FROM NAUTICAL MUSEUM TO EXPLOROCEAN
Inspiring a New Wave of Ocean Exploration and Discovery!
What began over 25 years ago with ideas from a few dedicated individuals seeking to honor the maritime heritage of Newport Beach, has grown to a vision and mission to become a world-class educational and cultural destination called ExplorOcean.
We first opened our doors in 1986 in a tiny building in Newport Beach. A decade later in 1995 we moved to the 190’ Pride of Newport ship. There we would operate until our ten year lease expired.
In 2005, a new 34,000 sq. ft. property was purchased on the bustling waterfront in the Balboa Village. Our new location, with millions of annual tourists attracted to nearby local beaches, would later inspire an expanded vision and mission for the organization.
In 2012, AECOM, a Global S&P 500 consulting company, was hired and reported ExplorOcean will have wide public appeal and presents a strong business model at our new site. The Capital campaign was launched.
Newport Beach has also embarked upon several major citywide revitalizations-most notably the sparkling new $131M, sixteen acre Civic Center in Fashion Island.
With the blessing of City Hall, ExplorOcean will be the catalyst for revitalization, creating a wonderful new cultural destination and ocean literacy center.
We invite you to join us as we expand our horizons, Inspiring a New Wave of Ocean Exploration and Discover!
1985/1986: Newport Harbor Nautical Museum founded
1995/1999: Museum moves aboard 190-foot ship Pride of Newport
-Education programming serves 5,000 people
2003: Lease expires and search for a new larger facility begins
2005/2006: Organization buys 34,000 sq. ft. waterfront property
-Moves to 600 East Bay Avenue in Balboa Village
2007/2010: The Steele Model Pavilion opens
-The Sea of Adventure Exhibition opens
-Mission of organization reviewed due to millions of tourists
-Planning begins for a new facility on current site
2011/2012: Favorable Market and Financial Analysis prepared by AECOM
-Architect and Creative Design Teams hired
-Annual visitation rised to over 40,000
-ExplorOcean brand name is chosen to expand mission
-Capital campaign launched