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Galapagos of the Southern Ocean | Heritage Adventurer

12 Days
From USD 8,450

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise.

Trip Code: NZHEGSO

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Heritage Adventurer

DestinationDestination

Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand

DestinationDeparture Date

25/11/2023, 30/12/2023

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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OVERVIEW

Undertake one of the most inspirational and unforgettable journeys to the unique sites of the Southern Ocean. The Subantarctic Islands are dubbed the 'Galapagos of the Southern Ocean' due to their incredibly rich biodiversity. This expedition experience will have you encountering vast colonies of penguins, fur and elephant seals. You will also spot unique seabirds including albatross, petrels, shearwaters and prions. Discover four of the Subantarctic Islands on this incredible adventure as you immerse yourself in some of the most remote and isolated islands of the world, each unique and filled with incredible vistas and varied ecosystems. From rocky shores to open plains of incredible 'megaherbs'. This is a truly unforgettable and unique expedition experience close to home. 

* Optional Sea Kayaking now on the 18 Dec 2022 departure. Please enquire for price and availability at time of booking. 

ITINERARY

Arrival and Overnight in Queenstown

Guests should make their way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.

Port of Bluff

Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and take the opportunity to explore some of the local Southland scenery and attractions before heading to the Port of Bluff to embark the Spirit of Enderby. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to conduct several safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team and captain on the bridge as we set our course to The Snares and our adventure begins.

The Snares - North East Island

The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, they were appropriately called The Snares as they were once considered a hazard for sailing ships. Comprising of two main islands and a group of five
islands called the Western Chain; they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. It is claimed by some that these islands are home to more nesting seabirds than all the British Isles together.

We plan to arrive mid-morning and as landings are not permitted, we will Zodiac cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the main island if the weather and sea conditions are suitable. In the sheltered bays, we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds. Cape Pigeons, Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns and Red-billed Gulls are also present in good numbers. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting on The Snares; the actual number is much debated. The Buller’s Albatross breed here from early January onwards.

Enderby Island

The Auckland Islands group was formed by two volcanoes which erupted some 10-25 million years ago. They have subsequently been eroded and dissected by glaciation creating the archipelago as we know it today.

Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group and is named for the same distinguished shipping family as our own vessel. This northern most island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. The island was cleared of all introduced animals (pests) in 1994 and both birds and the vegetation, especially the herbaceous plants, are recovering both in numbers and diversity.

During our day ashore there will be several options, some longer walks, some shorter walks and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. The walking is relatively easy, a board walk traverses the island to the dramatic western cliffs from there we follow the coast on the circumnavigation of the island.

Birds that we are likely to encounter include the following species: Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Banded Dotterel, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Redcrowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross.

Carnley Harbour

In the south of the archipelago there is a very large sheltered harbour it is rich in human history including shipwrecks, treasure hunters, Coastwatchers and of course scientific parties. We plan to arrive early morning from our anchorage at Enderby Island. We enter the harbour through the eastern entrance which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and rugged tussock covered hills.

Our activities here today are totally weather dependent. We have several options. If the weather is OK, there will be an opportunity for the more energetic expeditioners to climb to the South West Cape and visit the Shy Mollymawk colony. Above the colony we occasionally see Gibson’s Wandering Albatross breeding. This climb provides magnificent views in all directions, especially over the western entrance to Carnley Harbour, Adams Island and Western Harbour. For those not able to make the climb (it is reasonably difficult) there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island and Western Harbour, with landings in the later.

Other options include the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout (the former is derelict) which was occupied during the Second World War. We could visit Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864.

At Sea

As we make our way south through the Furious Fifties also known as the Albatross latitudes, the birding especially south of the Auckland Islands should be good. We will have a series of informal lectures on the biology and history of the Subantarctic Islands. We will also prepare you for our visit to Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island - Day 7 to 8

The great Australian Antarctic Explorer Sir Douglas Mawson once called Macquarie Island “One of the wonder spots of the world.” You are about to discover why as we spend two days exploring this amazing Island. It was one of the first of the Subantarctic Islands to obtain World Heritage Status and that was largely due to its unique geology. It is one of the few places on earth where mid-ocean crustal rocks are exposed at the surface due to the collision of the Australian and Pacific Plates.

Macquarie Island is home to four species of penguin, Kings, Royals, Gentoo and Rockhopper. The Royal Penguin occurs nowhere else in the world. During our visit we will land at two sites (subject of course to weather and sea conditions) and you will get a chance to see, observe and photograph all four species, although the Rockhopper is much harder to capture than the others.

We plan a landing at the Australian Antarctic Research Base at Buckles Bay where you will be able to meet with scientists and base staff. The original base was established in 1947 and the island has been ‘manned’ since then. It is one of the longest continuously occupied bases in the Subantarctic.

We depart for Campbell Island on the afternoon of the second day.

At Sea

Today is very similar to Day 6 except we are north bound and hopefully running with the prevailing weather which should make it a bit more comfortable. There will be briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for our visit there and opportunities for pelagic birding and/or simply relaxing.

Campbell Island, Perseverance Harbour

We spend two days exploring the island by foot taking in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs on the hills. These huge pink and yellow wild flowers have adapted well to the harsh conditions. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male sea lions testing their strength.

At Sea

At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. We will recap the highlights of our expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as we complete the last few miles of our journey.

At Sea

At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. We will recap the highlights of our expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as we complete the last few miles of our journey.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • This expedition experience is incredibly rich and insightful allowing you to discover a unique pocket of islands to which few travellers ever visit. 

  • The Subantarctic islands are perfect for travellers from Australia and New Zealand, offering a serene and isolated small ship expedition experience close to home. 

  • Encounter an incredibly rich array of wildlife from large seabirds including petrels, prions, albatross and shearwaters to large sea mammals including sea lions, fur and elephant seals.

Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer

The Heritage Adventurer is a true expedition vessel of exception quality and design. Built in 1991, this 140 guest expedition vessel was purpose built for polar expeditions. Combining the highest passenger ship icelass rating (1A Super) and a rich expedition history including most of the northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic, the Adventurer superimposes the notion of a truly tried and tested expedition vessel. 

Holding just 140 guests means the Adventurer perfectly utilises its space to create spacious and stylish voyages. A fleet of 14 zodiacs ensures that every guest can maximise their expedition experience once on board. Complete with stylish accommodations, two restaurants and a bar and lounge area guests will find a number of avenues for relaxation. Furthermore, the ships Open Bridge policy means that guests will be able to first-hand experience the expedition experience from the eyes and shared experiences of the captain and crew. A host of guest lectures from botanists, naturalists, historians and experts will be shown in the ships Presentation Theatre or guests may simply choose to unwind in the library, heated salt water pool, sauna room, gym or enclosed hot tub.

Each voyage on board the Adventurer is entirely unique. As your team of on board experts and well travelled crew meticulously plan and design each exploration in true expedition style. 

Ice Class: Length: 124m
Breadth: 18mMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 15 Knots
Electricity: Passenger
Capacity:
140

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

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean | Heritage Adventurer from USD 8,450
Departing Ending Duration
25 Nov 2023 06 Dec 2023 12
30 Dec 2023 10 Jan 2024 12

Important Info

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship
    One Night accommodation in Queenstown in Twin share on Day 1
    All meals whilst on board
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition crew
    All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
    All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges

    EXCLUSIONS

    International airfare
    Pre or post land arrangements not mentioned in itinerary
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Government arrival and departure taxes
    Any optional activities not mentioned in itinerary
    Customary gratuity for crew and personnel

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Please contact us for more information.

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather and sea conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability at the time of booking.