Fundraising events are held year round to help support a number of causes. Come and join the fun!


Dr. Chris Lowe
Distinguished Speaker
May 24 6:00 pm

Join the Ocean Institute in the Samueli Conference Center for The Nicholas Endowment Distinguished Speaker Series with Dr. Chris Lowe. 


Special Hours for Special Needs
Enjoy early admission for diverse learners

Ocean Institute will be opening an hour early for special needs visitors and their families or aides. All regular labs and activities will be open in addition to a special sensory activity. Come make Sea Star Squish Bags and learn all about intertidal animals.

It’s sure to be an enjoyable time for all!


Whale Watching Cruise
An ecosystem excursion for all ages

Join the Ocean Institute’s marine educators in exploring the ocean from top to bottom, while searching for some of the world’s largest and smallest creatures during our 2.5-hour long whale watching program.


Headlands Sunset Cruise

Cruise the Dana Point Headlands with our expert crew during this 1.5 hour expedition. As the sun slips behind the distant horizon in a “green flash,” search for marine mammals, and spend a tranquil evening with your family.


$30.00 Adults (14 and up) 
$15.00 Children 4-14 
Toddlers 3 and under are free
*Members receive 10% off when you enter your member ID at checkout. 




Bioluminescence Night Cruise

There’s a luminous underwater world just waiting to shine! Learn about the remarkable ability of some marine animals to glow in the dark and witness this curiously beautiful phenomenon.*


Father’s Day Adventure at Sea
Treat Dad to a day at Sea

Sign aboard for an exciting voyage on a real tallship! First, you and dad will enjoy breakfast burritos, fresh fruit, and a beer (for dad) and juice on our Historic Maritime Wharf. Once we set sail on the Spirit of Dana Point, you and dad can join the crew in handling lines and raising sails. You may help steer the ship, or just sit back and enjoy being out on the open ocean. This thrilling sail will create memories you’ll never forget!



Making Waves

Ocean Institute programs have succeeded brilliantly in the most important mission: reaching and actively engaging the imagination of American youth.
- Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education