TV wildlife presenter’s 50th birthday year to include Saga cruise to Iceland


Winterwatch

TV presenter Michaela Strachan will travel with Saga on Saga Sapphire’s Ice, Fire and Fjords cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday.

Departing on 20 July 2016 the cruise will see the the BBC Springwatch star presenting two talks on the 720-passenger ship and will join tours to look for wildlife and explore the dramatic lava landscape.

Michaela said: “I really want to see some whales. I know Iceland is a great place to see them. I visited the island many years ago for the Really Wild Show but it was only a brief stop and I always wanted to come back.

“I would also love to plunge into those amazing hot thermal pools. My mum and her husband did this same cruise with Saga a couple of years back and absolutely loved it.”

Michaela, who turns 50 on 7 April 2016, has travelled the globe filming wildlife programmes. She is now an ambassador for several animal charities and says she just fell into this passion for animals.

On her planned presentations Michaela said: “I will firstly take the listener on a journey of my career with photos and there’ll be a lot of me talking. It will be a mixed bag from the early TV shows through to conservation, including the fight against the bear bile industry in China and the Borneo Orang-utan Survival Foundation which rescues, rehabilitates and releases orang-utans back to the wild.

“The other will be video-based and much less of me talking. It will focus on my experiences with whales and dolphins including when I went to Mozambique for Michaela’s Wild Challenge. I was heavily pregnant and went swimming with dolphins to see how they reacted to a foetus. It was a bit of an experiment as they are meant to know and pick up on the two heartbeats.”

Michaela, who originally comes from Surrey, is now based in Cape Town with her partner, cameraman Nick Chavallier and son Ollie, 10.

She said: “I have been on a couple of large cruise ships with ‘thousands of people’ and had a really good time. I have also been on a Russian icebreaker in the Antarctic – but I have never been on a traditional cruise on a Saga ship so I am looking forward to enjoying a more intimate experience.”

Representatives from ORCA, the whale and dolphin conservation charity, will also be on deck observing marine life and supporting whale-spotting sessions.

Michaela and Saga guests will also be able to join a boat trip to Eyjafjördur Fjord to watch for blue, fin, humpback, minke and sei whales as well as dolphins and porpoises.

A boat from Stykkishólmur will also take guests to see puffins, cormorants, black guillemots, kittiwakes and fulmars plus there is a chance of seeing white-tailed eagles and seals.

To compliment the wildlife adventures there will also be an opportunity to relax in Reyjavik’s Blue Lagoon and the Myvatn Nature Baths, with its mineral-rich waters and rising steam created by a deep fissure in the earth’s surface.

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