Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
In Greenwich
Date and Times Saturday 8 June 2024 | 10am-4pm
Prices Free

Dive in and explore the wonders of our blue planet this World Oceans Day with Royal Museums Greenwich.

This year, we’re teaming up with Royal Parks for a special day of festivities in Greenwich Park. 

Join our activity trail across the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory and discover how the ocean shapes all of us. Whether you want to meet scientists and ocean experts, take part in workshops or enjoy live music, we’ve got plenty to float your boat. 

The National Maritime Museum is home to hundreds of years of seafaring history, from the vast Pacific to the icy Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. But our relationship to the sea is changing. World Oceans Day is your chance to dive into the past, present and future of our blue planet.

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Follow the World Oceans Day trail

Take part in a self-guided trail around Royal Museums Greenwich sites and Greenwich Park and learn how the ocean makes Earth habitable.

Along the way, you’ll meet scientists and ocean experts, take part in creative workshops and have the chance to win special prizes, including a 12-month family membership to Royal Museums Greenwich, tickets to planetarium and astronomy shows at the Royal Observatory and merchandise. Don't forget to look out for Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, as you embark on your adventure. 

Pick up a map to follow the trail, and see if you can collect stamps from every stand! Each of the stations are inspired by the seven principles of ocean literacy – a framework that highlights the importance of the ocean to life on Earth.

Trail includes:

Plymouth Marine Laboratory Learn how tiny organisms such as plankton play a big role in ocean health. 

Thames Estuary Partnership Say hello to the team that look after one of the UK’s most significant rivers. 

Creekside Discovery Centre Get up close to live critters from Deptford Creek and find out how you can support local wildlife. 

Ocean Generation Discover how the ocean influences our weather, see ocean currents in action and learn all about pollution through demonstrations and challenges.

A person stands in front of a stand in a park with an Oceans Generation banner
Image courtesy of Ocean Generation

Royal Observatory Why is water so important for life? How do we use satellites to study the health of the oceans from space? Head to the entrance of the Royal Observatory and put your burning questions to our astronomers. You’ll also get the chance to meet the team from Our World From Space – a two-year national STEM programme exploring the relevance of UK space science for the future health and sustainability of our home planet.

Manta Trust Experience the wonder of swimming with manta rays using virtual reality. 

Surfers Against Sewage Forget flash mobs, take part in ‘Trash Mobs’ at Greenwich Park's Boating Pond and discover how you can take a stand against plastic pollution. 

British Antarctic Survey Head to our pop-up polar base camp at the Greenwich Park Bandstand and get the lowdown on everything from engineering and science to wildlife and working in Antarctica.

Find more World Oceans Day activities

From performances to workshops, here’s a taster of what to expect at our World Oceans Day celebrations. Events are drop in and suitable for all ages and abilities.


Musical performances: Get into the festival spirit and head to the Greenwich Park Bandstand for live music from Metronomes Steel Orchestra.

Ocean talks: Listen to talks about our watery world at the National Maritime Museum. Over at Cutty Sark, enjoy talks about ship machinery, winds and currents included with your admission price, plus learn about the famous tea clipper's routes. Talks at Cutty Sark take place at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. 

Curator tours: Join our contemporary maritime curators for a free guided tour of our exhibition Women of the RNLI at the National Maritime Museum. 2024 marks 200 years of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. In this anniversary year, our show shines a spotlight on the various roles that women have – and always have had – in this vital charity. Guided tours take place at 12pm and 2pm. To book, head to the Information Desk at the National Maritime Museum. Please be aware these tours have limited capacity.


Art installations and workshops: Don't miss artist Felicity Jones’ installation No Time To Waste (pictured). The piece highlights the impact of plastic pollution and will be located in Greenwich Park. Plus, join in creative activities with Extinction Rebellion Families.

Face painting: Get made up for roaming the land and sea at our face art station run by artist Anna Kompaniets and her team. Located by Nelson's Ship in a Bottle at the National Maritime Museum, the team will be wearing costumes made from recycled materials and foliage foraged locally with biodegradable glitter, pressed botanicals and magical face painting. Suggested donation: £5.

Environmentally friendly travel: Bring your bicycle along to mechanic Dr Bike who will be offering free maintenance between 11am-3pm.

Plan your visit

Event timings

World Oceans Day activities are taking place across the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory between 10am-4pm.

Events are drop in and suitable for all ages and abilities.

Sustainable travel

Greenwich is a quick, easy journey from central London.

The nearest National Rail stations are Greenwich and Maze Hill. Direct trains run to these stations from London Cannon Street, London Bridge and Blackfriars.

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) stops at Cutty Sark station, just a few minutes' walk from the National Maritime Museum. The DLR connects with other Underground lines at Bank, Tower Gateway and Stratford.

There are also plenty of buses, walking and cycling routes serving Greenwich. If you bring your bike along, you can take advantage of free maintenance checks with Dr Bike.

For more travel advice, see our getting here guide.

Find your way around

Pick up a map on the day or download the PDF below to find out where the activities are taking place. 

Are the activities free to attend?

Almost all World Oceans Day activities are free to attend, including the trail and musical performances.

Please be aware that ocean talks on board Cutty Sark will be available as part of admission to the ship - book tickets here.

Special offers

Don't forget to bring a cup with you this World Oceans Day: tea or coffee will be just £1 at our Museum cafés for anyone with a reusable cup. Tasty ocean-themed treats will be available too, from ocean cupcakes to starfish cookies.

The Parkside Café is a bright and airy space at the National Maritime Museum with expansive views of Greenwich Royal Park. There is plenty of seating, both indoor and outdoor. Grab a hot or cold drink, and a selection of sandwiches and cakes – perfect for a picnic in the park.

The Astronomy Café and Terrace is located in the Astronomy Centre at the Royal Observatory. With indoor and outdoor seating available, the café is a relaxed place to enjoy light lunches, cakes and hot and cold drinks. On sunny days, head to the terrace for views of the park.

The Cutty Sark Café is located on the lower ground deck of the ship underneath the gleaming copper hull. We serve deli combination sandwiches with classic British ingredients, cakes made fresh for you daily, cream teas, assorted snacks and children’s dishes, with many healthy options.

Find out more

Keep up to date

Sign up to our newsletter to find out more about World Oceans Day and more events at the National Maritime Museum.

What is World Oceans Day?

World Oceans Day takes place on 8 June every year as a celebration of the ocean and our continuing reliance on it.

Over 70 per cent of our blue planet is covered in water, and more than half of all the oxygen we breathe comes from ocean plants. We rely on the ocean for food security, transportation, coastal defences and much more.

This year, our World Oceans Day activities are inspired by UNESCO's seven principles of ocean literacy.

Ocean literacy is about understanding the impact the ocean has on our lives and wellbeing, and the effect we have on the ocean. We want to share how important the ocean is to help create a positive change. 

The principles focus on seven key areas:

  1. Earth has one ocean with many features
  2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth
  3. The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate
  4. The ocean makes Earth habitable
  5. The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems
  6. The ocean and humans are inextricably linked
  7. The ocean is largely unexplored.

For more ocean inspiration, why not check out our host of activities, resources and features available online?

Our partners

Our World in Space is funded by UK Space Agency in partnership with Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), part of UK Research and Innovation.