté d'Agglomération du Boulonnais) promotion entitles the inhabitants of the Boulogne region to a discount.
It is valid on presentation of a valid identity document AND proof of address within the CAB area. This area includes: Baincthun, Boulogne-sur-Mer, La Capelle-lès-Boulogne, Condette, Conteville-lès-Boulogne, Dannes, Echinghen, Equihen-Plage, Hesdigneul-lès-Boulogne, Hesdin-l’Abbé, Isques, Nesles, Neufchâtel-Hardelot, Outreau, Pernes-lès-Boulogne, Pittefaux, Le Portel, Saint-Etienne-au-Mont, Saint-Léonard, Saint-Martin-Boulogne, Wimereux and Wimille.

Some additional information:

  • Why can only residents of the Boulogne area qualify for the CAB rate?
    The difference is paid by the CAB.
  • Does an adult who comes with their children also need a supporting document for their children? For example, the family record book?
    One document per household is required. If the children have an identity card, that is also acceptable.
  • Can I buy tickets the day before for the next day? No, tickets are only valid on the day.
  • Can CAB residents invite other people with them? No, the CAB rate is only valid for CAB residents.
  • Is the CAB promotion valid for Boulogne shopkeepers?
    If the business is in Boulogne, it is valid even if the resident lives outside the CAB area. You will need to show an invoice with an address located in the CAB area.
  • Particuliers : Profitez du pass culture pour résrver votre visite de Nausicaá  ! La réservation doit être effectuée la veille de votre visite depuis l'application pass culture.
  • Enseignants : Bénéficiez de la part collective du pass Culture pour financer la visite de Nausicaá avec vos élèves de la 4ème à la Terminale ! Pour en profiter, rendez-vous sur l’application ADAGE.
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Before the visit

To avoid the largest crowds, we suggest you book your time-stamped ticket. 

During busy periods (weekends, long weekends and school holidays) we recommend that you plan your arrival for the centre's opening time, or from 3pm onwards.

Once you have completed your online purchase of a Nausicaá ticket, you will receive confirmation by e-mail. This e-mail contains a link that you can click on to take advantage of the offer. As a reminder, the prices of the Q-Park offer are:

  • Discovery package (6h): €5.20 in the off-peak season / €8 in the peak season 
  • Day package (12h): €8.40 in the off-peak season / €13 in the peak season.

Rates not contractually binding

Following the latest government announcements (info in French), these measures are suspended: it is not necessary to present a vaccination or health certificate to visit Nausicaá.

This scheme is likely to evolve according to new decisions by government authorities.

Paris-Boulogne-sur-Mer buses: go to Nausicaá, the largest aquarium in Europe

Travel from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer in less than four hours to see the spectacular ocean show offered by Nausicaá, Europe's largest aquarium, thanks to the bus service that now runs daily between the two cities. The FlixBus company provides a daily bus service between Paris and Boulogne-sur-Mer and back in three and a half hours. The price varies from €8.99 to €19.99 depending on the route you choose. The FlixBus route between Paris and Boulogne-sur-Mer is usually direct.

If your departure dates mean that you cannot take the direct FlixBus route between Paris and Boulogne-sur-Mer, there are also routes from Paris to Calais, which take four hours and cost around €19. Once in Calais, you can take the train to Boulogne-sur-Mer. The journey only takes about 20 minutes, and the basic tickets cost €7.20. All information can be found on the FlixBus website.
Paris-Boulogne-sur-Mer trains: stop at Nausicaá

Come and marvel at the spectacle of Europe's largest aquatic tank, Nausicaá, on the French Opal Coast in Boulogne-sur-Mer, courtesy of the regular train services between Paris and Boulogne. SNCF trains from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer leave from Paris-Gare du Nord. The journey from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer by SNCF train only takes about two hours. Train tickets from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer cost between €15 and €46. The reason for this price difference is that some train journeys are made by regional train (TER) and others by high-speed train (TGV).

Furthermore, your date and time of departure from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer will also affect the cost of your train ticket, as well as the class in which you travel (first or second class). Go to Boulogne from Paris Nord to Lille Europe, for €15 to €22 and a journey of less than an hour, then take the train between Lille Europe and Boulogne-sur-Mer, also for less than an hour, for a €25. Find out more on the SNCF website.
Get to Nausicaá by car or by carpooling

Another way to get to Nausicaá to see the most beautiful and fascinating aquatic animals is of course by car. Take your own car or a carpool from Paris to Boulogne-sur-Mer:

By private car: the journey takes between three and four and a half hours depending on which route you take. For the shortest route, via the A115 and A16 motorways, the toll is €21.30. You can also take the A1 and A16 motorways, which take less than three and a half hours and cost less (€19.30). Another option is to take the A1, A29, A16 motorways and the D96 road, which takes just over three hours and costs €24.50 in tolls. If you do not want to take the motorway, the journey takes four and a half hours and takes you close to the city of Rouen, taking the free sections of the A15 and A28 motorways and then the secondary roads.
By carpooling: journeys between Paris or surrounding towns and Boulogne-sur-Mer or nearby are available almost every day via carpooling sites such as BlaBlaCar. Carpooling rates between Paris and its suburbs and Boulogne-sur-Mer range from €19 to €45 depending on the departure date and time.

The Centre National de la Mer is open every day from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm.
An annual closure period is indicated here

The beach car park, which is 200m from Nausicaá, has parking facilities for people with reduced mobility. The list of car parks near Nausicaá can be found on the dedicated page ↵

The reinforced security and safety rules of the French Vigipirate national security Plan apply to places open to the public. As a result, the restaurant areas and the shop have been integrated "under the ticket admission area".

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Make your visit to Nausicaá an unforgettable experience!
Whether you are curious or passionate about the ocean, whether you are a couple, a family or a group of friends, everyone can explore the Nausicaá exhibitions at their own pace and in their own way

The average time it takes to complete a visit of Nausicaá is currently 4 and a 1/2 hours.

Regardless of the order in which you visit Nausicaá, you are free to move around and you can stay as long as you like in front of the Giant High Seas Tank, to admire the great manta ray or to watch the seahorses and other well-kept secrets of the Mankind and Shores exhibition!
The tour map and of course our crew will help you find everything to see and do on the day of your visit.

Yes, it is possible to go out of Nausicaá and come back in the same day. Please speak to our reception staff before leaving the Centre.

Nausicaá is accessible with a pushchair: there are escalators and lifts available at your disposal. We have "compact" pushchairs available for hire at a cost of €3.95. For reasons related to safety and comfort, Nausicaá reserves the right to restrict access to pushchairs - particularly large ones - on busy days. Thank you and see you soon!

A guide map is displayed in the lobby at Nausicaá. We recommend that you take a picture of it.

You can also download the Nausicaá map here

A visit of Nausicaá takes about 4 and a half hours: so it can be visited in one day. If you wish to spread your visit over 2 days or if you are simply pressed for time on the first day of your visit, take advantage of the 2nd day offer at €5: you can buy your 2nd day on the web when you buy your ticket, or you can decide on the day of your visit, at the Information Point located in the Lobby. Ideal when you arrive in the middle of the afternoon or with children who need to expend some energy! 

You can find this programme on the "Activities and events programme" page of the website:
→ via this link
In addition, in the lobby, at the entrance to each exhibition circuit, the programme of activities and events is displayed ! 

Yes, you can visit at your own pace and in some areas, you can sit down.
→ More information on accessibility at Nausicaá

The center closes at 6:30 p.m., we recommand to tyou to go to the exhibition before 6 p.m. for an optimal experience.

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People with reduced mobility

The route is accessible to people with reduced mobility. Lifts and platforms are available to provide access to the different areas of the exhibition. The entire centre is accessible for people with reduced mobility, except for a "long distance traveller" area, which can still be viewed. Please note that a circuit for people with reduced mobility (PRM) for the Mankind and Shores exhibition will be given to them at the information point in the lobby. This PRM circuit may take longer than the conventional circuit because the lifts are very busy during peak periods.

The beach car park, which is 200m from Nausicaá, has parking facilities for people with reduced mobility. The list of car parks near Nausicaá can be found on the dedicated page ↵


Our child carriers are not suitable for children with disabilities. The dorsal child carriers are from Aubert (Aubert concept model), for children up to 18 kg. The ventral child carriers are from Safety First (Auchan) for children weighing up to 9 kilos (from 6 months).

Orthopaedic pushchairs are accepted. The lifts for people with reduced mobility (PRM) located at N° 1 and N° 18 of the Mankind and Shores Exhibition can accommodate a maximum weight of 250 kg, but cannot accommodate a wheelchair in a reclining position. However, if necessary, our hosts and hostesses will direct people to another circuit so that their visit can proceed in the best possible conditions. A PRM circuit for the Mankind and Shores Exhibition will be given to them at the information point in the lobby. This PRM circuit may take longer than the standard circuit as the lifts are very busy in peak season.

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Catering and picnics

You can go out of Nausicaá and come back in during the day. In this case, please speak to our hosts before you leave the Centre.

We have a room with tables where you can eat, as well as an outdoor area. 

The restaurant menus are available online. We have 2 dining venues:

The Calypso self-service restaurant welcomes you with a range of starters, main courses and desserts prepared on site. Everything is homemade using raw ingredients from our local suppliers. The meat is fat-free and cut on the spot, and not industrially. We strive to improve our products with ingredients from local recipes. In terms of prices, it should be remembered that the dishes we offer at €10 are sold at a minimum of €17 in the brasseries and restaurants in Boulogne. Located in the lobby, for a gourmet break with a view overlooking the sea.
The Bistrot Côté Plage for hot and cold sandwiches, desserts, ice cream and refreshments. Located at number 19 of the Mankind and Shores exhibition.
More info on the dedicated pages:

The Calypso

The Bistrot Côté Plage

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After the visit

For lost items, please contact the switchboard on +33 (0)3 21 30 99 99.

You can order a selection of products through the Click&Collect platform → Click here to see our selection

To place an order remotely from the Nausicaá shop, please send your request to the shop manager: → via this link

Nausicaá has a wide range of partner accommodation on offer. Whether you prefer hotels, Gîtes de France self-catering cottages or bed and breakfast: there is something for every taste and budget… Check out our selection of accommodation to enjoy an unforgettable stay in the Hauts-de-France region.

→ Where to stay near Nausicaá

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We estimate the time required for the visit to be about 4 and a 1/2 hours. If you are pressed for time, we can provide you with a map for a 1 and a 1/2-hour tour so that you won't miss any of Nausicaá's highlights!

We provide blue containers at the entrance for the bags of nursery and primary school children, but we do not take coats.

→ More information on group visits to Nausicaá

Yes, the Quai Thurot parking area, 200m from the entrance to Nausicaá, is free on presentation of your booking number.


For a tailor-made group visit, and if you use a method of payment other than credit card, please make your booking three working days before your visit at the latest via our booking form.
If you can pay by credit card, and are only buying tickets for 10 to 100 people, or more than 7 people with disabilities, you can take advantage of the group rate on our online ticketing service and buy your tickets without specifically having to plan your visit.

Yes, there is a room for picnics at Nausicaá. This room must be booked. There are different time slots. To book the picnic room, you can contact the booking department via our form when you make your booking, or by phone on +33 (0)3 21 30 99 89.

The picnic area is exclusively for groups. For other visitors, picnicking in Nausicaá is allowed; please contact our reception team to reach the dedicated area from the lobby. (Caution, limited number of places).

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Nausicaá's aquariums were designed for each species on show. Depending on how the conservation programmes are progressing and the state of the animals' native environments, some individuals born under these programmes may then return to their original habitat, under the strict control of the environmental authorities of each country concerned.

→ Find out about the conservation actions supported by Nausicaá

Nausicaá's aquariums were designed for each species on show. Depending on how the conservation programmes are progressing and the state of the animals' native environments, some individuals born under these programmes may then return to their original habitat, under the strict control of the environmental authorities of each country concerned.

→ Find out about the conservation actions supported by Nausicaá

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Giant tank

The Boulogne urban development authority (CAB - Communauté d’Agglomération du Boulonnais) was the project owner for the Grand Nausicaá. Jacques Rougerie Architectes Associés is the architect and leader of the design team.

→ Nausicaá's partners

→ Nausicaá, a truly unique architecture

At Malpelo, the concentration of fish changes throughout the year, as the seasons change, and many species are found around Malpelo Island. We have chosen to display a moment with average numbers of fish around the island.

The giant tank in the Journey on the High Seas exhibition is colonised in the same way as in the natural environment and algae can grow. Vegetarian fish such as surgeonfish and silver-cheeked toadfish feed on algae.

We mainly plan to increase the number of rays, skates and sharks of the species already present and to add shoals of fish that graze on algae.

To date, there are 40 different species of fish, sharks, rays and skates in the High Seas tank. This amount may change in the future.

Just like in Malpelo, the water temperature in the giant tank of the Journey on the High Seas exhibition averages 22°C.

The animals in the High Seas tank are interested in the visitors, and they can see them very clearly.

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History of Nausicaa

In Homer's Odyssey, Nausicaá was the daughter of Alkinoos, king of the Phaeacians, and saves Ulysses from his shipwreck. Nausicaá is also derived from an anagram of CASINO in reference to the old site on which Nausicaá is built.

The idea of building an aquarium in Boulogne-sur-Mer, which would be a leisure centre, a research centre and an educational centre, dates back to the late 1970s. In 1991, the Société d'Exploitation du Centre National de la Mer was created. The Centre National de la Mer (National Sea Centre) was named Nausicaá. It opened to the public on the 18th of May 1991.

→ Learn more about Nausicaá in a few dates

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Engineering and technology

The giant viewing panel is 20 m long, 5 m high, 38 cm thick and weighs 54 metric tons. The pressure exerted by 10,000 m3 of water on the giant viewing panel of the high seas tank is truly impressive. The 500 metric tons of water pressure sealed the viewing panel into the wall, making it watertight. The ceiling of the observation room eases the pressure on the glass panel, which could not withstand the pressure alone. This 1.10-m thick concrete slab can withstand the weight of 3 armoured tanks. It absorbs the force of the water on the giant viewing panel, which is around several dozen metric tons.

A significant amount of the lighting in the large tanks (oceanic, open sea, lagoon, sea lions, submerged forest, penguins, etc.) is natural (windows and openings in the roofs) and therefore, follows the seasonal and lunar cycles. Additional lighting controlled by timer is provided by special lamps (increasingly by LED). There is even a blue night light that mimics the moonlight. The "scenic" lighting is switched off at night. Therefore, only natural moonlight passes through the openings above the large High-Seas tank.

Nausicaá's aquariological team comprises 30 handlers. A team of 8 handlers take turns throughout the week to dive, care and feed from morning to night, 7 days a week in the High Seas tank in the new Nausicaá exhibition. As with other handlers at Nausicaá, the people in the Oceanic team are both handlers and divers.

→ The jobs at Nausicaá

Sulphur denitrators convert dissolved mineral matter (ammonium, nitrites and nitrates) into gas (nitrogen gas), which is one of the main components of air. The nitrogen gas is released into the atmosphere. Biofilters convert organic matter into dissolved mineral matter. The only gases emitted during this process are those produced by the breathing of aerobic bacteria (CO2).

The hardness of sea water is around 14 French degrees.

There is an empty space at the bottom of the filters, which allows the water to circulate through the filter candles (a sort of strainer that must not come into contact with the sand), as well as an empty space at the top, which allows the filters to be backwashed without losing sand. With the sand inside, not counting the weight of the water, each filter weighs about 17 metric tons. Every day, 1% of fresh seawater is added to the large tank. The fresh seawater is not sterilised (it contains very few micro-organisms). However, it is reoxygenated and its dissolved element content is rebalanced before being distributed to the various circuits.

After being re-oxygenated, the raw seawater is passed over a specific substrate that retains most of the iron and manganese, but leaves enough for the needs of animals and plants. Some of it is collected as dry powder and processed by a specialised industry. Some of it goes back to the sea. It should also be noted that the water circuits of the two exhibitions are not connected. The "Mankind and Shores" exhibition contains 11 independent water treatment circuits (8 for sea water and 3 for fresh water); the "Journey on the High Seas" exhibition has 2 circuits, both for sea water.

The power of the agitators can be adjusted independently, if this is found to be useful for the life cycle of the animals. The bio-balls are made of recycled plastic. Recycled glass can also be used, but it is much heavier and would have required much thicker concrete tanks. These bio-balls are self-cleaning due to the slow mixing effect obtained by the injected air bubbles. The water in the large tank is mechanically filtered, heated, aerated, sterilised (U.V.) and purified in biofilters (by micro-organisms), a skimmer and denitrators. The backwash water from the mechanical filters is recycled and can, depending on our needs, be fed into the large tank. The decanted sludge is recycled and reprocessed by an approved company.

The water in the large tank is fully filtered 6 times a day and 1% of the volume is returned to the sea after purification.

Five specialist vets work in rotation as required. Each of them has their specific field: marine mammals, birds, fish, reptiles.

The large, exceptionally sized glass panel, which is 20 metres long, 6 metres high, 38 cm thick and weighs 54 metric tons, was manufactured at Clax Italia near Rome in Italy. Only three companies in the world are capable of producing this type of glass.

The tank is routinely cleaned every day. The handlers are there to ensure that the tanks are kept clean, particularly when diving.

In 2018, almost 15 metric tons of food were distributed to the animals in Nausicaá. Mr Goodfish certified frozen fish, by-products of the processing industry.

→ Find out more about the Mr Goodfish programme

Yes, we accept interns. You can send your application via this link.

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Nausicaá's aquariums were designed for each species on show. Depending on how the conservation programmes are progressing and the state of the animals' native environments, some individuals born under these programmes may then return to their original habitat, under the strict control of the environmental authorities of each country concerned.

→ Find out about the conservation actions supported by Nausicaá

The scale of the aquarium allows the animals to reach their adult size without feeling "cramped". In fact, grey sharks have been moved to the high seas tank so that they can continue their development.

The aquarium has been designed to allow all the animals in it to develop harmoniously until they reach maturity and their maximum size. The animals swim in a 60m x 35m x 8m high tank containing 10,000 m3 of water.

This behaviour is commonly observed by divers in the native environment of these rays: small fish are carried along in the wake of the rays. This enables them to save energy when moving around (like in a peloton of cyclists). They also profit from the scraps left over from meals.

By feeding each species according to its needs in terms of frequency and quantity, the different species of fish living in the large tank cohabit harmoniously.

Some animals are already breeding in the giant tank of the Journey on the High Seas exhibition: sardines lay eggs on certain evenings, and mackerel also spawn. Furthermore, blotched fantail rays have already been born in Nausicaá. The list keeps getting longer.

The sharks' menu consists of squid and mackerel, supplemented with vitamins and iodine.

The temperature variation in aquariums marks the rhythm of the seasons and facilitates the breeding cycle of the animals. Appetite and food preferences also vary with temperature.

Never. It is a privileged moment when we can check that the animals are in good health, for example, to gain their trust so that we can approach them to monitor their growth.

→ Check out the feeding sessions in the Nausicaá programme of activities!

We do not have any dolphins at Nausicaá. However, our tanks are home to 58,000 animals, which we invite you to discover. You will be enthralled by them!

→ Check out our animals