National Geographic has brought the Pacific Ocean to New York City, with the launch the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey a few weeks ago.
The ‘Encounter’ is a first-in-kind immersive entertainment experience that transports visitors on a digital undersea journey from the South Pacific across the ocean to the west coast of North America.
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, including 7metre long sharks, a 16m humpback whale, life-size battling Humboldt squids and more.
Ocean Odyssey also includes contributions from National Geographic Explorer and marine biologist David Gruber, who specialises in bioluminescent and bio fluorescent marine animals. (David Gruber does a lot of his research in the Solomon Islands, where he recently discovered bio fluorescent turtles.)
Once guests “resurface”, they can learn about their experience, have the opportunity to take an individual pledge to make a difference in ocean conservation, and share it with their social communities and on a live social feed.
In addition, Nat Geo Encounter helps to support the National Geographic Society’s critical works around the globe, including the Pristine Seas Project. By returning a portion of its proceeds to the non-profit work of the Society, National Geographic Partners contributes to the Society’s critical work of exploring, understanding and protecting our ocean through scientific grants and programs.
Alec Baldwin was MC at the grand opening, with the installation clearly transforming the actor into an ocean advocate – and according to media coverage and TripAdvisor reviews so far – he’s not alone.