trip
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1
Discovery and Cruising

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 11 days expedition cruising
Accommodation
  • 1 night hotel
  • 11 nights aboard Akademik Shokalskiy
Meals
  • 13 Dinners
  • 12 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

14 Days$7750USD

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: MIE

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 Hobart make your own way to the hotel. This evening we will take the opportunity to meet fellow passengers at an informal dinnertime get-together.

Meals:  D

We will transfer you from the hotel to Hobart Port where we will board the Akademik Sholakskiy. Settle into your cabin and then join expedition staff and the Captain for orientation and a welcome on board.

Meals:  B,L,D

As we make our way south through the roaring ‘40s to Macquarie Island, we will prepare for our visit, and there will be a series of video supported lectures on the biology and history of the island and the Southern Ocean. Birding opportunities may 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. Other species to be on the lookout for include the Soft-plumaged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Whiteheaded Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-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. New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory, its history is as rich and varied as the other islands we visit. Discovered in 1810 (by the same sealing captain who discovered Macquarie Island) it too was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats. In 1895 the New Zealand government advertised the island as a pastoral lease. The lease was taken up by an entrepreneurial New Zealand sheep farmer who stocked the island with sheep and cattle. The farming practices, which included burning the scrub, modified the island considerably. The farming lasted until 1934 when it was abandoned. Coastwatchers were stationed on the island during the war, at the end of the war the station was taken over by the New Zealand Metrological service and they maintained a manned weather/research station on the island until 1995. We will offer a number of options 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 renowned.

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. During our stay we will visit Carnley Harbour and spend a day ashore on Enderby Island. 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. In Carnley Harbour, energetic adventurers can climb up to the Southwest Cape Shy Mollymawk or Albatross Colony. It is a reasonably difficult scramble, but worth the effort. The views are spectacular and the colony provides great photo opportunities, as do the Wandering Albatross sometimes seen nesting in the tussock beyond the Mollymawk colony. For those who don’t make the climb, there will be a Zodiac excursion to explore parts of this magnificent harbour.

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

We arrive into port early in the morning. After breakfast and customs formalities, we will disembark in Invercargill. We will go our separate ways enriched by this life changing trip.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • 1 night's hotel accommodation in Hobart
  • 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

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

$7750USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Main Deck TwinUSD$8300
  • SuperiorUSD$8800
  • Superior PlusUSD$9600
  • Mini SuiteUSD$9900
  • Heritage SuiteUSD$10600
  • Mandatory Landing FeesUSD$800
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Macquarie Island Explorer 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


Positive Impact Travel

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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