What better way to spend your vacation than to get an inside look into what lies in the depths of one of Maui’s most prevalent physical resources, the Pacific Ocean. The Maui Ocean Center is the perfect place to experience the beautiful fish and other marine life that reside in the ocean surrounding this Hawaiian island. If you’re looking for a way to view Maui’s sea creatures without having to physically set foot in the water, this aquarium gives you that opportunity. From turtles, stingrays and sharks, to a myriad of tropical reef fish and other marine life, the Maui Ocean Center has anything and everything you could want in an aquarium.
Located in Ma’alaea Harbor, the Maui Ocean Center is a convenient, central and worthwhile place to visit, no matter where you are on the island. If you do not want the distraction of driving and would rather focus on the stunning features of Maui, those in south and west Maui can get a shuttle to and from the aquarium for a small fee.
Founded in 1998 by Coral Word International, this facility houses one of the largest collections of live coral in the nation (c. Maui Ocean Center). With over sixty exhibits to explore, both indoor and outdoor, this aquarium provides a comprehensive view of life beyond the land. These exhibits give you an inside look into how Hawaii’s marine life operates, and the history and evolution of the various species. The naturalists, marine biologists and staff practice humane and safe care and housing for the marine life, all in compliance with the Department of Land and Resources. Tours are self-guided unless booked as private in advance, but naturalists put on daily presentations and events to further educate guests about specific sea creatures and their ecosystems. They promote ocean sustainability, safety and preservation for all marine life to continue to survive and thrive. Various exhibits bring focus to ties between the ocean and the cultural significance of Hawaii and the Hawaiian people. The deep-seated relationship between Hawaiians and the ocean is a beautifully celebrated and coveted bond that is featured in multiple facets of this aquarium, solidifying its importance throughout the islands.
FEATURED – Shark Dive
If you’re feeling like doing something out of the ordinary, Shark Dive Maui gives SCUBA certified guests the opportunity to actually dive into the tank and witness these fish without any separation between them. This allows for an experience in a controlled environment where guests can connect with the marine life and do not have to be in open water to do so. Friends and family can share the experience as guests swim with the sharks from the comfort of the exhibit’s viewing area and tunnel.
DINE – For the Foodies
Visiting the array of exhibits can definitely work up an appetite. Dine onsite at Seascape Ma’alaea Restaurant, a Certificate of Excellence recipient from TripAdvisor, and enjoy the ocean view as well as the delicious locally sourced food & tropical cocktails. A great way to start your Maui Ocean Center experience, a quick break before continuing to tour, or a relaxing way to unwind after a fun-filled day, whatever you choose will be enjoyable. If you want to grab a quick bite that’s on-the-go while you continue to explore, the Reef Café is the place for you. With foods like healthy wraps, sandwiches & salads, just to name a few, this is a quick and satisfying stop to reenergize.
NEW – The More You Book The More You Save!
The Maui Ocean Center now offers a package deal for those who want to go on multiple excursions while on island. HawaiiFunFusion gives guests the ability to book a Journey Pass through the Ocean Center website and then select other activities through partnering companies, such as land, boat, and helicopter tours. With this package, the more activities you book the more you save, so you can do more without breaking the bank.
No matter what activities you choose, visiting the Maui Ocean Center is a fantastic experience for both vacationers and locals alike. It provides a fun and exciting adventure into the world of our Pacific Ocean, while educating and reminding guests to be conscientious and caring with the environment and Hawaiian culture.