WHY THE BONNIE BOAT ADVENTURE?
British people love Spain. 250,000 British expats live in Spain, and 18 million head there on holiday every year.
In 2020, things are different. The Covid-19 lockdown means fewer people can leave the UK. In Spain, expats’ livelihoods are being destroyed by the lack of tourists.
The Bonnie Boat Adventure is here to help, bringing Spain into the homes of Brits who can’t get away for a holiday and providing support for British expats who are struggling.
A Place in the Sun is still going strong after 20 years and Great Canal Journeys is into its eleventh series.
The Bonnie Boat Adventure combines the huge commercial appeal of both of these popular shows.
WHAT IS IT?
The Bonnie Boat Adventure is a travelogue celebrating the colourful expat communities, welcoming locals and glorious holiday destinations of southern Spain and the Balearic Islands.
More than that, it’s a show about triumph over adversity and about finding humour in tough situations.
The show needs a presenter who understands what’s at stake for the participants. It will also feature charismatic boat captain Pete Lucas, his wife Roo, their teenage son Jago and adorable ship’s dog Maggie.
Every week, the crew sails into a new port, where they meet British families and business owners to discuss the highs and lows of expat life, particularly the problems caused by Covid-19.
In the evening, the crew stages a quayside fiesta, bringing together the whole community for a morale-boosting relaunch party and showcase of everything that’s great about their town.
Pete Lucas is a well-known name in the seafaring world. His boats have featured in numerous TV shows and commercials. Most recently, Bonnie Lass starred in White Lines on Netflix. Pete understands the requirements of busy production teams.
Roo has spent most of her life on boats, 16-year-old Jago is an accomplished sailor and Maggie the ship’s dog is a keen swimmer and paddle-boarder.
Bonnie Lass Charters is Pete and Roo’s family-run classic boat adventure business. They specialise in creating unique and absolutely unforgettable experiences.
Built in 1949 on the east coast of Scotland, in recent years, Bonnie Lass has undergone a painstaking renovation.
A TYPICAL SHOW
The presenter introduces this week’s destination and explains who we’re going to meet.
Excited guests meet Bonnie Lass as she sails into the harbour.
Pete joins forces with a local community group to work on the fiesta.
Roo and Jago are taught a skill, such as how to make olive oil or weave a traditional basket.
Expat families talk about their lives and businesses, and how they’ve been affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. There will be tears but also laughter!
This week’s participants gather at the quayside for a fabulous party.
Bonnie Lass sails off into the sunset.
Covid-19: the struggles, the preparations for next year and, above all, the resilience of the human spirit. The Bonnie Boat Adventure team will shine a light on the imaginative ideas used to keep businesses afloat and the way people from different sectors and backgrounds have teamed up to survive the lock down. These will be heart-warming and emotional human stories.
Teenage heart throb Jago is training to be a boat captain.
The presenter is hilariously bad at learning the various skills.
WHAT ABOUT THE VIRUS?
You CAN make television during Covid-19 restrictions.
Mallorca is a European media hub. All personnel needed to make The Bonnie Boat Adventure are available on the island and are permitted to work throughout Spain.
Bonnie Lass is based in Mallorca and can travel anywhere within Spain.
Filming can begin almost immediately.
PORT DE SOLLER
A spectacular horseshoe bay on Mallorca’s north coast.
This week’s expat family discuss their life in Spain, their business and the challenges they’ve faced in the past several months.
Pete gets busy working with the local community to stage the fiesta.
Roo and Jago head off on a scooter safari.
Chef Alvaro teaches Roo and this week’s expat family how to cook a traditional Mallorcan dish.
Hotel Jumeirah’s mixologist teaches them how to make cocktails.
Jago and Maggie hike into the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana.
In the evening, Chefs Alvaro and Piers prepare food aboard Bonnie Lass.
The family of the week, their friends and colleagues get together with the Port de Sóller community for a party on the quayside.
PORT DE POLLENCA
A beautiful town that is incredibly popular with British holidaymakers.
Roo visits Hotel Formentor to experience a touch of glamour from a bygone age. Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier honeymooned at the hotel. Elizabeth Taylor, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and a host of others have stayed there.
Pete joins forces with a group of Spanish and expat locals to prepare for the party.
The expat family of the week discuss their lives, their business and their struggles.
Jago cycles to Cap d’Formentor with local resident Bradley Wiggins.
Roo climbs the 365 Calvari steps and learns to cook traditional tapas dishes at La Bodeguita.
In the evening, everyone enjoys the Festes de la Verge del Carme – an extraordinary 8-day festival dedicated to the Virgin of Carmen, the patron saint of seafarers.
That week’s participants enjoy dinner on the quayside as the festival fireworks explode over the bay.
Mahon is built around one of the largest natural harbours in the world. It is also where mayonnaise was invented in 1756.
Our expat family discuss their life in Spain and the challenges they’ve faced in 2020.
Pete meets the local community group who’ll help stage the party.
Roo and Jago visit the Mercado del Claustro del Carmen then head to the Finca de Pont Modorro to learn how to make true mayonnaise or salsa mahonesa.
Evening aboard Bonnie Lass includes gin tasting courtesy of the Xoriguer Distillery as well as the mayonnaise and traditional goodies from the mercado.
Then it is fiesta time.
SANTA EULARIA DES RIU, IBIZA
This lovely town has long been popular with British movie stars, including Laurence Olivier, Diana Rigg and Terry Thomas.
Pete and Roo take a guided historic walk to the fortified church at Puig de Missa.
Pete and local community members begin putting together everything for the party while Roo and Jago visit the hippy market at Punta Arabi.
We meet this week’s expat family and find out about their life in Spain.
As they talk, they learn to make olive oil at Ses Escoles Trull Can Miquel Guasch.
Roo meets Chris Dews, founder of the Green Heart Project at Casita Verde.
Everyone enjoys dinner aboard Bonnie Lass before the party gets started on the quayside.
SAN FRANCESC DE FORMENTERA
The gloriously picturesque capital of Formentera.
This week’s British family talks about the ups and downs of expat life.
Pete joins the team from Formentera’s Save Posidonia Project and and learns about efforts to conserve the marine environment of the Mediterranean.
Roo visits the Michelin-recommended Restaurant Es Caló, where she is taught to make the perfect paella.
The party on the quayside coincides with the Feast of Sant Jaume and includes music courtesy of Formentera Jazz a la Plaça.
MALAGA & CABO DE GATA-NIJAR, ALMERIA
At the heart of the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a city with a fascinating history and a beautiful old centre.
This week’s family are David and Clare Parish, former yacht crew who rent holiday apartments in their converted convent in the mountains above Málaga.
Pete and the crew help out an environmental project at Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park – a marine protected area. This is where we will definitely see orcas.
Málaga native Antonio Banderas talks to Roo about his newly-opened Soho Theatre
Roo, Jago, David and Clare learn how to make the perfect Andalusian gazpacho.
The party takes place at Padre Aviles.