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Subantarctic Islands From Dunedin

15 Days FROM AUD 12,870

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Overview

This 15-day Expedition gives you access to 2 of New Zealand’s three world heritage sites onboard a luxury, small ship expedition vessel. Using Zodiacs to access remote parts of Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound, get up and close to waterfalls towering over 150 metres tall as dolphins can be easily sited in one of the world’s most spectacular fjords.

From the Fjordlands, venture south to Australia and New Zealand’s remote Subantarctic Islands where Albatross, Penguins and Seals are in abundance. The jaw dropping beautiful scenery you will experience from Le Soleal, matched with cuisine, service and expedition crew will be an experience of a lifetime, unlike anywhere else on Earth.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACPOSDX

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands

Ship: LE SOLEAL

Flights: This departure starts and finishes in Dunedin. We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise, contact us today to discuss.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Access to Australia and New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
     

  • Visit two of New Zealand's three World Heritage Sites 

  • View an abundance of wildlife from the balcony of Le Soleal, a luxury expedition ship. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Embarkation in Dunedin

Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara) is the largest of 20 islands within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island, with an area of approx. 270 hectares. The island has never been logged and was declared pest free in 1997, becoming one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. The island is now a haven for many species of birds and plants that are rare, or have died out, on the mainland of New Zealand. Bird species regularly encountered include: the flightless Stewart Island Weka, South Island saddleback, yellowhead and Stewart Island robin. Ulva Island is not only a bird enthusiast’s paradise, it is also one of the few offshore islands with a largely undisturbed podocarp forest. Well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people providing a unique opportunity to see rare birds and plants at close quarters in a safe environment.

Ulva Island

Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.

Referred to as the "Sound of Silence", there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Both are part of the Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

Dusky and Doubtful Sound

Milford Sound fiord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

Milford Sound

Amongst the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand, the Snares have the distinction of being the only forested group without introduced mammals, not even mice. Consequently, it is a remarkable haven for wildlife. The island boasts more nesting seabirds than the entire realm of the British Isles. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months. Four species of Albatross are listed as breeding on the Snares along with 35,000 endemic Snares crested penguins. There are also approximately 1,000 New Zealand fur seals and 500 New Zealand sea lions. Landing on the Snares is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of Zodiac.

The Snares

Enderby Island is situated off the North Eastern tip of Auckland Island and is the second largest Island in the group. The eradication of introduced species in 1994 has seen a significant increase in the abundance of the native flora and fauna compared to the main Auckland Island. It has become a stronghold for the rare yellow-eyed penguin and the primary breeding location of the New Zealand Sea Lion. You will head ashore and have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Northern Cliffs track as well as spend time viewing the New Zealand Sea Lion colony. There is also the opportunity to undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Enderby Island in search of the Auckland Island Teal and other endemic species.

The Auckland Islands are the largest, highest and biologically richest of the five groups of Subantarctic Islands. They have been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International as they hold important seabird breeding colonies. The flora of the Auckland Islands is fascinatingly diverse with over 233 species of vascular plant. Musgrave Inlet is a picturesque bay on the eastern side of Auckland Island. Its sheer cliffs have protected the endemic flora from the introduced species, providing one of the best floral displays in the entire Island group. Landing in Musgrave Inlet is prohibited. If time and weather permits, you will have the opportunity to view the spectacular flora and fauna from our fleet of zodiacs. After this activity you will continue on overnight at sea toward Macquarie Island.

Enderby Island and Musgrave Inlet

The following day will be spent at sea toward Macquarie Island.

At Sea

Macquarie Island, or “Macca” as it is colloquially known, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 as a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only island in the world composed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks from the mantle. It is an island of unique natural diversity and one of the truly remarkable places on earth. Sandy Bay is located on the East Coast of the Island and is home to significant Royal and King Penguin rookeries as well as a breeding colony of Southern Elephant Seals. You will have the opportunity to land ashore in Sandy Bay to view both the King and Royal colonies as well as the other prolific wildlife in the Bay.

Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island

Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, the Macquarie Island is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for more than 3.5 million seabirds, most of which are penguins. There are four species breeding on Macquarie Island; Royals, Kings, Gentoos and Rock Hoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and one seventh of the world's population of elephant seals breeding on the Island. In 1948 The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on Macquarie Island. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk around the ANARE Station to view the facility and the prolific wildlife that resides here.

Anare Station, Macquarie Island

The following day will be spent at sea toward Cambell Island.

At Sea

Campbell Island is the most southerly of the five New Zealand subantarctic groups. Described by the English botanist Joseph Hooker as having a 'flora display second to none outside the tropics.' It is known for its megaherbs, herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, with huge leaves and very colourful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Campbell Island is also home to six species of albatross, and several critically endangered endemic birds including the Campbell Island teal and snipe. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Col Lyell Saddle boardwalk as well as undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Perseverance Harbour.

Campbell Islands

The following day will be spent at sea toward Antipodes Islands.

At Sea

The volcanic islands of the Antipodes Island group lie 860 km to the southeast of New. The group belongs to the New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands and consists of one main island, Antipodes Island, Bollons Island to the north, and numerous small islets and stacks. The islands are home to a wide variety of sea and land bird species including two species of parakeet. The seabirds range from the tiny storm petrel to the Antipodean wandering albatross, one of the largest flying birds in the world. There are also significant populations of erect-crested and rock hopper penguins. Landing on the Antipodes is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.

Antipodes Islands

This final day will be spent at sea toward Dunedin. Take this time to reflect on your incredible journey and enjoy these final moments with your fellow passengers and crew.

At Sea

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Disembarkation in Dunedin
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Subantarctic Islands From Dunedin from AUD 12,870
Departing Ending Duration
09 Dec 2021 23 Dec 2021 15
23 Dec 2021 06 Jan 2022 15
28 Dec 2022 11 Jan 2023 15

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship 
    All meals whilst on board
    Comprehensive pre-departure information 
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition crew 

    Exclusions 

    International Flights
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel Insurance
    Optional activities not mentioned in itinerary 
    Personal expenses such as on board communications
    Any pre cruise packages or accommodation stays

  • Available upon request - please contact us for more information.

  • This itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and sea conditions. 

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

We appreciate that voyages to the Antarctic to have an impact on this pristine environment. In light of this, all our voyages are double carbon offset. In addition, we strive to eliminate as many single use plastics as possible from our supply chain. In choosing this voyage you are also supporting the fantastic work done by the Antarctic Science Foundation (ASF) and their work in understanding and protecting this unique destination. In addition all voyages support the Mawsons Huts Foundation (MHF). The MHF support the legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson, the legendary Antarctic explorer and scientist. As a member of IAATO we follow strict guidelines appointed by the Antarctic Treaty System to go above and beyond in support of minimizing negative impacts on this pristine landscape. We also encourage clients to look to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Our clients also receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants.

We carefully select all ships we work with and choose smaller sized vessels to create less impact. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in the Antarctic’s delicate ecosystem. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller ships such as ours can navigate narrow waterways and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste. The waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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