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“Great Viewing of Local Marine Life” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maui Ocean Center

Maui Ocean Center
192 Ma'alaea Rd, Hwy 30, Ma'alaea Harbor, Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793
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Ranked #1 of 35 things to do 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
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great Viewing of Local Marine Life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

We visited in July 2010. It is a smaller aquarium but we enjoyed ourselves for a couple of hours. It was nice to see and read about the local marine life Before we went snorkeling, so that we could identify what we saw! We had young children, teenagers and adults - all who enjoyed it here. There were also a lot of different fish that we hadn't seen in any other aquarium. There is also a story time for younger children, and there a staff memeber answering questions in the aquarium and talking about the different fish! It's definately worth a look (between $18-25).

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“This exhibit was a huge let down. I love...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

This exhibit was a huge let down. I love going to museums of all kinds especially aquariums! This however was way over priced for the small exhibit. I am glad to hear others had a good time but for me there was not much to see and I would have rather spent that money on a snorkeling trip and seen those creatures in the wild. If you have children it might be more worth it, but if not I highly recommend spending your time enjoying the island and ocean!

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Pleasanton, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Viewing wonderful marine life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2010

My family and I had a great experience. We liked all the marine life that was on display. The kids loved the feeding time and the talk with the diver in the tank. One of their staff came and patiently explained some of the marine life to us personally. All staff members were friendly and helpful. We also loved the food at the cafeteria. Overall we enjoyed the day we spent at the Maui Ocean Center.

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Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Go snorkeling instead...really!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

With the admission price at approximately $25 per adult, you would be spending your money more wisely at going snorkeling that going here. I love aquariums and visit many of them and this one falls short. One part of the tour, the mammal section, is just exhibits, no real mammals. The turtle exhibit is weak. The touch pool is also. If you have visited the Atlantis, their exhibits are much better. At one point in the tour they had local vendors selling "stuff". I thought that was tacky. Just my opinion.

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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Well worth visiting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

Based on some of the earlier less enthusiastic reviews we allowed ourselves a couple of hours to visit this aquarium late afternoon. However, we really needed much longer. This is a wonderful place to visit and even our two teenagers (not easily pleased) were captivated by the different sets of sea creatures. Each section has easy to digest information and plenty of space to observe - including magnifying glasses. The shark 'tunnel' is great but there is so much more. Even the gift shop is excellent! Don't miss it.

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