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“Small but great!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center
192 Ma'alaea Rd, Hwy 30, Ma'alaea Harbor, Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793
808-270-7000
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$27*
and up
Ranked #1 of 10 Attractions in Wailuku
Activities: Fishing
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Owner description: Maui Ocean Center, Top-Rated Attraction in Hawai'i*, provides an up close view of Hawaiian Marine Life without getting wet! Maui Ocean Center, the Hawaiian Aquarium, is a great activity during any vacation to Maui, whether a family vacation, a romantic honeymoon, a relaxing retreat or an adventurous tour. Maui Ocean Center complements many of Maui's most popular activities, including snorkel trips and whale watches. About Maui Ocean Center Coral World International opened Maui Ocean Center, the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere, in 1998. Since then, Maui Ocean Center has drawn thousands of visitors of all ages from around the globe to discover Hawaii's undersea world in a captivating and educational setting. Aptly termed "The Hawaiian Aquarium", this 3-acre marine park faithfully replicates the natural ocean ecosystem, where visitors encounter only animals that occur in Hawaii; many of which are found nowhere else in the world! Featuring the largest collection of live corals in the nation, and over 60 exhibits, including interpretive displays, outdoor touch pools and a 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit with 240-degree view acrylic tunnel, the marine park is designed to help visitors develop an understanding and appreciation of Hawaii's marine environment. Our Mission With the mission to foster an understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii's marine life, all animals at Maui Ocean Center are meticulously collected and cared for by an expert team of marine biologists, divers and aquarists. Collection is conducted under strict permits with the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources and under the guidance of Hawaiian cultural adviser, Kahu (caretaker) Dane Maxwell. Maui Ocean Center is respectfully in compliance with a County of Maui ordinance prohibiting the exhibit of cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Discover these fascinating mammals, along with monk seals through interpretive displays in the Marine Mammal Discovery Center. Hawaiian Cultural Heritage Dedicated to perpetuating and sharing the island's host culture, Maui Ocean Center maintains a close relationship with Hawaiian practitioners in the community. With the guidance of Kahu Dane Maxwell, the Aquarium integrates Hawaiian culture in presentations, exhibits, special events, and also in the marine park's standard of operations and service. Kahu Dane Maxwell presides over blessings of important functions and facilities, as well as blessings of marine animals such as the honu (Hawaiian green sea turtle) or mano (shark). The "Hawaiians and the Sea" exhibit remains one of the highlights of the facility. Various cultural advisers and members of the community have contributed to the exhibit so that visitors may better understand the intimate relationship between the Hawaiian people and the sea. The collective result is a unique learning experience and a delightful immersion into Hawaii's rich cultural history. Coral World International Coral World International (link to Coral World Int'l page) was founded in the mid 1970's by entrepreneur and ocean enthusiast Benjamin Kahn and world renowned reef biologist David Fridman. Coral World's tropical displays are recognized as the most beautiful in the world. The company specializes in creating ecologically friendly tropical life systems in symbiotic environments. These systems are planned with an eye to accuracy and detail, and are carefully designed to ensure the perfect combination of fascination, aesthetics, conservation and education. The Coral World International group currently owns three other aquariums around the world: The Underwater Observatory - Eilat, Israel Palma Aquarium - Palma de Mallorca, Spain AQWA - Perth, Australia. In 2008, Benjamin Kahn, President of Coral World International was awarded the "Hero of the Environment" in recognition of his environmental efforts by Time Magazine.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
La Habra, California, United States
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Small but great!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

Even though this place is small, it is AWESOME. One of my favorite aquariums! The shark and manta ray tank is huge! I love it here! Worth the price and a good two hour trip!

Visited August 2013
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12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Better than expected!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

Yes, it is small and there is a bunch of stuff you will skip past, especially if you have been to a bigger aquarium in a large city but we are a family of 4 with two teenagers 15 and 17 and we spent 2.5 hours there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went near the end of the trip after numerous snorkelling trips so it was cool to identify what we had seen in the ocean through the fish in the tanks and the info provided. We found the staff very helpful.

Bit pricey at $25 a head for couple hours of entertainment but if it is something you enjoy, I suspect you will have a smile on your face and feel like it was worth it...we certainly did.

Visited August 2013
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Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Fun couple of hours”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

A little expensive, but the exhibits are well done and the variety of fish on display is impressive. Go early and beat the crowds, especially if you are a photographer...the glass enclosures are still clean and you can take lots of great fish and shark photos;

Visited August 2013
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Educational”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Our family went to see the Maui Ocean Center for the afternoon since it very windy during this time due to the trade winds. It was small but had good exhibits and was very informative. We got lucky during our visit to the center they had a Q&A at the shark tank. One of the marine staff was scuba diving in the shark tank and talking with the audience. Once she was done her presentation we got to see them feed the sharks. It was COOL ! It was clean and they take pride in their facility.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Really good, staff were excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013 via mobile

I live in a city with a large, world renowned aquarium so my expectations of the Maui Ocean Center weren't high. I was pleasantly surprised. The exhibits contained a fair bit of information making the handheld audio guides helpful, but not necessary. What impressed me the most were the naturalists who provided information at some of the exhibits. They were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. We visited the center twice in the same day (we had time to fill around 4:30 before dinner). Our second visit of the day was far more enjoyable than the first. We went early in the day (10am) and found the center quite busy. At 4:30, however, we had the place to ourselves and were able to see far more than we were in the morning. Had we gone only at 4:30 and not in the morning, I would have been quite satisfied and felt that 90 minutes was adequate. I think it's recommended that you spend 2 hours or so to see it all, but I think that takes into consideration the crowd factor. If you go later in the day when the crowds are minimal, it won't take as much time and you'll be able to see more.

Visited August 2013
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