Skip to main content

Expedition to New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands | Le Soleal

15 Days
From CAD 15,546

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: ACPOSDX

DIFFICULTY RATING: Easy

Start: Dunedin, New Zealand

Finish: Dunedin, New Zealand

SHIP: Le Soleal

DestinationDestination

New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands

DestinationDeparture Date

03/12/2024, 17/12/2024

TransportAccommodation

Cabin onboard ship



Enquire Now
map

OVERVIEW

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DEPARTURES*

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.

 

*Single Supplement waived on selected departures & cabins. Offer is correct at the time of publishing and only available until sold out on selected voyages and strictly limited availability. Not available on some premium suites and triple/quad share. 

Prices are correct at time of publishing (10 Nov 2023) but are subject to change at any time until the time of booking and terms and conditions apply. Please contact us for more information and enquire for details of offers and available dates.

ITINERARY

Embarkation in Dunedin

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.

Ulva Island

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.

Dusky and Doubtful Sound

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.

Milford 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.

The Snares

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.

Enderby Island and Musgrave Inlet

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.

At Sea

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

Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island

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.

Anare Station, 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.

At Sea

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

Campbell Islands

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.

At Sea

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

Antipodes Islands

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.

At Sea

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.

Disembarkation in Dunedin

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.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

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. 

Le Soleal

Le Soleal

Le Soléal is an elegant, chic yacht with a sleek silhouette, refined ambiance, quality workmanship and contemporary decor. The 132 comfortable suites and staterooms, range from superior, deluxe and prestige staterooms, to deluxe and prestige suites, The can accommodate up to 264 passengers (200 in Antarctica). All rooms are equipped with individually controlled air-conditioning, king or twin beds, en-suite shower, Wi-Fi access and a TV, and all cabins except the superior staterooms feature a balcony. 

The ship is designed to take passengers to the furthest reaches of the planet with sophistication and modern touches, as well as top-of-the-range services. This is adventure in a luxury setting. 

The ship has many premium features, including a theatre for performances and onboard lectures by naturalist guides, a wellness area including a hair salon, spa, hammam and fitness studio, a panoramic lounge and outdoor bar, which overlooks the pool deck. Sailing onboard Le Soleal you will enjoy room service, most beverages and an in room mini bar included in the cost of your voyage. You can choosse from 2 premium restaurants onboard, one with a wine cellar and the other a grill restaurant. Afternoon tea is served at around 4pm daily. 

 

Ice Class: Length: 142m (466ft)
Breadth: 18m (59 ft)Max
Draft: Cruising
Speed:
Electricity: Passenger
Capacity:
264

View Ship Details

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date

Departing Ending Duration
03 Dec 2024 17 Dec 2024 15
17 Dec 2024 31 Dec 2024 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

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

12 days

Classic Patagonia

Argentina, Chile, Patagonia

9 days

Signature Peru

Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu

10 days

Best of Galapagos

Ecuador, Galapagos Islands