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Forgotten Islands of South Pacific

8 Days FROM USD 5,100

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Overview

Embark on an incredible expedition to the Subantarctic islands of New Zealand. These 'forgotten' islands are often omitted from the mind of the exploratory traveller. However, despite their low profile, these islands are some of the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the Southern Ocean and designated UNESCO world heritage sites. Departing from on board the Akademik Shokalskiy from Invercargill you will explore islands dotted with honey-combed seabird cliffs, windswept Rata forests, flowering fields of incredible 'megaherbs' and unforgettable wildlife experiences from Snare crested Penguin to majestic Royal Albatross. Discover one of the most pristine ecosystems that truly to this day unheard of.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACHEFSP

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand

Ship: Akademik Shokalskiy

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

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Uncover the mysteries and pristine sites of the 'forgotten islands' a truly wonderful ecosystem close to home that few travellers truly know exist. 

  • You will visit a number of unique islands each with incredible and contrasting sights, from dramatic honey-combed sea bird cliffs, wild fields of impressive megaherbs and immersive history from shipwrecks, treasure hunters and scientific parties.

  • This Subantarctic expedition is the perfect experience for the adventurer traveller - who seeks and isolated and pristine expedition experience perfect for travel from Australia and New Zealand. 

CRUISE ITINERARY

Make your way to the Ascot Park Hotel, from where we will transfer you to the Port of Bluff. (Reporting times and the departure time of the transfer will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The township of Bluff is situated on the north-eastern side of Bluff Hill, an extinct volcanic cone which forms a knoll at the southern end of the Bluff Peninsula which extends into Foveaux Strait.

The captain and expedition team will be waiting for your arrival at the ship to greet you and show you to your cabin. You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself on board and there will be formal introductions to the team followed by safety briefings.

Join the captain on the bridge or fellow travellers on deck as we set sail for The Snares Islands. We will sail past Ruapuke Island, formerly a local Maori stronghold supporting a population of over 200 people. We will also be able to see Stewart Island. Despite appearing quite small on most maps it is really quite large and has a 700-kilometre coastline. Seabirds that we may encounter at this early point in the voyage include albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and Little Blue Penguins.

Invercargill

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 of 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 to a single pup. Hookers or New Zealand Sea Lion numbers are in a slow decline, for reasons which are not obvious but most probably connected with a nearby squid fishery.

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. There is also a very good chance of seeing the Subantarctic Snipe.

Enderby Island

In the south of the archipelago there is a very large sheltered harbour, 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 permittable 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.

Carnley Harbour

We have two days 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, it was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats.

We will offer a number of 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 of 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 megaherbs for which the island is renown.

Other birds 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.

Campbell Island - Day 5 to 6

We are at sea en route to the Port of Bluff. We will take the opportunity to recap the many experiences we have had on this expedition. This is also a good opportunity to download and edit any remaining photos while they are fresh in your mind and you have the experience of our expedition team on board for questions. There will also be some good pelagic birding opportunities.

At Sea

We arrive at the Port of Bluff early in the morning. After breakfast, Customs formalities and a last minute opportunity to bid farewell to your expedition team you disembark and board our complimentary coach transfer to either a central city point or to the airport. Our adventure ends but memories will last long beyond this.

In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel from Invercargill until after midday today.

Disembarkation in Invercargill
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing per person & dates

Forgotten Islands of South Pacific from USD 5,100
Departing Ending Duration
05 Jan 2022 12 Jan 2022 8

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship
    All meals on board
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition staff and crew
    Landing fees (USD400 per person)
    Pre/post cruise transfers

    EXCLUSIONS

    International flights
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel and medical insurance
    Any activities not mentioned as included
    Gratuities for staff/crew

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

  • Please note this itineraries and activities may be subject to change depending on weather conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

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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