Nautilus Live Theater Takes Guests Aboard Ship of Exploration

Beginning today, Sea Research Foundation’s Dr. Robert Ballard and his team of scientists, engineers and educators welcome Mystic Aquarium guests aboard the E/V Nautilus as the crew sets sail for a deep-sea expedition.


Located in Mystic Aquarium’s Challenge of the Deep exhibition – the world’s only public exhibits dedicated to Dr. Ballard’s ocean exploration – the Nautilus Live Theater is a 50-seat, state-of-the-art theater space that delivers live expedition coverage in high definition onto the big screen. Through telepresence and two-way ship-to-shore technology, guests will join Dr. Ballard and his team aboard the Nautilus as they explore the Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean in search of undiscovered natural wonders of the undersea world, as well as lost chapters of human history.


"I enjoy sharing my experiences at sea, and now, with this technology, I don't have to wait to come home and tell people about it,” said Dr. Ballard. “They can come aboard the ship and be there at the moment of discovery. Rather than read about our findings, they can say, 'I was there.'"


Audiences will see footage from Dr. Ballard’s previous expeditions, hear about his greatest discoveries and expedition goals during an interview, get the latest news on shipboard activities and recent findings and see the tools and technologies used to explore oceans. Guests will also have the opportunity to talk with a Nautilus team member and watch images from the ocean floor in real time. A Nautilus team member monitoring the expedition’s progress from shore will host the daily live shows and explain to the audience what they are seeing on the screen.


In addition to Nautilus Live Theater, people worldwide can experience the next generation of deep-sea exploration 24 hours a day at and on Facebook and Twitter. Each of these outlets is designed to give viewers the experience of being aboard the ship, looking over the shoulders of the scientists and crew and listening to their conversations during the four-month-long expedition, enabling participants to learn about and share discoveries in real time and communicate with each other as they watch live ocean exploration and shipboard activities during each leg of the journey. features multiple live video feeds from cameras aboard the Nautilus and her remotely operated vehicles, allowing visitors an intimate look at shipboard or underwater activity. Additional site features include a deep-sea simulation where visitors can take the helm of a Nautilus vehicle; status updates detailing current expedition activities and discoveries; a science event log, which features scientists’ descriptions of what they see on the sea floor; maps showing the ship’s current location; and blog posts from educators and expedition team members.


“Through these channels, Sea Research seeks to expand our understanding of the oceans and inspire the explorers of tomorrow,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation, which operates Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration, Immersion Learning and The JASON Project. “The Nautilus Live Theater, Web site and social media components will forever transform the way in which scientists, students and the public experience deep-sea exploration.”


The Nautilus Live Theater shows occur daily at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Free show tickets are distributed at the information booth at the front of the aquarium on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information on Dr. Ballard’s expedition or to follow it live from your computer, visit


About Mystic Aquarium
Mystic Aquarium is a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, and is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only beluga whales. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. Learn more at or


Published July 28, 2011