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Ross Sea Expedition: Dunedin to Dunedin | Le Soleal

22 Days
From USD 26,060

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: ACPORSE

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Dunedin, New Zealand

Finish: Dunedin, New Zealand

SHIP: Le Soleal

DestinationDestination

Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Antarctica

DestinationDeparture Date

26/01/2025

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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OVERVIEW

Visit the most pristine ocean on Earth as you follow in the footsteps of the heroic age of Antarctic expeditions. Departing from Dunedin, this 22 day expedition will allow you to explore the highlights of the Subantarctic Islands and Antarctica. Often omitted from the minds of the exploratory traveller, the Subantarctic Islands are one of the most biodiverse and wildlife rich corners of the world. All of this is magnificently capitalised as you undertake a number of exciting expeditions along the Antarctic Coast - potentially you will even view the historic huts of Scott, Shackleton and Borchgrevnk. This is a truly remarkable expedition experience encapsulating rich history, wildlife and landscapes of breathtaking scale.

 

Prices are correct at time of publishing (20 Feb 2024) 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 and availability.

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 picturesque 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. Le Soleal will be alongside the inner city wharf in Dunedin

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Campbell Island

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 - Days 4 to 6

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Ross Sea Region - Day 7 to 14

The Ross Sea, the southernmost sea in the world, owes its name to Sir James Clark Ross, both a naturalist and a Royal Navy officer, who first explored the area in 1841 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. It is bounded on the east by Roosevelt Island and the Edward VII Peninsula in Mary Byrd Land, on the west by Ross Island and the coastal mountains of Victoria Land, and on the south by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica located some 320 km from the geographic South Pole. The history and treasures of the world's ultimate marine sanctuary will be revealed during this extraordinary expedition.

You will be able, weather and ice conditions permitting, to discover several emblematic sites in the region. Among the possible stopovers, Cape Adare, at the northern end of the Borchgrevink coast, home to the world’s largest colony of Adélie penguins. We will attempt to reach Terra Nova Bay where the Italian and South Korean scientific stations are located to the north and the Drygalski Ice Tongue to the south. Dating back at least 4000 years, it extends 70 km offshore from the David Glacier and is 24 km at its widest point. On the Inexpressible Island, discover the exceptional survival conditions of a group of six men of the Terra Nova expedition, led by Robert Falcon Scott (1910-1913), forced to winter in a cave dug in the ice, today classified as an Antarctica historical monument. On Ross Island, follow in the footsteps of the polar explorers Sir James Clark Ross and discover Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut, classified as an Antarctica historical monument. Built at Cape Royds during the British expedition Nimrod (1907-1909), it proudly stands at the bottom of Mount Erebus. Sixty years earlier, while Captain James Ross was trying to reach the South Magnetic Pole, he discovered Franklin Island, located 130 km east of Cape Hickey in Victoria Land. He named it after Sir John Franklin, Arctic explorer and governor of the territory of present-day Tasmania. You will be offered there, a privileged position to observe Adélie penguins in their daily ballet as well as Weddell seals, resting on the shore.

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Balleny Island

The Balleny Islands are an extremely remote series of islands extending for about 160 kilometres in a northwest-southeast direction straddling the Antarctic Circle some 270 kilometres north of the Antarctic mainland. The volcanic islands are heavily glaciated and have received few human visitors since their discovery in 1839. Their isolated location within the rich waters of the Southern Ocean has resulted in a species diversity rivalling the entire Ross Sea region. Humpback, fin and minke whales are regular visitors to the rich feeding grounds along with Crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Several of the islands are home to significant colonies of Adélie and Chinstrap penguins. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to explore the spectacular coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of Zodiac.

At Sea - Day 17 to 18

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Macquarie Island

Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, 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. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

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.

Disembark 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 picturesque 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. Le Soleal will be alongside the inner city wharf and disembarkation will commence after breakfast.

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WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • You will undertake this voyage on board Le Soleal - This extraordinary voyage perfectly combines adventure on a luxury scale.

  • With landscapes of a breathtaking scale you will have the opportunity to see at least 9 penguin species and a number of seal species including Weddell Seal, Fur Seals and even Southern Elephant Seals.

  • You will visit the Snares - Alone these islands boast more nesting seabirds than the entirety of the British Isles.

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

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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

Ross Sea Expedition: Dunedin to Dunedin | Le Soleal from USD 26,060
Departing Ending Duration
26 Jan 2025 16 Feb 2025 22

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 Flight
    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

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more information.

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

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability.

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