NYC Guide

Everything about New York’s New Attraction – National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

I always write here about how New York is reinventing itself every day. That is why it is not a city to be visited only once – but several times. Since I came to live here, a lot has changed, many shops and restaurants have closed and others have opened. And the tourism landscape has also changed, with new attractions. One of the new for this year is National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey, which officially opens its doors to the public today. On Wednesday, I was there at the opening ceremony for the press and I was able to check everything out first hand to tell you.

First of all, I think it is nice to present the concept. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports audiences on a breathtaking undersea journey from the South Pacific across the ocean to the west coast of North America. The project has engaged a world-class global team of Academy, GRAMMY®, and Emmy® Award-winning artists, including the design firm Falcon’s Creative Group and the visual effects team behind “Game of Thrones”. Through ground-breaking technology, audiences go on a digital “underwater” dive and come face-to-face with life-size photo-real versions of some of the largest and most interesting creatures of the sea. Additionally, GRAMMY® Award-winning composer David Kahne has collected hundreds of underwater sounds from libraries all over the world to create a state-of-the-art sound experience featuring a majestic ocean soundscape which graces the space across 230 loudspeakers and 180 independent sound channels. National Geographic Encounter is not a museum, exhibit, movie, 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 walk through to share stunning ocean encounters with friends and family.

Now, let’s go to the experience itself. The whole tour lasts about 45 minutes and each room provides a different experience. The best ones are the 3D movie that makes you feel undersea – with gigantic whales going right over you – and the kelp forest labyrinth. Because of the mirrored walls, it is difficult to figure out which direction to go. Another highlight is the area with interactive screens where animals respond to your movements. There are other experiences, like a room where everything is dark and you listen to the sounds of animals. At the end of the experience, there is a compilation of videos and texts as well as interactive computers where you can learn more about the ocean and wildlife. Although I found the initiative very cool, the place did not convince me.

That said, let’s go to the final considerations:

  • Adult tickets are $39.50 and, children’s tickets are $32.50. A portion of the proceeds from your ticket purchase supports the National Geographic Society’s nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.  Children up to two years old don’t pay. You can buy tickets online.
  • The experiences also have some audios, all in English.
  • The organization announced that it will invest in headphones with translation, however, there is no stipulated date.
  • In particular, I do not think National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is worth the ticket price. It’s a high price for an attraction that, in my opinion, is not a must-see. I believe that children will enjoy themselves quite well as those who study or work in related areas.

Address: 226 W 44th St. Open daily at 10:00am – Sunday–Thursday until 10:30pm – Friday & Saturday until 12 midnight.

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