Macquarie Island Expedition: Galapagos of the Southern Ocean Cruise

Traveler photographing the unique plant life.
Sea lion nestled in the seaweed.
Travelers relax on the beautiful beach.
The Red-crowned Parakeet.
Sea lions resting on the beach.
Top deck of the Spirit of Enderby.
Spirit of Enderby's lounge and bar.
This is without doubt one of the most inspirational and informative journeys or expeditions into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one can make anywhere in the world. Long recognized for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. The area has been afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments, so access to these islands is by permit only. This unique expedition includes four of the Subantarctic Islands: The Snares, Auckland's, Macquarie and Campbell. Each one is different and each one is unique, just like this voyage. Join the Spirit of Enderby for this 13-day cruise and for your chance to explore, photograph and understand these wonderful places in the company of some of the most knowledgeable and passionate guides.

Day 1

  • Dinner


Meet your fellow voyagers and expedition staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you stay overnight.

Day 2

Embark at Port of Bluff

Transfer to the Port of Bluff where the staff welcomes you on board the Spirit of Enderby. Your adventure begins as you settle into your cabin.

Day 3

The Snares Islands - North East Island

North East Island is the largest of The Snares and, staggeringly, this one island is claimed by some to be home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. While Zodiac cruising the rugged coastline learn how the islands got their name and encounter Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs. You are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.

Day 4

Auckland Islands - Enderby Island

Named for the same distinguished shipping family as your own vessel and one of the most beautiful islands in the group, this is a great birding location and a chance to see everything from the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel to parakeets, bellbirds and the endemic shag, teal and snipe. Sandy Bay is one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s Sea Lion.

Day 5

Auckland Islands - Carnley Harbour

These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by; loaded in human history, they harbor tales of castaways, bullion and coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. Land in Carnley Harbour to visit the Shy Mollymawk colony and perhaps spot the beautiful Wandering Albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs. With an island named Disappointment and a mountain called the Tower of Babel this unique archipelago has to be seen to be believed.

Day 6

At Sea

As the ship makes its way through an area known as the Furious Fifties in the tumultuous Southern Ocean, learn more about the flora and fauna of the region as you prepare for our arrival at Macquarie Island. En route there are great birding opportunities which 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. 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, White-headed Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel and the Black-bellied Storm-Petrel.

Days 7-8

Macquarie Island

Described by one Australian explorer as “One of the wonder spots of the world” this is the only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds. Three other species of penguins, the King, Gentoo and Rockhopper also breed here. You won't soon forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you are quickly immersed in a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays. This all happens amongst the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes. On arrival meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here who will accompany you on all your landings.

Day 9

At Sea

Head north from Macquarie Island through waters rich in seabirds towards Campbell Island. You are invited to join the captain on the bridge to keep a keen lookout for birds and for whales. Today there are also briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for your visit there.

Days 10-11

Campbell Island - Perseverance Harbor

Spend two days exploring the island by foot, taking in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs growing on the hills. These huge pink and yellow wild flowers have adapted well to the harsh conditions. You can also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male sea lions testing their strength.

Day 12

At Sea

At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. This is a good opportunity to download and edit any remaining photos while they are fresh in your mind and you have the experience of your expedition team on board for questions. Recap the highlights of your expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as you complete the last few miles of your journey.

Day 13

  • Breakfast


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 your complimentary transfer by coach to downtown Invercargill or the local airport. Your adventure ends but memories will last long beyond this.
 Main Deck TripleMain deckSuperiorSuperior PlusMini SuiteHeritage Suite
Landing Fees: $800 per person
Optional Kayaking: $975 per person
PLEASE NOTE: December 03, 2015 departure embarks in Otago Harbour in Dunedin, New Zealand.
- 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.
- Included in the cruise fare is a pre-departure hotel night, group dinner as well as breakfast the next day prior to embarkation.
Please note: Fares do not include government landing fees.

Landings at the Subantarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at Snares Is. Circumstances may be encountered during your voyage which will 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.