Blue Planet II-inspired tours

Our oceans cover 70% of the Earth's surface, with a staggering 90% still unexplored. But a number of new tours inspired by Blue Planet II bring intrepid travellers closer to this mysterious world Friday, 15 December

By Tamsin Wressell

Go now: New inspired tours

Maldives

Best for:

Whale sharks

Go on a whale shark safari off Mirihi Island in the Maldives — one of the few places to spot them year-round.

How to do it:

Hummingbird Travel

offers seven nights in a Water Villa at

Mirihi Island

from £2,057 per person on a half-board basis, including flights and transfers. Whale shark safaris at Mirihi Island start from £95 including lunch and soft drinks, based on 10 guests sharing the excursion.

St Lucia
Best for:
Coral spawning
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of St Lucia, where the rare natural phenomenon of coral spawning resembles a watery blizzard of colour.
How to do it:Original Diving offers seven nights at Anse Chastanet from £2,495 per person on a full-board basis, including flights, transfers and 12 day or night dives.

Norway
Best for:
Orcas
Venture to the Norwegian Fjords to snorkel with orcas while admiring the Northern Lights.
How to do it: Velocity Black offers a tour from 9–12 February 2018 for £550 per person, including accommodation in Andenes, flights and a private orca whale tour.

New science: Series findings

False killer whales, New Zealand

False killer whales and bottlenose dolphins have been filmed forming relationships that include socialising and foraging together

Monocle breams, Indonesia
These reef inhabitants blow sand away from a bobbit worm's lair to expose it. Bobbits are ambush predators that burrow into the sand and wait for passing prey

Manta rays, Maldives
As many as 150 manta rays have been filmed forming a 'feeding cyclone' around high concentrations of plankton. The behaviour was described in a scientific paper for the first time in 2017

Groupers, Great Barrier Reef
Groupers have been using a fish equivalent of sign language (the 'headstand signal') to reach across the vertebrate/inter-vertebrate divide to get reef octopus to help them hunt

Volcanoes, Gulf of Mexico
Sediments that have fallen for millennia from the ocean's surface are compressed into methane volcanoes on the seafloor. If the methane deposits from these sub-surface pockets fluctuate it could have wide-scale implications for our climate

In numbers: Blue Planet II

6,000

Hours the crew spent diving underwater

39
Countries visited

125
Expeditions tallied up between the teams

4
Years the series spent in production

1,000
Metres — the deepest point the crew explored

Follow @TamsinWressell

Published in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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