Ocean Institute, founded in 1977, is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit
organization that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime
History and Outdoor Education programs. Our mission is using the
ocean as our classroom, we inspire children to learn. We are
committed to the four strategic areas of focus education,
conservation, research and operational excellence.
As the cornerstone of our mission, education brings discovery and
learning to each student. Our immersive- based field trips foster
STEAM exploration, promote critical thinking, drive life-changing
learning opportunities and abide with Next Generation Science
Standards (NGSS) for educational programming.
Our public programming offers an immersive experience for the
entire family through interactive tours of our living collection
of animals, aboard the Pilgrim, our dockside Maddie
James Seaside Learning Center and our Sahm Marine Education
Center focused on sharks opening in 2020. Our programming
includes science, history and art and are accessible and
available to all throughout the summer, general admission on
Saturdays and Sundays year-round and guided tours during the
Explore below the ocean’s surface with sails and whale watching
cruises offered on weekends for the public. Sails are available
aboard the schooner Spirit of Dana Point and give guests
the opportunity to experience California from the perspective of
an early tall ship explorer. Cruise the ocean for sightings of
whales, dolphins and all kinds of marine life with our marine
educators on our whale watching cruises on the Research
Vessel Sea Explorer. Sails and cruises can also be booked
for private charters and special events.
Our facilities are also available to rent for private events,
such as conferences, waterfront weddings, corporate retreats,
meetings and can accommodate 15-300 people. Sky-high ceilings and
dazzling waterfront views, our venues are Ocean Institute’s
most memorable spaces for any type of event.
Ocean Institute continues to strive to spark curiosity, inspire
students and the public to always commit to learning and
conservation for future generations. Come visit us today!