Go now: New inspired tours
Best for: Whale sharks
Go on a whale shark safari off Mirihi Island in the Maldives — one of the few places to spot them year-round.
How to do it: Hummingbird Travel offers seven nights in a Water Villa at Mirihi Island from £2,057 per person on a half-board basis, including flights and transfers. Whale shark safaris at Mirihi Island start from £95 including lunch and soft drinks, based on 10 guests sharing the excursion.
Best for: Coral spawning
Dive into the crystal-clear waters of St Lucia, where the rare natural phenomenon of coral spawning resembles a watery blizzard of colour.
How to do it: Original Diving offers seven nights at Anse Chastanet from £2,495 per person on a full-board basis, including flights, transfers and 12 day or night dives.
Best for: Orcas
Venture to the Norwegian Fjords to snorkel with orcas while admiring the Northern Lights.
How to do it: Velocity Black offers a tour from 9–12 February 2018 for £550 per person, including accommodation in Andenes, flights and a private orca whale tour.
New science: Series findings
False killer whales and bottlenose dolphins have been filmed forming relationships that include socialising and foraging together
Monocle breams, Indonesia
These reef inhabitants blow sand away from a bobbit worm’s lair to expose it. Bobbits are ambush predators that burrow into the sand and wait for passing prey
Manta rays, Maldives
As many as 150 manta rays have been filmed forming a ‘feeding cyclone’ around high concentrations of plankton. The behaviour was described in a scientific paper for the first time in 2017
Groupers, Great Barrier Reef
Groupers have been using a fish equivalent of sign language (the ‘headstand signal’) to reach across the vertebrate/inter-vertebrate divide to get reef octopus to help them hunt
Volcanoes, Gulf of Mexico
Sediments that have fallen for millennia from the ocean’s surface are compressed into methane volcanoes on the seafloor. If the methane deposits from these sub-surface pockets fluctuate it could have wide-scale implications for our climate
In numbers: Blue Planet II
Hours the crew spent diving underwater
Expeditions tallied up between the teams
Years the series spent in production
Metres — the deepest point the crew explored
Published in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)