Disney has announced details and the first trailer for its upcoming documentary series, “OceanXplorers”, which takes audiences aboard the OceanXplorer, OceanX’s state-of-the-art scientific research and exploration vessel, to investigate the farthest frontiers of the world’s oceans, 80% of which are entirely unknown. Armed with advanced technology, a hand-picked team of intrepid explorers and scientists, National Geographic Explorers and other ocean experts embark on a global odyssey to solve some of the ocean’s greatest mysteries through the lives of its animals and their ecosystems.

The ship sets sail on a grand adventure – travelling to the depths of the Atlantic in the Azores, diving into the shallows of the Bahamas and warm waters of the Caribbean before embarking north to the frigid arctic shores of Svalbard, Norway. “Oceanxplorers” provides an immersive look at an underwater world of wonder with incredible discoveries that push the boundaries of exploration and our understanding of the ocean like never before.

The new series will premiere on the National Geographic linear channel in the United States on August 18th 2024 and it will be available to stream the next day on August 19th 2024 on Disney+ and Hulu.  No international release date for Disney+ has been announced.

This series is being created by James Cameron (“Avatar”), BBC Studios Natural History Unit (“Blue Planet II”) and OceanX and it will be the most ambitious ocean adventure ever filmed. 

Check out the “OceanXplorers” trailer below:

James Cameron said in a statement:

“My true passion lies in deep ocean science and in exploration.  In “Oceanxplorers”, we take viewers on an unparalleled ocean science adventure, introducing them to a group of principled, passionate people on a sometimes dangerous mission of ocean discovery in real time. We present the stakes, and firsts, and tell a visually spectacular and dramatic story — a story that inspires the next generation of explorers and adventurers committed to protecting and preserving our oceans.”

OceanXplorer, which was purpose-built by the global science, media and exploration nonprofit OceanX, is a technological marvel with the power to explore the depths of the world’s oceans. The ship is equipped with two submersibles — Neptune and Nadir — which can dive to 1,000 meters, or 3,280 feet, for up to 72 hours. There is a helicopter aboard alongside multiple marine science laboratories, as well as a media studio that captures new science and real-time discoveries for the screen. The OceanXplorer is a full-scale research vessel that can span the Earth’s oceans and shed light on even the most inaccessible depths of the sea.

The six-part series includes the following episodes and premiere dates:

  • “Realm of the Humpbacks” premieres Aug. 18 at 9/8c – The team travels to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean to reveal the greatest secrets in the lives of the North Atlantic humpback whale: Why do thousands gather in one tiny patch of ocean every year, and what lengths do they go to in choosing a mate? While exploring the humpbacks’ hidden world, they witness a mother defend her calf in the ultimate ocean battle with a pack of orcas.
  • “Giants of the Deep” premieres Aug. 18 at 10/9c – In the Azores, the team follows the elusive sperm whales to their hunting grounds a mile beneath the surface, where they discover the secret lives of these deep-diving whales. State-of-the-art camera systems and the OceanXplorer’s submersibles explore this world of eternal darkness, discovering the whale’s prey: an enormous squid, never filmed before in these Atlantic waters.
  • “Jurassic Shark” premieres Aug. 25 at 9/8c – The team is in the Azores to tag a deep sea giant — the sixgill shark — and learn more about its nightly patterns hunting for food in the abyss. For the first time ever, the team tags and retrieves valuable data, uncovering the secrets of why this prehistoric shark undertakes its epic journey from the depths at night.
  • “Hammerhead Highway” premieres Aug. 25 at 10/9c – The team is in the crystal-clear waters of Bimini in the Bahamas to witness the incredible journey of the great hammerhead shark. As the team follows the shark’s return migration to warm waters in winter, they discover the secrets of how these animals navigate the vast ocean, using incredible senses to exploit riches hidden in the shallows.
  • “Kingdom of the Polar Bear” premieres Sept. 1 at 9/8c – The team brings the OceanXplorer to Svalbard, Norway. This ice world is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. The team’s mission is to figure out if Svalbard’s polar bears are adapting to their environment. To do so, they come face-to-face with this giant of the Arctic Ocean and scale a glacier to learn how much time is left for one of the most critical habitats for polar bears.
  • “Ice Giants” premieres Sept. 1 at 10/9c – The team brings the OceanXplorer as far north as possible, to the edge of the Arctic ice cap. There, they learn how a population of bowhead whales, once hunted almost to extinction, is faring today. They are also the first to observe the feeding strategies of the deep-sea Greenland shark, an animal that can live for more than 400 years.

“OceanXplorers” combines a high-end, science-driven documentary with jaw-dropping sequences to capture the drama and thrill of exploration. With so much unknown to explore, the elite team onboard combines their expertise and curiosities to gather information and capture never-before-seen imagery of life below the surface using groundbreaking technology and equipment. The following members make up the all-star team:

  • Zoleka Filander – National Geographic Explorer and Deep-Sea Researcher (@Zoleka_Filander)  – As a leader in the South African ocean research community, Zoleka is a government scientist and expedition leader who has served on countless research cruises off the South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania coasts. She has garnered several awards for her contributions to marine science and opened doors for other Black women to enter the field.
  • Melissa Cristina Márquez  – Shark Biologist (@MelissaCristinaMarquez) – Melissa is a marine science education expert based in Australia who holds a Master of Science in marine biology from Victoria University of Wellington. Originally from Puerto Rico and raised in Mexico, she’s dedicated over a decade to advancing marine science education and communication. She has completed more than 100 dives and is called the “Mother of Sharks.” She is the founder of the Fins United Initiative, a shark conservation and information platform and a published children’s book author.
  • Eric Stackpole  – Ocean Technology Innovator (@Eerrp)  – With a background at NASA, a master’s in mechanical engineering, and serving as a lead engineer and ROV pilot on a three-month Antarctic exploration, Stackpole pushes the limits of robotics and drone technology.
  • Aldo Kane – Ex-Royal Marine, Special Ops (@AldoKane) – As a trained Royal Marine Commando, where he became one of the youngest elite Commando snipers ever, and an expert in survival and operations in all environments — jungle, desert, arctic, ocean and mountains — Kane has led countless water-based expeditions with some of the world’s elite.

“OceanXplorers” is co-produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and OceanX for National Geographic. For Lightstorm Earth, James Cameron and Maria Wilhelm are executive producers. Roger Webb and Orla Doherty are executive producers for BBC Studios. Ray Dalio, Mark Dalio, Vincent Pieribone and Joe Ruffolo are executive producers for OceanX. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is the executive producer, and Tom McDonald is the executive vice president of Global Factual and Unscripted Content. The series was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society with a mission to use the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.

Roger’s Take:  When you combine James Cameron and National Geographic together, for me, it’s an instant watch as every single previous collaboration between the two has been fantastic, and as someone who loves the ocean, this is a must-watch for me.

Are you looking forward to watching “OceanXplorers”?  Let me know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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