Scott and Shackletons Antarctica 2014 - Ross Sea Cruise

Ken Duncan
Gemma Chapman
Ken Duncan
Zodiac cruising
Penguins socializing on the Antarctic Peninsula
A polar bird blends in with its surroundings
Dine in elegance in the spacious dining room of the Orion
Relax on deck in the sunshine or enjoy the jacuzzi during your Orion cruise
During the peak of the southern hemisphere summer, Orion offers travelers a unique opportunity to venture to the continent of Antarctica. Orion will cross the Antarctic Circle to places redolent with history and adventure. Along the way the wildlife we will encounter will astound you. The sub-Antarctic islands are home to penguin breeding colonies numbering in the millions, to elephant seals and Hooker sea lions, and the endangered Wandering Albatross.

Day 1

    Hobart, Tasmania

    Set on the River Derwent, Hobart is very much a city of the sea with views of the Derwent estuary appearing around every corner. Historic 19th century waterfront warehouses remain, still bordering the commercial fishing harbour, though today it is easier to feast on seafood at one of the restaurants they now house. Hobart is the finishing line for the famed blue water Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and its deep harbour precinct once bustled with whalers, soldiers, petty bureaucrats and opportunistic businessmen. A walk through the town will reveal that the city has resisted the pressure to move with the times, having retained and preserved old buildings such as the Parliament built by convicts in the 1830's.

    Days 2-4

      At Sea

      Relax on board your expedition vessel while sailing towards Macquarie Island. Get to know your fellow travelers while enjoying a lecture series from your onboard naturalists, preparing you for your upcoming adventures.

      Day 5

        Macquarie Island

        Often described as one of the "wonder spots" of the world, the sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie has been said to rival South Georgia in its magnificence, scenic diversity and prolific wildlife. Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1933 and a World Heritage Site in 1997, Macquarie now operates a full-time manned station where biological and meteorological research is conducted. The station, located on the isthmus at Buckles Bay, is from where you will collect the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife rangers who will be your guides.

        Sandy Bay, situated halfway down the island's eastern seaboard, is your planned landing site. The Zodiacs will traverse breakwaters of giant kelp before reaching rocky beaches where landing conditions can best be described as "wet and challenging". Once ashore you'll find the bay, with its rugged backdrop of mountains and tussockcovered headlands, is home to 20,000 breeding pair of royal penguins, king penguins, rock hopper penguins, gentoo penguins and elephant seals. This profusion of wildlife wasn't always so protected, the rusting remains of machinery used by whalers being stark reminders of the exploitation which took place on the island during its early history.

        Days 6-8

          At Sea

          As you make your way through the Southern Ocean, Orion’s Expedition Team will be on hand to prepare you for your expedition experience giving you an overview of all aspects of Antarctic life, with lectures and presentations on wildlife, ice, environmental sustainability and the history of polar exploration. These are given by some of the foremost experts in their fields including botany, marine biology, anthropology and history.

          Days 9-15

            Ross Sea Region

            This southernmost expanse of the Pacific Ocean was named after James Calrk Ross who first explored the area in 1841 with two ships, Erebus and Terror.

            As seas go, this one is quite shallow and is bounded in the east by the coastal mountains of Victoria Land and in the south by the Ross Ice Shelf. The shelf is a flat topped body of snow covered glacial ice about the size of France which largely floats except along the coastlines. The southern part of the Ross Sea is not navigable for some 9 months of the year and over the summer season between January and March very few ships venture here, and those that do principally supply the various scientific stations.

            The Ross Sea coast extends from the ice shelf northwards until it reaches the very tip of Victoria Land and Cape Adare. During your time in the Ross Sea Region a variety of opportunistic landings will be attempted, subject to weather conditions.

            Days 16-18

              At Sea

              These days offer plenty of time to capture memories of the fascinating time spent in the Ross Sea region. Your onboard naturalists and guides will continue your lecture series while preparing you for your continued voyage.

              Day 19

                Campbell Island

                Campbell Island was first discovered in January 1810 by Captain Frederick Hasselburg, master of the sealing brig, Perseverance. He named the island after his employers Robert Campbell and Co. of Sydney and sadly drowned later that year after a boat capsized in Perseverance Harbor. Campbell is a volcanic island with fascinating rock formations. 50 years ago, between 2 and 3 million Rock Hopper Penguins were nesting on the island but since then 90% have been decimated by bacterial infection. Erect Crested Penguins are found here in small numbers and less than 20 pairs of Wandering Albatross nest. Approximately 8,500 pairs of Royal Albatross and about 74,000 pairs of Black Browed Mollymawk also call the island home. Over 40 other breeds of birds including the Southern Royal Albatross have also been observed on Campbell Island.

                Day 20

                  At Sea

                  Enjoy one final day at sea while cruising toward New Zealand.

                  Day 21

                    Dunedin, New Zealand

                    Orion’s shallow draft will allow her to cruise all the way into Dunedin city wharf (whereas other vessels berth at Port Chalmers) to provide guests a full day ashore to enjoy this charming city, regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.

                    The Otago region was settled by Maori's over four centuries ago, with Scottish migrants establishing a small town in 1848. After gold was discovered Dunedin rapidly developed to (then) become New Zealand's biggest city and the country's industrial and commercial heart, with many ornate heritage buildings dating from this period still standing today. It was the first city outside the to have its own tram system. The Botanic Gardens, New Zealand's first, are located at the northern end of the city on the lower slopes of Signal Hill.

                    Triple Cabin Discounts:
                    A passenger booking with two additional adults saves 50% off the fare, children aged 2-15 with two adults save 75%.

                    CRUISE FARE – WHAT’S INCLUDED: Included in your cruise fare are accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programm, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port & handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers, access to the ship's library, Govt. Fees & Taxes. Fares also include the services of 75 experienced crew.

                    CRUISE FARE – WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: Fares do not include airfare and items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance, laundry charges, shopping onboard, bar expenses, hair dressing and massage treatments, optional shore experiences, medical treatment, telephone and internet charges.

                    Although this itinerary to the extreme sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions is based on many years of collective experience, prevailing weather and ice conditions in this area of the world are unpredictable, mother nature dictates our course. These are not cruises they are true expeditions to what can be the most inhospitable region on earth. Bring with you a spirit of adventure and flexibility.