trip
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1
Discovery and Cruising
Activities
  • 11 days expedition cruising
Accommodation
  • 1 night hotel
  • 11 nights aboard Heritage Explorer
Meals
  • 11 Dinners
  • 10 Lunches
  • 11 Breakfasts

12 Days$8450USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: MIH

Trip highlights


  • Wildlife rich Sub Antarctic islands including The Snares, Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie
  • Royal, King, Gentoo Rockhopper penguins, whales and seals
  • Vast array of sea birds including the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel

The group of Subantarctic islands lying south of New Zealand have long beeen recognised for their rich biodiversity. So much so, that UNESCO placed them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as 'the most important and significant natural habitats' on the planet. This voyage gives us time to explore the islands, which all lie within the cool temperate zone, creating a unique climate perfect for supporting a vast array of wildlife including albatross, penguins, petrels, prions, shearwaters and marine mammals like sea lions, fur seals and elephant seals. Macquarie Island is the only breeding ground in the world for the beautiful Royal Penguin, and large colonies of King, Gentoo and Rockhopper penguins are also found here.


Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s world famous alpine resort town. 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.

Meals:  D

Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and have the morning free to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and departing for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. 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 in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as we set our course to The Snares and our adventure begins.

Meals:  B,L,D

North East Island is the largest of the Snares, the first group of Sub-Antarctic Islands that we visit. This one island is home to more nesting seabirds than in all of the British Isles. We arrive early in the morning, and as landings are not permitted we will cruise along the sheltered eastern side by Zodiac. Snares Crested Penguins are plentiful around the coast, as are the Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross that nest here later in the season. Cruising in the sheltered bays, we should see the endemic Tomtit and Fernbird. And since an estimated 60 million Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns and Red-billed Gulls nest among the Snares, we are quite likely to spot a few. Mottled Petrel, Diving Petrel and Broad-billed Prion are all also in the vicinity.

Meals:  B,L,D

The Auckland Islands, one of the largest of the Subantarctic groups of islands, have a most colourful history of discovery and attempted settlement. Forested by gnarled and windswept Rata, Enderby is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Sub-Antarctic islands. It has a low plateau of scrubland and cushion bog. We will enjoy the extensive Bulbinella rossii fields, the regenerating patches of Anisotome latifolia and the red and white gentians. The island enjoys a much milder climate than most Sub-Antarctic Islands because of its location. It is also home to the rare Hooker’s Sea Lion, which breed each year on the beach at Sandy Bay. In the forest behind the beach we find Bellbirds, Red-crowned Parakeets and the friendly Tomtits. Yellow-eyed Penguins also nest in the forest and under the tangled divaricated shrub Myrsine divaricata. You can see them as they travel backwards and forwards across the beach to their nests, especially in the evenings. On the more open country beyond the Rata forest we find nesting Royal Albatross and the endemic Auckland Island Dotterel. There is also a good chance of seeing the endemic flightless Teal at Derrycastle Reef as we explore this island. On shore 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.

Meals:  B,L,D

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. The climb to the South West Cape to visit the Shy Mollymawk colony provides magnificent views in all directions, especially over the western entrance to Carnley Harbour, Adams Island and Western Harbour. There is also the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout (the former is derelict) which was occupied during the Second World War. We could also visit Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864. All five men aboard survived and lived here for 18 months before sailing their modified dinghy to New Zealand to get help. Two of the survivors wrote books about their ordeal. Their first-hand accounts tell us a lot about their time here. Alternatively we may visit the Erlagan clearing where a German Merchant ship cut firewood to fire its boilers after slipping its moorings in Dunedin on the eve of the Second World War. Another potential site is Camp Cove where we can see the remains of the castaway depots established and maintained by the New Zealand government between the 1860s and early 1900s. Later this afternoon we depart for Macquarie Island.

Meals:  B,L,D

At sea we will have a series of lectures supported by videos of the biology and history of the Sub-Antarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean. The Sub-Antarctic Convergence zone is very close to the area we will sail through, so we expect the bird life to reflect this as we approach Macquarie Island. Birds we may spot include the Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, and Little Shearwater. We will endeavour to spot the Fairy Prion, Fulmar Prion and Antarctic Prion – never an easy task – but we should get some great views. There are also many species of Petrel to be on the look-out for including the Soft-plumaged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, White-headed Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Black-bellied Storm Petrel and Common Diving Petrel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Macquarie Island, Australia’s prized Subantarctic possession, is a small but impressive sliver of land supporting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Millions of penguins of four different species - King, Rockhopper, Gentoo and the endemic Royal – breed here. We plan to spend two days observing the best wildlife areas on the Island and visiting the Australian scientific base where Tasmanian Park Rangers will take us on a tour of the station and nearby areas. The King Penguin rookery at Lusitania Bay is spectacular. A welcoming committee will likely porpoise around our Zodiacs as a quarter of a million King Penguins stand at attention on shore. In the centre of the rookery, rusting condensers are grim reminders of a time when scores of penguins were slaughtered for their oil. Now their offspring have reclaimed this territory. At Sandy Bay, a Royal Penguin rookery teems with feisty little birds trotting back and forth, golden head plumes bobbing as they march to and from the shore. All 3 million of the world’s Royal Penguins breed on Macquarie Island. Large groups of Elephant Seals slumber on the sandy beaches and in the tussock grass further inland. These giant, blubbery creatures barely acknowledge our presence, lying in groups of intertwined bodies, undergoing their annual moult. Younger bulls spar in the shallow water, preparing for their mature years when they will look after their own harems. Other wildlife includes Fur Seals, four species of nesting Albatross – Wandering, Black-browed, Greyheaded and Light-mantled Sooty – as well as many other species of bird. Macquarie Island is the single richest concentration of wildlife on our voyage, so we will aim to fit in as much as possible.

Meals:  B,L,D

We head north from Macquarie Island through waters rich in seabirds towards Campbell Island. We invite you to join the captain on the bridge, to keep a keen lookout for birds and for whales. Today there will also be briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for our visit there.

Meals:  B,L,D

Campbell Island is a place of rugged scenery and abundant wildlife. On this stunning island we will also see mega herbs which have been regenerated since the removal of sheep in the 70’s, and witness other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and Sea Lions. We will also enjoy a walk to a large nesting ground of Southern Royal Albatross which provides excellent opportunities to get close to these magnificent sea birds.

Meals:  B,L,D

On our return journey, we will have the opportunity to reflect on the experiences we have had throughout our voyage. It is also a chance to ask any last minute questions of the lecturers. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner as we complete the last stretch of our journey.

Meals:  B,L,D

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 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. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners
  • 1 night's hotel accommodation in Queenstown twin share
  • Transfer from hotel to ship on Day 2
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • Services of expedition leaders
  • All sightseeing and shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-departure information

  • Travel to and from start /end point of trip
  • Arrival transfers from airport to hotel
  • Mandatory Landing Fees
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges, and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Customary end of voyage tips

Cabins


Departure dates


Notes

1
Mandatory Landing Fees are in addition to the cabin costs.

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

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Total Priceper person from

$8450USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Superior TripleUSD$8950
  • Superior Deck 4USD$10450
  • Superior Deck 5USD$10950
  • Worsley SuiteUSD$13795
  • Heritage SuiteUSD$20200
  • Mandatory Landing FeesUSD$800
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Macquarie Island Adventure - Galapagos of the Southern Ocean trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


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Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

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Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

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 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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