Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific Cruise

Meghan Kelly
Penguins rushing up the rocky shore.
L Tough
Tree cover on the islands of New Zealand.
K Ovsyanikova
The Red-crowned Parakeet.
Seal hides amongst the unique plant life.
Meghan Kelly
Baby penguin stands in the middle of hundreds of penguins.
Top deck of the Spirit of Enderby.
Spirit of Enderby's lounge and bar.


  • Discover part of New Zealand that few have been privileged enough to visit
  • Hike through windswept rata forests, and along exposed coastal cliffs
  • Visit abandoned WWII Coastwatcher’s huts, a shipwreck, and castaway depots
  • Explore some of the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the Southern Ocean
  • Witness the flowering of megaherbs, which paint the landscape vivid colors

You won't find them mentioned in a travel brochure, you won't find them in most guidebooks, you probably don't know anyone that has ever been there, and they don't even appear on some maps of the South Pacific - these are the 'forgotten islands'. Despite their low profile, they are among the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the Southern Ocean, designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and afforded the highest protection of any nature reserves in New Zealand. Remote, uninhabited, and on no regular shipping route, access is further restricted by a strict Management Plan which limits the number of people allowed ashore each year. Join this 8-day voyage for your opportunity to visit these remarkable islands, home to a priceless ecosystem.

Day 1

Embark in Invercargill

Meet at an Invercargill central city hotel and transfer to the Port of Bluff for embarkation. The captain and expedition team is awaiting your arrival on the Spirit of Enderby. Familiarize yourself on board and then join the captain on the bridge or fellow travelers on deck as the ship sets sail and your adventure begins.

Day 2

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Snares - North East Islands

The largest of this group of islands is North East Island, a nature reserve of international importance and home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. A group of islands that have had no introduced mammals, they are a pristine haven for wildlife. Cruise the jagged coastline by Zodiac, which allows you to see some of the features of the island. From the water you can view the unique large tree daisies, Olearia lyallii and Brachyglottis stewartiae, which dominate the island. Your cruise should also allow an encounter with some of the birdlife that inhabits these islands, including the endemic Snares crested penguin. You may also catch glimpses of the Snares Island tomtit and fernbird, which are unique to these islands. On the cliffs you are likely to see Buller’s albatross, whose Maori name translates as ‘flying wind’, which could be an apt description of The Snares. This species only nests here and at the Solander Islands.

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Auckland Islands - Enderby Island

Enderby Island is a wildlife-rich island that has no equal in the Southern Ocean. Offering a varying landscape where the Rata forests are regenerating and there is a resurgence of herbaceous plants, it is one of the most beautiful islands in this group. The island is home to the Hooker’s, or New Zealand, sea lion which breeds on Sandy Bay beach where your crew plans to land. This animal is the rarest sea lion in the world. Walk to enjoy close encounters with the royal albatross nested amongst a hummocked sward of Oreobolus pectinatus and regenerating tussock. There is a good chance that you might see the endemic snipe, shag, and Auckland Island flightless teal as you walk around the island. Plan to spend some time with the yellow-eyed penguin, the world’s rarest penguin and the fourth largest of the world’s penguins. Unique fields of megaherbs, whose languorous names promise the exotic: the Bulbinella rossii, the regenerating patches of Anisotome latifolia, and the vivid red and white gentians make an unforgettable sight. Native birds such as the tui, bellbird and parakeets benefit from the presence of Rata trees and can be heard in the forest.

Day 4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Auckland Islands - Camley Harbor

Auckland Island is the largest of the islands in the group. The western coastline has been sculpted into formidable cliffs by the prevailing westerly winds, and to the east, the coast has been carved by glaciers into some of the most picturesque fjords in the world. Your anchorage in Carnley Harbor in the south of the group offers a range of activities, depending on weather and sea conditions. You could go in search of a shy mollymawk albatross colony and perhaps spot the beautiful wandering albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs. Other possibilities include visiting the abandoned World War II coastwatcher’s station or the remains of a ship wrecked in 1864 and made famous by two books written by the survivors.

Days 5-6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Campbell Island

Explore the island by foot and take in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks, once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Campbell Island is known for its megaherbs – herbaceous, perennial wild flowers characterized by their great size, with huge leaves and very colorful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Your visit should coincide with the flowering of the Pleurophyllum speciosum, an endemic daisy carpeting the hills and startling in size with leaves sometimes half a meter wide. Adapting unusually to survive the harsh climate, its nearest relatives can be found in the Canary Islands. A range of walks are offered here so you can explore an abandoned Meteorological Station at the head of the harbor or take the Col Lyall Saddle walk which offers an opportunity to view and photograph the southern royal albatross nesting amongst the flowers and tussocks.

Alternatively, walk to remote Northwest Bay across the tussock tops and megaherb fields to an isolated coastline that southern elephant seals haul out on and New Zealand sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins call home. Or you could climb the beautifully-named Mt. Honey which offers dramatic views from its summit.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

A day at sea provides a great opportunity to reflect on your voyage to the Subantarctic Islands. Today spend time on deck and view pelagic bird species that come close. You may also see cetaceans such as the dusky dolphins which sometimes surf the bow waves of the ship, and if sea conditions are good, a number of different whale species are a possibility. The day is interspersed with illustrated lectures of the biology and history of the area you have visited and the Southern Ocean.

Day 8

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Invercargill

On arrival at the Port of Bluff this morning, have your final breakfast and say your farewells before disembarking and transferring by complimentary coach to either a central city point in historic Invercargill or to the airport.

 Main Deck TripleMain deckSuperiorSuperior PlusMini SuiteHeritage Suite
Landing Fees: $400 per person
Optional Kayaking: $550 per person
Landing Fees: $400 per person
- Travel Insurance is mandatory for all passengers aboard the Spirit of Enderby.
- Single clients are matched with a sharer of the same sex in a twin-share cabin. Payment of a single supplement guarantees a single cabin. The single supplement is 1.8 times the price of the voyage with the exception of the suites which are double the single rate.

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

Circumstances may be encountered during your voyage which make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. These circumstances include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed during the voyage.

Cruise fare includes:
- Pre/Post cruise transfers
- All on board ship accommodation and meals
- All expedition shore excursions, excluding optional kayaking program where noted

Cruise fare does not include:
- Government landing fees
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, and gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Travel insurance
South Pacific, New Zealand, Invercargill, The Snares, Enderby Island, Campbell Island, Carnley Harbor
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