National Geographic Announces Intrepid Team for Groundbreaking Ocean Exploration Series, ‘OceanXplorers’

Exploring the Farthest Frontiers of the World’s Oceans, the Global Cross-Platform Television Event Will Feature National Geographic Explorers, Renowned Scientists and Top Ocean Storytellers: Asha de Vos, Zoleka Filander, Eric Stackpole and Aldo Kane

The Ambitious Six-Part Series Is Executive Produced by National Geographic Explorer at Large James Cameron and In Partnership With BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit (“Blue Planet II”) and OceanX

Filming Begins February 2021 in the West Indies

OceanXplorer’s helicopter lifts off from the ship’s helipad. (Andy Mann/OceanX)

Continuing National Geographic’s expansive legacy of partnering with the most iconic natural history documentary filmmakers in the world to deliver ground-breaking stories about Earth’s oceans, National Geographic announced the start of production of its upcoming global, six-part series OCEANXPLORERS. Pairing a dream team of the world’s greatest ocean storytellers with the most advanced combined exploration and media vessel ever built, the cross-platform event will begin filming this February in the shark capital of the Atlantic—the West Indies. The research team’s first mission is to study the great hammerhead’s hunting behaviors and solve one of the ocean’s most pressing mysteries: What makes this critically endangered species the ultimate predator, and why is it rapidly disappearing?

From BBC Studios Natural History Unit (“Blue Planet II”), OceanX Media, and National Geographic Explorer at Large James Cameron (“Avatar”), comes the most ambitious ocean adventure ever filmed. On board the vessel will be a handpicked team of pioneers, scientists and filmmakers capable of discovering our ocean’s greatest secrets. OCEANXPLORERS will combine high-end, science-driven documentary with breathtaking sequences to capture the drama and thrill of exploration—a high-stakes adventure in ocean discovery. The series will take audiences aboard National Geographic’s maiden voyage with OceanX’s scientific research and exploration vessel, OceanXplorer, to investigate the farthest frontiers of the world’s oceans, 95% of which are entirely unexplored. Throughout filming, the distinguished team will explore the waters in the West Indies, the Dominican Republic, the Azores and the Arctic. The serieswill premiere in 172 countries and 43 languages on National Geographic.

On board this next-generation ocean exploration vessel will be a handpicked team of pioneering filmmakers, explorers and world-leading scientists. These experts will uncover the ocean’s greatest secrets—diving deeper, getting closer and venturing into the darkest recesses of the seas, many inaccessible until now. This multidisciplinary team includes a large marine mammals expert, a deep-sea specialist, a robotics and tech wiz, and an expert in expedition safety. With their combined skill sets, they are ready to tackle the biggest mysteries the ocean has to offer. These brave OCEANXPLORERS are the following:  

  • National Geographic Explorer and marine biologist Asha de Vos (@ashadevos) – Devoting her life to uncovering ocean mysteries and inspiring young people around the world, de Vos initiated the Blue Whale Project to study and protect blue whales and co-founded Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization, Oceanswell.
  • Offshore ecologist Zoleka Filander (@Zoleka_Filander) – As a leader of theSouth African ocean research community, Filander has served as a scientist and expedition leader on countless research cruises off the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania. She has garnered several awards for her contributions to marine science and opened doors for other black women to enter the field.
  • ROV innovator and engineer Eric Stackpole (@Eerrp) – With a master’s in mechanical engineering, a background at NASA and serving as a lead engineer and ROV pilot on a three-month Antarctic exploration, Stackpole has always pushed the limits of robotics and drone technology.
  • Operations and survival expert Aldo Kane (@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 will tell the stories of adventurous explorers, scientists and filmmakers with never-before-used technology as they embark on their mission, tackling challenges that arise from seeking to solve some of the ocean’s greatest outstanding mysteries. State-of-the-art underwater camera rigs will focus on the ultimate predator, the great hammerhead—so evolved, it’s capable of snatching another shark whole—to discover why it is rapidly disappearing. The first-ever all-night deep-sea stake-out of the greatest migration on Earth will show the extraordinary lengths some creatures will go to find something to eat from the bottom of the ocean.

Equipped with the ship’s cutting-edge scientific equipment, OCEANXPLORERS will showcase the thrill of exploration and extraordinary wildlife filmmaking, pushing the boundaries of knowledge at the final frontier on Earth—its oceans. Unimaginable encounters, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and filming techniques will bring to life the magical worlds of the oceans in exquisite detail.

OCEANXPLORERS is co-produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and OceanX Media for National Geographic. For Earthship, Cameron and Maria Wilhelm are executive producers. Roger Webb and Orla Doherty are executive producers for BBC Studios. Brian Catalina is showrunner from Brian Catalina Entertainment. Ray Dalio, Mark Dalio and Joe Ruffolo are executive producers for OceanX Media. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer; Alan Eyres is senior vice president, production and development.

About the BBC Studios Natural History Unit

BBC Studios Natural History Unit produces the world’s most iconic natural history programmes, such as Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, which have been watched by more than a billion people globally. Ranging from technically challenging live shows and super-landmarks to long-running series and children’s content, The Natural History Unit programmes include Seven Worlds, One Planet presented by Sir David Attenborough, Primates, Earth’s Tropical Islands, Dynasties, Blue Planet Live, Springwatch, Bears About the House, Andy’s Aquatic Adventures and third-party commissions for Discovery, Apple, NBC, Quibi, National Geographic and BBC America.

The Natural History Unit is part of BBC Studios, a subsidiary of the BBC, which develops, produces and distributes bold, British content, making over 2500 hours of content each year, operating in 22 markets globally and generating revenue of around £1.4bn. In the year to March 2019, it returned £243m to the BBC Group, complementing the BBC’s licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences.

About OceanX

OceanX is a mission to explore the ocean and bring it back to the world through captivating media. Uniting leading media, science and philanthropy partners, OceanX utilizes next-generation technology, fearless science, compelling storytelling and immersive experiences to educate, inspire and connect the world with the ocean and build a global community deeply engaged with understanding, enjoying and protecting our oceans. OceanX is an initiative of Dalio Philanthropies, which furthers the diverse philanthropic interests of Dalio family members. For more information, visit and follow OceanX on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About National Geographic Partners

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 133 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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