Island Odyssey Cruise

Travelers hiking through the tropical environment.
M Kospartov
The Tui can be found on the island of Raoul.
A Russ
Houses line the coast of the Melanesia islands.
A Russ
Orchids of the South Pacific.
M Kospartov
Beautiful coastline of Raoul.
Top deck of the Spirit of Enderby.
Spirit of Enderby's lounge and bar.
This expedition includes the rarely visited Kermadec Islands, Tonga and Fiji. The isolated Kermadec Islands are the summits of huge undersea volcanoes situated along the western edge of the Kermadec Trench. Tonga is untouched and largely undiscovered. Remaining as close to authentic Polynesia as you'll find, the sheltered beauty and cultural authenticity of the Kingdom of Tonga is often described as the ‘jewel in the pacific'. A team of Pacific historians and naturalists will join you for this South Pacific expedition on board your expedition vessel the Spirit of Enderby. They will ensure that you not only enjoy the trip but also learn as you travel.

Day 1

    Tauranga, Australia

    Welcome aboard. This afternoon if you are on deck there is a good chance you will see numerous species of seabirds, including Grey-faced, Cook’s and Black Petrel, Buller’s Shearwater and even a few albatross. There is a reasonable chance of seeing Pycroft’s Petrel, although a very good look would be needed to identify this species!

    Day 2

      At Sea

      Today be passing through deep waters in prime Pterodroma petrel country and you are likely to see an impressive variety of these graceful birds. You are likely to encounter Black-winged, White-necked, Kermadec and Cook’s and there is always the chance of something really rare. If viewing conditions are good stand a reasonable chance of seeing the mighty Sperm Whale and the elusive Cuvier’s Beaked Whale.

      Day 3

        L'Esperance Rock and Curtis/Cheeseman Islands

        These islands are havens for breeding seabirds and you are likely to encounter impressive numbers as you sail offshore. In addition to the more common species, be on the lookout for White-bellied Storm-Petrel and the Kermadec White-faced Storm-Petrel. You are also likely to encounter some tropical seabirds that occur nowhere else in New Zealand, such as Masked Booby, Red-tailed Tropicbird, and Black Noddy. The distinct local race of Bottlenose Dolphin often comes out to bow ride the ship as we approach these islands. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable Zodiac cruise (no landings are permitted) and possibly offer an opportunity to dive or snorkel at the later islands.

        Days 4-5

          Raoul Island

          You will have two days scheduled for activities including diving, snorkeling and hikes ashore at Raoul Island. The weather and sea conditions will dictate your activities but you can be assured of a getting maximum time ashore or in the water snorkeling or diving. Galapagos Sharks are a feature of nearly every dive here and divers often have very close encounters with the massive and very inquisitive Spotted Black Grouper which has been fished out of most of its other haunts.

          On shore the most interesting bird is the Kermadec Red-crowned Parakeet, often considered to be a distinct species endemic to these islands. Since the removal of rats, Spotless Crakes have increased greatly and it is probably the easiest place in the world to observe this very widespread but normally elusive species. Of course most of the birds on Raoul are seabirds and wyou are likely to have close encounters with Black Noddy, Grey Ternlet, White Tern and the beautiful Red-tailed Tropicbird.

          Days 6-7

            At Sea

            There is time to spend a few lazy hours at sea as you cruise north towards Tonga. These waters are rarely visited and virtually unknown ornithologically and you will be recording seabird and cetacean sightings with great interest. Some species you can hope to see out here include Tahiti and Collared Petrels.

            Day 8

              Nuku'alofa - Tonga

              After breakfast there will be an opportunity to go ashore and explore. There will be an optional a) birding/natural history tour, b) a cultural tour or c) a swimming/snorkeling tour or alternatively free time to simply explore the town.

              Day 9

                Vava'u - Tonga

                The Vava’u Island group is a spectacular tropical island paradise. Some of the islands are ringed by white sand beaches while others have tropical forests, sea-level caves and dramatic limestone cliffs with breathtaking vistas. The climate is nearly always suitable for swimming and snorkeling, with crystal clear waters providing exceptional visibility. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the islands or swim and snorkel. Those in search of the endemic Tongan Whistler will have an opportunity to search an area of remnant forest on the main island. You could also encounter the near-endemic Blue-crowned Lorikeet today.

                Day 10

                  Nalafo'ou Island - Tonga

                  This remote island is the northern most of the Tongan group of islands. It is the ultimate destination for birders and natural history enthusiasts in Tonga. Nuiafo’ou is home to the critically endangered endemic Tongan Megapode. Spend the day ashore enjoying the hospitality of the local people.

                  Day 11

                    Vava'u - Tonga

                    Return briefly to the island of Vavau to clear Tongan customs. Once this formality is complete begin your journey to Fiji.

                    Day 12

                      At Sea

                      A chance to relax and reflect on everything you have seen and done on this ‘Island Odyssey’. This day at sea again traveling through virtually unknown seabird waters and will keep a keen lookout. In particular, keep a sharp eye out for the critically endangered Fiji Petrel. Other species you may encounter include Brown Booby, Red-footed Booby and White-tailed Tropicbird.

                      Day 13

                        Levuka - Fiji

                        Have a final round of lectures and presentations as well as recaps and briefings prior to your arrival in Fiji. Arrive at the Fijian island of Ovalau in the historic Port of Levuka formerly Fiji’s first capital, to experience Levuka is a step back into Fiji’s past and history. Complete customs formalities and explore the island; the remnant forests in the hills above Levuka offer an excellent introduction to the abundant and colorful birdlife of Fiji.

                        Day 14

                          Suva - Fiji

                          Arrive in Suva, the capital of Fiji, where you will say your farewells. There will be a complimentary transfer to a local Suva hotel and/or to the airport.

                          - 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.

                          During your 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. This tour offers varied activities and excursions; your interest will determine which of these you wish to partake in. Please note that some activities and excursions will run consecutively and it will therefore not be possible to participate in both, no refund of excursions and missed landings will be available due to this.

                          Additional charges:
                          Landing Fees $400 USD pp

                          This trip includes:
                          Pre/Post cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions.

                          This trip does not include:
                          All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.
                          South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Suva, Vava'u, L'Esperance Rock, Curtis Island, Raoul Island, Nuku'alofa, Levuka, Tauranga, Nalafo'ou Island
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