How Éric Hussenot, biologist focused on marine mammals, and Jean-Paul Alayse, oceanographer expert in aquariology, managed to develop their aquarium-museum accessible from an early age?
Quite simply by popularizing their knowledge around an idea born in the early 80s, carried out a decade later and which makes Océanopolis a success that is still current in 2018, far exceeding the harbor of Brest.
Massive attendance for 28 years
When some were celebrating music on June 21, 1990, others decided to open Océanopolis, which the people of Brest nicknamed Maison de la mer during the two years of its construction. A name that is a little too simplistic for this place labeled Center of Scientific and Technical Culture, inaugurated with great fanfare by a minister, and which posted half a million visitors during the first year. Océanopolis can boast of being visited around 300,000 times a year. To make the most of the activities with marine mammals, go on sunny days and weekends.
More than an aquarium, a discovery center
Three pavilions (tropical, polar, Brittany) as well as the otter trail alongside 77 aquariums. If it is impossible to name the thousand species and 10,000 marine animals, Océanopolis Besides the recreational aspect, how many visitors knew (before coming there) that between November and February, the seal clinic of the aquarium is home to struggling gray seals every year. Once fed and cared for, the young animals return to the ocean.
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A renewal that feeds the appetite
The year 2000 saw the arrival of two new pavilions presenting polar ecosystems and tropical seabeds. Océanopolis has thus gone from the status of an aquarium to that of a park working for ocean preservation. The spring of 2013, meanwhile, was synonymous with the advent of otters living in the waters of the Old Continent and the Pacific. As for the animations, they also vary over the years. Visiting Océanopolis several years after a first discovery will not have a taste of deja vu. A hotel associated with the aquarium, a stone’s throw from the city center, also allows you to take full advantage of the experience for anyone who wants to combine a visit to the riches of Brest.
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Time slots arranged for all audiences
During the summer period which runs from July 14 to August 24, Océanopolis opens daily from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Still open every day from August 25 to September 9, closing time is at 6 p.m. Outside school periods, from September 11 to October 19 and from November 6 to December 21, the aquarium is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the autumn and winter holidays, in other words from October 20 to November 4 and then from December 22 to January 6, 2019, dive in the places from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
In order to ensure complete maintenance, the next annual closure will be effective from January 7 to February 8, 2019 inclusive.
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Good plans : free conferences and a smart reduced rate
Nourished by this desire to instil respect for the oceans and the aquatic ecosystem, Océanopolis provides free conferences several times a year for adults. The quality program can be found and downloaded from the aquarium’s website. For lovers of the ocean and the aquatic world living far from Brest, these thematic conferences have been visible online since 2009. A good way to get your mouth watering in order to come and discover one of the most beautiful aquariums in France. Benefit from a single online rate of ten euros applicable two hours before the doors close (excluding school holidays in all areas).
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