Wilhelmshaven is the biggest naval base and only deep water harbour in Germany. The focus of tourism, a relatively recent development, in the town is Wilhelmshaven's South Beach, which also happens to be the only South facing beach on the German North Sea coast. Museum institutions such as the sea water aquarium, the Wattenmeerhaus national park centre, the German maritime museum, the Oceanis theme park and the whale.worlds permanent exhibition in the Coastal Museum are popular attractions along South Beach. The neighbouring great harbour with the Weser fire ship Norderney and the old buoy tender "Kapitän Meyer" museum ships as well as the attractive development all around the harbour area are further attractions for visitors.
The town has become the shopping centre for the whole region. Since its completion, the Nordseepassage, with over 60 specialist shops and cafés, has been attracting streams of visitors from the whole of North-West Germany. The proximity to the sea offers the opportunity to enjoy a perfect combination of shopping and leisure.
Dim, mysterious and still relatively unexplored - the depths of the sea. Mankind prefers to look heavenwards to the stars, press on into the infinite depths of space while just scratching at the surface of 70 per cent of the earth's surface - the seas.
But this is increasingly changing. Man is beginning to explore and understand an exciting universe right outside its front door, because, after all, all life originated in the oceans.
There is where Germany's only underwater research station "Oceanis” comes in. Since the EXPO by the SEA in 2000, it has been situated - albeit virtually - 100 metres below the surface of the sea, right on the harbour at Wilhelmshaven. The journey into the deeps begins with a lift. The ocean waves crash over your head, whilst the cabin whooshes down into the depths. The doors open. You're at the entry tunnel. The cold and fluorescent light greets the "Aquanauts”. Portholes give out on the view "outside". An educational and interactive infotainment show is waiting to be discovered.