03 Nov 2020

Heritage LIVE Replay: Bringing Nature Closer

As BBC and National Geographic wildlife filmmakers, we've made a life and career from adventure and a ceaseless passion for nature. Through our documentary films and TV series, including David Attenborough's Planet Earth and Nature's Great Events, we've helped to bring the wilds of nature closer and more accessible to all who share an interest in the natural world. Our work has taken us to some of the most remote, far reaches of the planet – from the polar regions to rainforests, and from flying thousands of feet above mountains and deltas to diving the depths of our mysterious oceans and waterways.

Last month, we joined Heritage Expeditions' Isaac Wilson for a live online discussion to offer a window into documentary filmmaking life, share highlights from our South Pacific small ship cruises, and discuss what we're most looking forward to in 2021! You can watch the replay below.

Like most of you, we've had the extraordinary and privileged experience of travelling with Heritage Expeditions (3x!) to some of the most most biologically rich and hard to reach corners of the globe: A polar bear tour to Wrangel Island, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands on Melanesia Discoverer and the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu on Secrets of Melanesia.

Next year, we'll be onboard again for Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea. Looking at the itinerary, it's quite astonishing to see places that previously took film crews a week or two to access being reached within a day on a Heritage trip! In all our travels, we haven't been anywhere with more exquisite coral reefs than Raja Ampat. Simply donning a mask and snorkel delivers a world-class diving experience into an astounding underwater Eden. And, swimming with the whale sharks is not only a magical experience, but continues to be one of our favorite wildlife encounters ever! 

In adventure,
Karen & Neil

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Neil Nightingale
As an award-winning BBC wildlife filmmaker, Neil has travelled and worked in many of the wildest corners of our planet, from the polar regions to the tropics. Through his films and TV projects, he shares his passion for the natural world with many millions of people globally, inspiring them with the wonders and importance of nature. 

For six years, as Head of the BBC’s prestigious Natural History Unit, Neil was responsible for over 1000 hours of wildlife programmes, including landmark TV series such as Planet Earth, Life, David Attenborough’s Life In Cold Blood and Life In The Undergrowth, Saving Planet Earth, Amazon Abyss, Big Cat Live, Elephant Diary, Galapagos, Expedition Borneo, Nature’s Great Events, Wild China and Springwatch.

Neil was then Creative Director of BBC Earth, where he directed and produced many award-winning films for the cinema, including both Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II films and 3D IMAX productions Wild Africa, Prehistoric Planet, Earthflight, Incredible Predators and Tiny Giants. He also directed the BBC’s blockbuster family movie, Walking With Dinosaurs 3D. Neil executive produced Earth: One Amazing Day, which tracks and highlights more of nature's unseen dramas and wonders over the course of one single day through jaw-dropping cinematography.

For many years Neil led the BBC’s largest and longest running wildlife series, Natural World, winning top awards at every major wildlife film festival. He developed revolutionary time-lapse techniques to reveal plants as never seen before, as director of David Attenborough’s Private Life of Plants. He also created definitive BBC TV series on the natural history of Australasia, Africa, New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef, as well as writing popular books on the wildlife of Australia and New Guinea.

Neil has a first class degree in Zoology from the University of Oxford, is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a qualified yacht master and professional diver.


Karen Bass
Karen Bass is a multi-award winning television director and producer. In 20 years at the BBC Natural History Unit, she has made wildlife films in almost every environment across the Earth: from the rainforests of the Congo (where she produced the first-ever film of our closest relative, the bonobo) to the deserts of Libya, Syria and Jordan; from the icy peaks of the Andes to the swamps and forests of the Amazon and Borneo; from erupting volcanoes in the Caribbean to the extraordinary lives of crocodiles in Australia and South Africa.

Karen’s major BBC TV series include Andes to Amazon, exploring the wildlife and extreme landscapes of South America; Jungle, an investigation of the world’s rainforests; Wild Caribbean, featuring the colourful and varied nature, weather and landscapes of the Caribbean; and Nature’s Great Events, a dramatic portrayal of the planet’s most spectacular wildlife events. Karen also produced Untamed Americas, an Emmy award-winning series on the epic natural history of North, South and Central America, for the National Geographic Channel.

From 2012 to 2014, as executive producer, Karen headed the series Urban Jungle for the National Geographic Channel and Kingdom of the Apes for Nat Geo WILD, as well as projects on wolves, grizzly bears and raccoons. Her multi award-winning Wild Yellowstone won another EMMY. Karen’s most recent project, as executive producer for IFA in Singapore, is an ambitious theatrical film on the wildlife of the Tibetan Plateau, to be released across all platforms in China and the rest of the world.

Karen has a degree in Geography and Geology from the University of London and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She has also delivered an influential TED talk on scientific revelation in wildlife films.

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JOIN NEIL AND KAREN IN 2021 ON INDONESIA EXPLORER:

Indonesian Explorer: Raja Ampat to Papua New Guinea
16 DAYS  27 Sep – 12 Oct 2021
Davao, Philippines to Madang, Papua New Guinea
Aboard the Spirit of Enderby

Can't join the September 27 voyage to Indonesia? Check out our other South Pacific Expeditions:

Melanesia Discoverer: Papua New Guinea & Solomon Islands
14 DAYS  11 – 24 Oct 2021
Madang, Papua New Guinea to Honiara, Solomon Islands
Aboard the Spirit of Enderby

Secrets of Melanesia: Solomon Islands & Vanuatu
12 DAYS  23 Oct – 3 Nov 2021
Honiara, Solomon Islands to Port Vila, Vanuatu
Aboard the Spirit of Enderby

Land of Dreams: Discover New Zealand's Subtropical Kermadec Islands
11 DAYS 15 – 25 Mar 2021 New Voyage
Tauranga, NZ return
Aboard Spirit of Enderby

Western Pacific Odyssey: New Zealand to Japan
31 DAYS  1 Apr – 1 May 2021 | 25 Mar – 24 Apr 2022
Tauranga, New Zealand to Yokohama, Japan
Aboard the Spirit of Enderby

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