Holland America Line is adding the talents of popular BBC presenter Michaela Strachan, wildlife filmmaker James Brickell and innovative digital specialist Simon Baxter to the July 8, 2017, BBC Earth theme cruise.
Guests on ms Maasdam’s seven-day cruise to Canada and New England will be able to attend presentations and masterclasses by the trio, who will share their expertise and behind-the-scenes stories of how BBC programs are made.
“No one brings the world to life like BBC Earth, and through our partnership it’s exciting to give our guests access to talent like Michaela, James and Simon on this incredible feature cruise,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “The BBC Earth experiences on board have grown to be among the most popular we offer, and the feature cruises take the enrichment programming to another level for our guests who seek to become more knowledgeable about the world and the places we visit.”
BBC Host Michaela Strachan
Michaela Strachan is one of the BBC’s most well-known TV hosts. Hugely popular in the U.K., Strachan started off presenting children's television, but today she is best known for her wildlife programs. For the past few years she has been one of the main anchors on BBC “Springwatch,” a live primetime British wildlife series that follows the emergence of spring. Her natural effervescence and engaging humor endear her to live audiences, and with her extensive experience in wildlife conservation around the world, Strachan has some amusing anecdotes from the field that are sure to entertain.
Filmmaker James Brickell
James Brickell has directed some of the most highly regarded BBC Earth shows, including “Big Cat Diary,” “Life in Cold Blood,” “Life in the Air” and the successful “Deadly 60.” He has captured some genuine world firsts in wildlife filming such as wild rattlesnakes hunting (never previously observed) and snakes jumping across a mudflat in the Far East (behavior that was new to science).
Brickell’s work as a filmmaker and his enormous passion for wild animals have taken him all over the world, from the jungles of South America and the Mojave Desert to the Arctic Circle and West African Plains (and just about everywhere in-between). Brickell has won an array of prestigious awards for his work, and he has many entertaining stories from the field, including some classics that involve the great Sir David Attenborough.
Digital Specialist and Filmmaker Simon Baxter
Simon Baxter has directed a variety of wildlife films for many exciting platforms, including more than a hundred short films for the BBC’s ever popular “The One Show.” He’s raced a peregrine falcon against a world champion mountain bike rider in a YouTube viral hit, and he’s directed BBC Earth films for the widest indoor screen in the world, stretching 131 feet across.
Currently Baxter is trying to harness 3-D, 360-degree cameras to help capture wildlife moments and epic landscapes for audiences to enjoy in virtual reality. Storytelling is at the heart of every project he works on, and he always finds a new way of using equipment — whether it’s the latest “ultra-high-definition” lens or simply by adapting the camera on a smart phone. Above all, Baxter ensures everything he does is fun to inspire the next generation of animal enthusiasts.
BBC Earth Partnership
Through its partnership with award-winning BBC Earth, world-class education and entertainment are brought onboard Holland America Line’s ships through live presentations, master classes, films, enrichment experiences and children’s activities — in addition to the special theme cruises.
For Holland America Line’s 70th anniversary season in Alaska in 2017, BBC Earth launched a new “Alaska in Concert” multimedia production in the same format as the stunning “Frozen Planet Live” performance. Combining live music set against a backdrop of mesmerizing footage from the BBC Earth television series “Wild Alaska,” audiences experience the cycle of four seasons and see this place is as unforgiving as it is beautiful.