Tauck partners with BBC Earth on nature-focused itineraries

By Michelle Baran
An elephant with Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in the background.Tauck has entered into an exclusive, multiyear partnership with BBC Earth, producer of the Planet Earth documentary series, to offer a collection of nature-focused itineraries called Earth Journeys.

It is the second time in three years that the Norwalk, Conn.-based tour operator has partnered with a high-profile documentary production brand. Tauck launched a collection of itineraries with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns in 2010.

“Earth Journeys will help BBC Earth to connect with their millions of fans in exciting new ways, enabling people to now experience the natural world with all five senses,” Tauck CEO Dan Mahar said in statement.

“The Planet Earth,” “Frozen Planet,” “Life” and “The Blue Planet” series, along with other series produced by BBC, have reached more than 500 million people in over 180 countries worldwide, according to BBC Earth.

Tauck will market the new product through its existing marketing channels, and the BBC will do the same.

The 2014 Earth Journeys itineraries are being folded into existing Tauck capacity. BBC Earth will work with Tauck to co-create entirely new Earth Journeys itineraries that will launch in 2015.

The Earth Journeys itineraries for 2014 will include two African safaris — the 12-day Botswana, South Africa & Zambia itinerary and the 13-day Kenya & Tanzania: A Classic Safari. Also included are Tauck’s 13-day Antarctica cruise expedition and its six-day Manitoba: Polar Bear Adventure in Canada.

Enhancements to Tauck’s existing itineraries will include the creation of a series of original, exclusive films by BBC Earth that Tauck guests will view on location. The 10- to-20-minute vignettes are intended to provide additional context into the animal life and natural phenomena the Tauck guests will be experiencing.

Tauck will work with BBC Earth to use some of the same technology employed by its filmmakers to bring Tauck guests in to more intimate contact with the destinations they’re visiting. Those could include motion-activated camera traps, infrared night-vision cameras, long-range directional microphones, underwater cameras and small fiber-optic endoscopic cameras.

Tauck will also work directly with BBC Earth filmmakers and naturalists to add content to the Earth Journeys itineraries.

Tauck Vice President Jeremy Palmer said the Earth Journeys itineraries will priced 1-2% more than existing Tauck itineraries, simply to cover the costs of some of the extras.

“This partnership offers a fantastic opportunity for BBC Earth to reach new audiences and share directly the knowledge and expertise of the BBC’s filmmakers to bring people a deeper connection with nature,” Amanda Hill, chief brands officer for BBC Worldwide, said in a release.
 
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