Have questions? We're here.
Travelers trek across the arctic landscape.

East Antarctica: In the Wake of Mawson

Example 27 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Shokalskiy
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Antarctica trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert Ask a Question
Board the 48-passenger small ship, the Akademik Shokalskiy, to explore the remote shores of East Antarctica on this 27-day itinerary that follows in the footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson. Many consider Sir Douglas Mawson the grandfather of Antarctic Science. The Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-1914 is distinguished for its achievements and Mawson's almost superhuman trek to safety. Mawson's hut at Cape Denison still remains and is one of the very few ice free and readily accessible areas along the East Antarctic coastline.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Invercargill, New Zealand
Day 2 : Embark in Port of Bluff
Day 3 : The Snares | North East Island
Days 4-5 : Auckland Islands
Day 6 : At Sea
Days 7-8 : Macquarie Island
Days 9-12 : At Sea
Days 13-19 : Commonwealth Bay
Days 20-23 : At Sea
Days 24-25 : Campbell Island | Perseverance Harbour
Day 26 : At Sea
Day 27 : Invercargill | Disembark


  • Explore remote East Antarctica, including Commonwealth Bay
  • Experience Mawson's Hut and other relics from the 1911-14 expedition
  • See beautiful royal penguins and their breeding grounds on Macquarie Island
  • Zodiac cruise the rugged coastlines of Subantarctic Islands
  • Pass the Antarctic Circle into 24-hour daylight


Akademik Shokalskiy

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Travelers trek across the arctic landscape. Visitors hike up to Mawson's Huts at at Cape Denison. A single penguin on Antarctica. Soak in the scenery on Campbell Island Albatrosses squack at the sky.

Day 1 Invercargill, New Zealand

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

Day 2 Embark in Port of Bluff

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Transfer to the port where staff welcome you on board the Akademik Shokalskiy. As you settle into your cabin, your adventure begins.

Day 3 The Snares | North East Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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. 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 4-5 Auckland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Characterized by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. Spend the day ashore on Enderby Island, which is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Here find parakeets flitting above carpets of red, white, and yellow wild flowers and on the beaches beyond, the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand sea lion. Land in Carnley Harbour and if conditions are suitable, climb to a shy albatross colony, or explore sites within the harbor.

Day 6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of these islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with experts. This particular stretch of ocean is rich in seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.

Day 7-8 Macquarie Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This remote, rocky outpost which endures roaring westerly winds supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Four species of penguin, king, royal, rockhopper and gentoo, breed here. Never forget your first experience in a ceaselessly active ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors. Also meet with the park rangers, visit the Australian Antarctic Base, and observe the hundreds of southern elephant seals along the beaches.

Day 9-12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Soaring albatross and petrels circle the vessel as the ship steams ever southward through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Antarctic region and beyond the bow of the ship; drifting icebergs of extraordinary shapes begin to appear. Maneuvering in close for your first ice photographs, pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight. Relax in the ship’s bar and catch up with some reading in the library. If you have brought your laptop, you can download and edit photos while they are fresh in your mind.

Day 13-19 Commonwealth Bay

  • Ship
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Your first landing on the remote East Antarctic coastline is at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, notoriously known as the ‘home of the blizzard.’ See and experience Mawson’s Hut and its environs which include other relics from the 1911-14 expedition and Adelie penguins. West from Cape Denison is the French Research Base, Dumont D’Urville, which you visit if permission is granted and ice conditions permit. There is also an emperor penguin colony nearby. Other possible landings include Port Martin (abandoned French Base) and the McKellar Islands. Also cruise in the Zodiacs looking for wildlife.

Day 20-23 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Taking time to rest and enjoy shipboard life in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, you have time for lectures on the final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.

Day 24-25 Campbell Island | Perseverance Harbour

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour, an occasional refuge for southern right whales who come here to calve. Walk to the nesting site of the southern royal albatross and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs growing on the hills. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colorings and weirdly-shaped leaves. Also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island shags, light-mantled sooty albatross, and sea lions.

Day 26 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and enjoy your last few days of shipboard life and to reflect on an amazing experience. On your last evening, review and celebrate your discoveries over a farewell dinner.

Day 27 Invercargill | Disembark

  • 1 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 a complimentary coach transfer to a central city drop off or airport.

Akademik Shokalskiy


Per person starting at
Twin Cabin
Select a Date
Main Deck
Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
Superior Room
Select a Date
Have bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Superior cabins have windows.
Twin Private Cabin
Select a Date
Superior Plus
Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Superior Cabin
Select a Date
Mini Suite
Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
Select a Date
Heritage Suite
Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.


- 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.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

Price Includes:
- Pre & Post cruise transfers
- One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (includes dinner and breakfast)
- All on board ship accommodation with meals
- All expedition shore excursions

Price Excludes:
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, and gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Travel insurance
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
molly hutchison bio headshot
Molly H

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
Chat Now
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

Popular Add-ons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Awards and Accolades

All News