An existing partnership between Holland America Line and BBC Earth is about to become a lot more interactive for passengers with the line set to roll out a number of immersive experiences built around the wealth of nature-based footage, music and all-round expertise currently available on the line’s fleet.
Currently available on six ships including MS Noordam – currently sailing in Australia – and due to be expanded to the entire fleet by March 2017, the new BBC Earth experiences will include documentary screenings, game shows, trivia, events for kids and themed cruises.
The highlight of the expanded tie-up between the two brands will see the introduction of “Frozen Planet Live”, a theatre version of the existing Frozen Planet TV series which airs on BBC Earth.
Taking place in the main theatre of each Holland America Line ship, guests are taken on a journey to the furthest reaches of the planet including polar regions and deep into the world’s rainforests and jungles via high-definition video footage, which will be accompanied by a live and evocative musical soundtrack written by award-winning composer George Fenton and performed by an orchestra playing on the ship.
Geography buffs eager to test their knowledge of the world can also indulge in the new “What on Earth” family game show. Volunteer participants are divided up into teams, in which they can guess locations on earth from clues given, uncover content underneath puzzles and guess the animal based on the sounds they make. The “Trivia from Earth” round will allow players to show off their natural history skills and learn some interesting new facts.
In the Club HAL Kids program, littler cruisers can learn about animals, dinosaurs and marine life via some BBC Earth fact shows integrated into the ships’ youth programs. The “BBC Earth for Club HAL Tweens” will vary in difficulty depending on the age of the children participating.
If travellers wish to fully immerse themselves in the BBC Earth experience on Holland America Line, four themed cruises have been scheduled where guests can meet producers, cameramen and presenters and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes in the making of the acclaimed documentaries. Special Q&A sessions for travellers to ask questions about the documentaries will also be offered during the themed voyages.
Three of these four cruises will sail in the USA, while the fourth will take place in Asia. Details of the four cruises are:
- A seven day Eastern Caribbean cruise, sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida onboard MS Koningsdam and departing on 29 January 2017.
- Eighteen-day Panama Canal repositioning cruise, departing on 07 April from Tampa, sailing to San Diego onboard MS Oosterdam.
- A seven-day Canada and New England cruise from Montreal to Boston on MS Maasdam, departing from the French-Canadian city on 08 July.
- Fourteen-day Taiwan and Japan cruise onboard MS Volendam, departing from Shanghai to Hong Kong on 27 October.
BBC Earth guests to take part in each themed cruise will be announced at a later date.
Next year, Holland America Line will be celebrating its 70th anniversary of exploring Alaska, with BBC Earth putting together a special show on the frozen region. This will be distributed to the entire fleet in time for the 2017 Alaskan summer season, which will see HAL deploy seven ships – half its current fleet – to sail more than 135 cruises next year.