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Ocean Institute
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The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental and ocean education and maritime history programs. More than 115,000 K-12 students and 8,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute's 61 award-winning, immersion style programs. To learn about ocean facts, sea creatures, oceanography, science, and California history, students voyage onto the ocean, study in labs and live aboard tall ships or in the chaparral, where they can feel and taste the salty sea spray, sort through live specimens, observe migrating whales on our Dana Point whale watch cruises, collect scientific data and investigate the culture and world around them. On weekends, we open our doors to the public for a sneak peek into how ocean science, history, and literature are used to inspire life-long learners! We welcome you to come explore our world and plan your next visit to the Institute.

30th Annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival

Sept. 6 – 7, 2014
(Sunset Parade Sept. 5)
10am – 5pm
(ship tours conclude at 3:30pm except for the Pilgrim)
Cost: $8/person; $5/members
(sails and cruises
are extra)

An armada of tall ships is coming to celebrate the 30th annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival. This year’s festival highlights California's rich maritime history and welcomes 10 historic tall ships to Dana Point, that will parade down the coast for a Sunset Parade on Friday evening. The festival will be held on the weekend with non-stop activities and events throughout the Ocean Institute’s facility, event grounds and aboard the ships, including mock-cannon battles in the evening.

For complete information and to purchase tickets, visit www.tallshipsfestival.com

Ocean Institute of Dana Point 2014 Tall Ship FestivalFlash FLV Embed by VideoLightBox.com v2.7m

Field Trips at the Ocean Institute

It’s time to let us do the teaching! Whether it’s investigating the digestive system of a mackerel, hiking through a new ecosystem, setting sail on the high seas, traveling through California history or becoming marine biologist onboard a research vessel, the Ocean Institute has a program for YOU!

  • Hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programs Over 60 different programs
  • 1 hour to 3 days in length
  • Specialized programs for the following grades:

2014 Summer Camps

Dive into Summer Fun!

Join us for a summer to remember! Young scientists and buccaneers will love our fun, unique camps, as they are immersed in our educational and exciting programming. Our ACA accredited camps are taught by our amazing team of First Aid Certified instructors with a low student to instructor ratio, so your child is safe, engaged, and having a great time while they are learning from the best!

- Additional information >

- Download the brochure >

humpbackFlash FLV Embed by VideoLightBox.com v2.7m
Humpback whale footage 07/29/14

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Blue Whale Discovery Cruise

As seen in the June issue of Westways magazine!

Come along in the search to find these magnificent creatures in our local waters. Our scientific staff will guide your adventure and offer plenty of information while you enjoy your time on the R/V Sea Explorer - witnessing the largest animal ever to inhabit planet Earth!

Click here to learn more.





Featured Events & Updates

Public Visiting Hours
Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 3:00 PM
Members are FREE

Click here for Fees and More Info

View Full Calendar of Events >

Summer Flyer >


Shark Month
Celebrate Shark month with shark-themed activities during our Weekend Public Program.
More Info >

Wednesdays, Sept. - Oct.
It's Your Money - Free financial workshops
More Info >

Monday, September 1
The Ocean Institute will be closed for Labor Day.

September 4 - 7
R.H. Dana Charity Regatta
More Info >

Friday, September 5
Toshiba Tall Ships Festival Sunset Parade
More Info >

September 6 - 7
Toshiba Tall Ships Festival
More Info >

Saturday, September 13
Teacher Days – Grades K though 3
More Info >

Thursday, September 18
Laguna Beach Gold Coast Raffle – Bonus Drawing Deadline
More Info >

Saturday, September 20
California Coastal Cleanup Day
More Info >

Saturday, September 27
Teacher Days – Grades 4 through 5
More Info >

Sunday, September 28
Island FantaSea Luau
Fundraiser presented by The Sand Dollar Guild
More Info >


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