As part of Holland America Line’s exclusive partnership with BBC Earth, a selection of feature cruises are offered throughout the year that bring BBC Earth experts onboard to share their knowledge, expertise and adventures. These cruises allow guests to take a peek into what happens behind the scenes of BBC Earth’s groundbreaking documentaries by sailing with producers, cameramen and presenters. These experts host master classes and question-and-answer sessions in their field so guests can learn directly from the show’s creators.
On July 8, 2017, Maasdam will welcome BBC presenter Michaela Strachan, filmmaker James Brickell and digital specialist Simon Baxter. Over the course of this seven-day Canada and New England cruise, these experts will share their passion and stories with our lucky guests. Read on for a deeper look into these BBC Earth talents.
James Brickell’s passion for wildlife has led him to direct some of the BBC’s most highly regarded natural history shows such as, Big Cat Diary, Life in Cold Blood, Life in the Air and the enormously successful Deadly 60. Using his knowledge and keen eye, he has captured original and interesting footage of wildlife in it’s natural environment such as never before seen wild rattlesnakes on a hunt, and snakes in the Far East jumping across a mudflat, a previously unknown behavior to the scientific world. While James does have a history of working in close proximity to polar bears, lions, cheetahs, crocodiles and other dangerous wildlife, he has managed to remain largely unharmed, with the exception of a small piranha bite.
Despite his many accolades and awards, James has remained genuinely warm and humble, making him a favorite among those who consider themselves lucky to work with him. His experiences have left him with a collection of interesting and exciting stories, including some with the great Sir David Attenborough, sure to excite and entertain Maasdam’s lucky guests.
Michaela Strachan is one of the BBC’s most recognized TV hosts – her natural effervescence and engaging humor have endeared her to live audiences throughout the UK.
Michaela started off presenting children’s television shows, but these days she is best known as a presenter of wildlife programs. For the past few years she has been the main anchor on the hugely popular, live series Springwatch, which tracks British wildlife through the emergence of spring. With her extensive experience of wildlife conservation from all around the world, combined with her gift for communication, Michaela is guaranteed to have some hilarious anecdotes from the field that are sure to entertain!
Simon Baxter’s infections enthusiasm for wildlife and adventure is evident in all he does. Among his directorial accomplishments are a variety of wildlife films, including 100 short films for the BBC’s popular “The One Show”; a live, sensory event for the BBC’s International Showcase that included giant projections accompanied by scent machines; a YouTube viral hit where he documented a race between a peregrine falcon and a world champion mountain biker; as well as BBC films created for a 40m wide screen, the widest in the world.
Storytelling is central to all of Simon’s projects and he always looks for ways to use technology to help him realize his vision. Budgets are not an obstacle for Simon, as he always finds innovative ways to utilize whatever equipment is available to him – he’s even improvised an aerial camera using a helium balloon and mobile phone. Simon is currently working on using 3D, 360-degree cameras to help the BBC capture unique and spectacular landscapes and the wildlife that inhabit them for audiences to enjoy in virtual reality.
Simon makes sure that all his projects convey the fun and excitement that he feels, in the hopes of inspiring his audiences and future animal enthusiasts.
If you’d love to join one of our BBC Earth feature cruises there’s still time to join July 8th voyage! You can also join our last feature cruise of the year on Volendam’s 14-day Twaiwan and Japan sailing Oct. 27.