Experiences / New York City

Under the Sea of Times Square: National Geographic Encounter


Under the Sea of Times Square craziness, comes a first-of-its-kind immersive entertainment experience that is something that must be seen to be believed. Welcome to National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. National Geographic Encounter is not a museum, exhibit, aquarium or virtual reality; instead, the producers consulted with dozens of technologists and scientists to create a new kind of immersive experience that guests can physically walk through to share stunning ocean encounters with friends and family.

Under the Sea of Times Square: National Geographic EncounterMaking friends at National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey harnesses ground-breaking technology to transport guests on an incredible underwater journey through the Pacific Ocean. Utilizing National Geographic’s 3 core facets – science, exploration and storytelling – visitors walk through the experience with friends and family, in a path that journeys across bodies of water to interact with and encounter the ocean’s greatest wonders and mightiest creatures.

Meeting Sting Rays at National Geographic Encounter Ocean OdysseyIn a stingray ocean odyssey. Below: An incredible journey into the ocean with amazing technology. Below: The sea life swims directly next to  guests, and underneath your feet.

The National Geographic Experience takes guests through multiple rooms, all of which are quite different and unique from the others. Each of the rooms is timed, and once the experience has finished, the doors open to the next  installation. Helpful staff are stationed in each room, and are on hand to help guide you through. During the experience, you’ll become lost in a sea of kelp, meet friendly (and adorable) sea lions, come face-to-face with humpback whales, be in shark infested waters, and meet animals you’ve never dreamed of…in ways you’ve never seen.

Under the Sea at National Geographic Encounter Ocean OdysseyAbove: Standing within bioluminescence in the underwater adventure Below: The  floor moves and illuminates as you wall across it

National Geographic Encounter: Science and Technology 

Blockbuster new technology – some of it never before seen and developed especially for National Geographic – was used in its creation of the 60,000 square-foot experience. The new science includes the use of innovative technologies such as video mapping, 8K photo real animation, mega projection screens, and immersive sound and interactive “real-time” audience tracking that allow guests to virtually interact with incredible sea friends,  all without getting wet!


 Saying hi to friendly sea lions at National Geographic Encounter Ocean OdysseyAbove: Interactive Sea lion Friends. Below: Kelp maze and close encounter with a Sea lion.

Interactive Experiences and Exploration

The use of groundbreaking digital technology allows for an entertainment experience that enables visitors to explore the depths of the Pacific Ocean and to play with sea lions, come face-to-face with squids and whales, interact with sting rays and dolphins, which ends in a 3-D 40-foot domed experience that is something that absolutely must be witnessed. The exploration doesn’t only include technology. One of the experiences is a mirrored kelp maze,  that challenges you to physically find your way to the exit.

A 3-D Shark Attack at National Geographic Encounter Ocean OdysseyThe finale: Shark Attack in the 3-D Room . Below: Engulfed in a school of 120,000 fish

Learning about Ocean friends at National Geographic Encounter Ocean OdysseyAbove water learning with touch screen technology

 National Geographic: Conservation 

After, guests go on their journey through the Pacific, and then “resurface” from under the ocean and enter the second portion of the experience. Here, they can further engage, share, and have fun as they learn more about conservation efforts that help save the ocean and the sea life we just experienced. This area features a broad array of interactive technology, including holograms, touch-screens, photo moments and more, and also highlights important themes around ocean conservation and scientific research, so visitors can leave empowered.

National Geographic Encounter Ocean Odyssey opens in Times Square

 Know Before You Go

  • National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is fully accessible, and stroller friendly
  • The recommended age for the experience is 3 years and older. Children two and under do not need a ticket to enter.
  • Coat/Bag check is available on the basement level.
  • Stay close to little ones in the Kelp Maze! This mirrored experience is one that cant be missed, but getting lost is almost a pre-requisite.
  • There are step stools for small children to use during the interactive experience areas.
  • There is an innovative retail gift store for shopping needs after the experience.
  • Want to see a room-by-room experience? Read our article detailing this on Mommy Nearest HERE.

Hours, Admission, and Location

  • National Geographic Encounter. 226 West 44th Street, between 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue.
  • Hours: Open daily at 10:00am. Sunday–Thursday until 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday until 12 midnight
    (Last ticket sold one hour prior to closing)
  • Tickets are booked for a specific time slot.
  • Ticket prices are $39.50 plus tax for adults, $36.50 plus tax for seniors 65+ and $32.50 plus tax for kids ages 6 to 12. Groups of 10 or more will receive 15% off. Special educator rates will be available for local area school groups during select times.
  • A portion of the proceeds from the ticket purchase supports the National Geographic Society’s nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.

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