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Reimagine Nauticus News & Updates

Stay updated on exhibit closures/openings, construction timelines and project updates.

From time to time, exhibit areas and/or floors of the museum will be closed to allow for visitor safety during our construction phases. Explore details below:

May 20, 2024

Design. Build. Sail. is sailing right along! Construction is complete in this upcoming exhibition space and we are now awaiting installation of the new exhibits. Save the date for opening weekend on September 21st!

March 1, 2024

Select exhibits inside Nauticus to include Norfolk In Time, Aquaticus, Our Neighborhood Aquarium, Stewards of the Sea + daily films, programs have reopened to visitors! Plan your visit today!

Please note, renovations will continue and visitors will access current exhibits / programs through temporary walk-ways. Thank you so much for your patience during this time!

February 20, 2024

Nauticus’ Board of Directors take a hard hat tour of current renovations during their February board meeting. The space pictured will soon be the new home to Design. Build. Sail.

January 2, 2024

Renovations begin! Pictured is scaffolding setup in Nauticus’ lobby. By late Summer 2024, the newly redesigned visitor entrance space / lobby will welcome visitors.

Please note, January 2 – Feb. 29, Nauticus visitors may only access the Battleship Wisconsin as all exhibit areas are closed. Admission has been discounted to $12 per person during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

December 2023

We’re excited to announce, thanks to the generous support of The Perry Family Foundation, Nauticus has received a matching gift challenge of $250,000 to support the Capital Campaign. All gifts made now – through December 31, 2024 will be DOUBLED!

Click here to support the Reimagine Nauticus Campaign.

August – December 2023

Construction on three new gallery spaces, Design. Build. Sail, Our Port, and the Heart of the Navy has begun.

Please note, only a portion of our exhibit galleries to include Norfolk In Time, Aquaticus, Stewards of the Sea and Our Neighborhood Aquarium will be open to visitors through Fall/Winter 2024.

Learn more about each new exhibit gallery opening in 2024 here.

June 2023

Aquaticus – Now Open!

Nauticus will open its first-ever themed environment for early learners on Father’s Day weekend on June 17.  The 2,800-square-foot gallery space, entitled Aquaticus, takes children on a whimsical journey under the sea.  Guests will spin a ship’s wheel to activate a “submerged” disco ball as thousands of beautiful silver bubbles rise towards the surface.  Young visitors will explore a fanciful ship floating high above their heads and walk through a seagrass forest after discovering an underwater cave. 

Nauticus Neighborhood Aquarium – Now Open!

In addition, Nauticus’ adjoining aquarium will feature all new fish, new tanks, and educational content.  Entitled Our Nautical Neighbors, the newly-designed aquarium showcases local fish species found in the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay.

May 2023

Nauticus Board of Directors were given a sneak peek into the installment of Aquaticus, the second exhibit to open a part of Phase 1.

Norfolk in Time – NOW OPEN!

Nearly $2 million in specially designed interactive exhibits populate the exhibit space of Norfolk In Time. Visitors will ascend high overtop Norfolk in a hot air balloon simulation, design a more resilient city with innovative architecture, and crash waves into various types of city protection systems.

On May 4, Nauticus celebrated the opening of Norfolk In Time with a ribbon cutting celebration with gallery naming donors.

Pictured L-R: Paul Fraim (Board Chairman), Nell King, Billy King, Betsy Goode, Franny Beasley, Joan Brock, John Reinhart (Board Vice-chairman).

Media link:

April 2023

Sentara $500,000 Check

On April 18, Sentara Healthcare representatives presented Nauticus with a $500,000 grant to support a new STEM Discovery Lab. The education-focused lab will be used for daily programming, educational demonstrations, visitor engagement opportunities, and school field trips for thousands of students each year.

Roto continues with installation of exhibits within Norfolk In Time. This gallery will feature over 10 highly interactive exhibits focused on telling the stories of history, culture, science, technology and industry to showcase Norfolk’s unique resiliency in the face of continual challenge and change. 

Construction walls will remain up for the next few weeks until the gallery is complete. Members will be the first to know when the gallery will open to the public. Stay tuned for more details!

March 2023

Nauticus’ Exhibit Design Firm, Roto, is onsite to begin art installation within the Phase 1 galleries, Norfolk In Time & Aquaticus.

Portions of the third floor will remain closed through Summer 2023. Nauticus members will be the first to experience these new spaces before they open to the general public. Join today to be among the first!

February 2023

In the News…

The Reimagine Nauticus Campaign was announced in the media. Click links below to view:

January 2023

Construction work by W.M. Jordan, Co. continues through February 2023. Several areas of Nauticus exhibit galleries on the third floor will be closed to the public.

Nauticus hosted a campaign kick-off celebration with donors and stakeholders on January 26, 2023 to officially announce the Reimagine Nauticus Campaign.

At the event, Nauticus leadership announced that they have raised 80% of their $21.5 Million project goal.

November 2022

Construction work began in with W.M. Jordan, Co. The two galleries under construction for Phase 1 include Norfolk in Time & Aquaticus.

Phase 1 is set to be completed by Summer 2023.

January 2020

Led by the Nauticus Foundation Board of Directors and Nauticus staff, fundraising began for the $21.5 million Capital Campaign.

Nauticus contracted global exhibit design firm, ROTO, to help reimagine Nauticus exhibits.