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Unseen Fiordland & Stewart Island | Heritage Adventurer

6 Days
From USD 3,875

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Trip Code: NZHEUF

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Heritage Adventurer

DestinationDestination

New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands

DestinationDeparture Date

26/12/2023

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on board ship



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OVERVIEW

Explore the remote corners of New Zealand and the Sub Antarctic islands on this incredible 6 day voyage. On board the Heritage Adventurer you will discover the raw wildlife of Stewart and Ulva Islands before exploring the majestic Fiordland. Stewart and Ulva Islands are home to a unique array of birdlife including bellbirds, Tomtit, Rifleman, Saddlebacks and the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi. Here you will have the opportunity to hear incredible native bird songs and see pristine golden sandy beaches. 

As you cruise the western parts of New Zealand's south island you will soon be exposed to the grand scenery of Fiordland. Complete with remote, ice-carved mountains, winding fiords and woodland forests, these are some of the most pristine landscapes on Earth. Zodiac cruise among the glittering waterways and search for unique wildlife including New Zealand fur seals, Dusky dolphins and elusive bird species.

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 and Stewart Island

Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant before departing for the Port of Bluff and Stewart Island before embarking your ship. New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place and with 85 per cent of the island designated national park, the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. Despite its small stature on most maps, Stewart Island has 700-kilometres of coastline so there is much to explore and experience here. Enjoy the impressive bird song as we explore Ulva Island, rich in history and wildlife, which has been predator-free since 1997. Some of the wildlife you may get to see while walking its tracks and exploring Boulder and West End Beaches, Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red-crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui. There are many more species that may also be seen, our knowledgeable expedition guides will be listening for bird calls and keeping a close watch in overhead canopies and the surrounding shrubs to identify further species. In Paterson Inlet visit the historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay, where from 1923 and 1933 the Ross Sea Whaling Company of Sandefjord, Norway ran a repair base where chaser boats were serviced in preparation for the Antarctic summer. Discover quirky town centre Oban in Halfmoon Bay where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the historic and iconic South Sea Hotel.

Fiordland - Day 3 to 5

We have three days to explore the incredible wilderness of fiords in the south-west corner of the South Island. This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Fiordland was well known to local Maori people, with the demi-god Tu-teraki-whanoa being said to have used his adze, Te Hamo, to carve out the region’s fiords. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, they were the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’s records of his discovery and maps attracted sealers and whalers not long after who then formed the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country. Fiordland’s coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look out for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible, areas we plan to visit during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. The Captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to make the best use of our time in this incredible region of New Zealand, including areas that even few New Zealanders have visited. The isolation of Fiordland has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed. On the evening of Day 5 we will enjoy a celebratory dinner with newfound friends and reflect on a wealth of new experiences from our adventure.

Depart in Queenstown/Invercargill

Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3pm from Queenstown. Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

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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

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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

Unseen Fiordland & Stewart Island | Heritage Adventurer from USD 3,875
Departing Ending Duration
26 Dec 2023 31 Dec 2023 6

Important Info

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship
    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.