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Galapagos of The Southern Ocean Reverse

13 Days FROM USD 8,950



Discover the incredible sites of the Subantarctic Islands on this incredible 13 day small ship cruise. The Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia are dubbed the 'Galapagos of The South' due to their abundant and rich biodiversity. The Islands are teeming with unique wildlife similar to the incredible offerings found in Antarctica, but equally as unique. Albatross, penguins, petrels, prions, shearwaters and unique mammals like sea lions, fur and elephant seals all call the Subantarctic Islands their home. This adventure offers indescribable wildlife experiences and incredible natural landscapes under a true expedition experience. Discover the serene and isolated Subantarctic Islands on this unforgettable adventure. 

COVID-19 Safety Measures

In light of the current global situation Chimu Adventures continues to monitor both the local and global situation to provide the most up to date information regarding Covid-19 safety. The following measures will be undertaken on the to ensure the upmost degree of safety: 

  • The Enderby will work alongside local health and immigration authorities at destinations and ports to implement any requirements and best practice prior to departure.
  • All embarking guests will be screened as per CLIA pre-boarding protocol which currently includes answering a series of questions, passport check and taking each guests' temperature. Should a guest's temperature exceed 38°C, enhanced screening and medical support will be provided as well as a detailed recent travel history review.
  • The shipboard medical team will closely monitor US CDC Health Alerts for Healthcare Professionals and implement all recommended measures.
  • While on board, should any guest present with any influenza-like illness they will be immediately isolated while crew follows the CDC Interim Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients Under Investigation for COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Guests travelling from Australia are recommended to monitor the relevant updates and receive further information from the Australian Ministry of Health. For more information you may refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACHEGFI

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: New Zealand and Subantarctic Islands

Ship: Spirit of Enderby

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss


  • Discover the relatively unknown Subantarctic Islands. A unique pocket of islands whose biodiversity and incredible natural sites rival that of the Galapagos and Antarctica.

  • Discover a unique pocket of islands serene and isolated, teeming with natural wildlife including penguins, petrels, fur and elephant seals. 

  • The Subantarctic Islands provide a perfect alternative to the sites of the Galapagos or Antarctica. Offering a pure and isolated experience close to home. 


Passengers should make their way to the Ascot Park Hotel where our group 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.

Arrival in Invercargill

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 a number of 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.

Embarkation in Bluff

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 early in the 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.

The Snares - North East 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.

Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion, a rare member of the seal family. Beachmaster bulls gather on the beach defending their harems from younger (ambitious) males, to mate with the cows shortly after they have given birth of a single pup. Hookers or New Zealand Sea Lion numbers are in a slow decline, for reasons which are not obvious

Enderby Island

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 a number of 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.

We depart this afternoon for Macquarie Island.

Carnley Harbour

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.

At Sea

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. Macquarie also has a large population of Southern Elephant Seals. Pups are born in October and weaned in November when the breeding adults return to sea. The weaners and sub adults lie around on the beaches. The weaners go to sea sometime in January, running the gauntlet of Orcas or Killer Whales who are waiting offshore.

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

Macquarie Island - Day 7 to 8

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.

At Sea

We have plenty of time to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory. Its history is as rich and varied as the other islands we have visited. Discovered in 1810 (by the same sealing captain who discovered Macquarie Island) it too was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats.

We will offer several options which will enable you to explore the island. There will be extended walks to Northwest Bay and possibly Mt Honey. There will also be an easier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle. All these options will allow you the opportunity and time to enjoy the Southern Royal Albatross which nest here in large numbers. We also visit areas of the island which contain outstanding examples of the mega herbs for which the island is renown.

Other birds which we will search for include the teal and snipe, although the later is what we would refer to as a ‘luck’ bird. The endemic shag can be seen on the harbour, but unfortunately the nesting colonies of Rockhopper Penguins, Grey-head, Black browed and Campbell Island Albatross are outside of the permitted areas and we will have to look for these species at sea

Perseverance Harbour - Day 10 to 11

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

Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast and completing Custom formalities we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either a central city point or to the airport. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday today.

Disembarkation in Invercargill

Pricing per person & dates

Departing Ending Duration Price
18 Dec 2021 30 Dec 2021 13 USD 8,300
Cabin Type Price
Triple Cabin USD 8,300
Main Deck Twin USD 8,950
Superior USD 9,300
Superior Plus USD 10,000
Mini Suite USD 10,400
Suite USD 10,200

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship 
    All meals on board
    All scheduled landings and excursions 
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team
    Landing fees
    Pre/post cruise transfers
    One night accommodation pre departure (incl breakfast/dinner)


    International flights
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel and medical insurance
    Items of a personal nature
    Any activities not mentioned as included

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request. Contact us for more details.

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

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability



Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

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

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