Review: High Seas (Alta mar)

Ivana Baquero and Alejandra Onieva in Alta mar

The Netflix original Spanish language series High Seas (Alta mar) is set on a luxury ship heading from Spain to Brazil in the late 1940s.

We’re taken into the story by sisters Eva (Ivana Baquero) and Carolina Villanueva (Alejandra Onieva). The 8 episodes of season 1 revolve around them. Members of their family, their servants, and their love interests all become involved in murders, unearthed secrets, and mysteries that take place on the voyage.

The series ends on an unresolved cliffhanger, but a second season is in the works.

José Sacristán, Chiqui Fernández, Ivana Baquero, Alejandra Onieva, and Begoña Vargas in HIgh Seas (Alta mar)
Uncle Pedro (José Sacristán) flanked by the sisters and the servants in the back.

The plan was for Carolina (on the left above) to marry her fiancé Fernando (Eloy Azorín) when the ship crossed the equator. That happened – sort of. Many mysterious and dangerous things happened getting to that point.

Ivana Baquero and Jon Kortajarena in High Seas (Alta mar)
Nicolás had a connection to Eve’s family that was very disturbing.

The ship had barely left the port when Eva, while flirting with the handsome officer Nicolás (Jon Kortajarena), saw a woman fall to her death. Earlier, Eva and Caroline smuggled a woman on board in a trunk. Everyone thought that was who took the deep dive. Everything in the plot is a twist, however, so never assume you know what’s happening.

Ivana Baquero and Begoña Vargas in High Seas (Alta mar)
The servant girl from 3rd class can make business deals with passengers while lying to Eva, her employer.

For example, Veronica (Begoña Vargas), the servant girl, has an affair with a wastrel passenger Sebastián (Tamar Novas) while ignoring the very nice guy her mother liked.

Natalia Rodríguez and Laura Prats in High Seas (Alta mar)

Another example: Natalia (Natalia Rodríguez), the wife of an abusive rich man, and Clara (Laura Prats), the singer in the band, form a strange alliance.

There are many people on the ship. From the captain to the man shoveling coal in the hold, you never know who is going to be important. Just when you think you have a character figured out something happens to turn things on end.

Eva and Carolina were the most interesting characters. They were both smart, competent women who were determined to unravel the murders as well as the family secrets that followed them on the voyage. With these two lead characters in a second season, it will be off to a solid start.

The sets and costumes were perfect – at least the parts confined to spaces within the ship. Shots of the ship from afar as it moved through the water seemed badly faked.

Overall, I didn’t think High Seas (Alta mar) was as good as some other Spanish language series such as Cable Girls or Grand Hotel I’ve reviewed here.

Ramón Campos and Gema R. Neira, the creators of High Seas (Alta mar), were both writers for Cable Girls and Grand Hotel. This series was interesting and binge-worthy from episode to episode. However, I didn’t find it as excellent as that other work. These two writers do know how to write an interesting female character, especially Eva in this tale.

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Poster for High Seas. Review at

Watch the trailer for High Seas (Alta mar)

Have you watched season 1 of High Seas (Alta mar)? What did you think of it?

10 thoughts on “Review: High Seas (Alta mar)”

  1. Pingback: Recommended Foreign Language Films and TV Series - Old Ain't Dead

  2. Torben Retboll

    I have watched “High Seas.”

    I agree with you when you say shots of the ocean liner seen from far away seem fake. It is easy to see that this program is not filmed on an ocean liner that is sailing across the Atlantic ocean. It is made in a studio.

    I also agree with you when you say that this program is not as good as “Grand Hotel.” Sometimes the actors do not seem like professional actors.

    I noticed one problem with continuity. Eva is in a bath tub when a fire breaks out in her cabin. Since she is taking a bath, she is not wearing anything. However, when she is rescued from the burning cabin she is not just covered by some towels. She is wearing a dress! When did she have time to put on a dress?

    The first season of this program deserves three or four stars. Not more than that.

    1. I’ve seen many of the actors in other Spanish shows, so I’m sure they are professional actors. The two leads were new to me. I thought the actress playing Eva – Ivana Baquero – was quite good.

  3. I actually did like this show. I just had an opinion that maybe you might agree with as well. So towards the end of the show we saw how the daughter’s father was bad and he was working with Sofia. But besides her, the boats original captain was also somehow involved. Do you think there might be a chance that Nicolas is bad as well??

  4. I enjoyed it despite the faults but cannot understand the ending of episode 8…Dracula appears! And who are those strange people on the boat?

  5. Pingback: Review: High Seas (Alta Mar), season 2 - Old Ain't Dead

  6. Woman here were incredibly strong. Everyone picking up the case of gold bars looked like they were picking up a case of marshmallows. Do you know how much that much gold would weigh. They wouldn’t get it off the floor.

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