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Adelie penguins

Mawson’s Antarctica: Along the East Coast

Example 25 Day Cruise aboard Scenic Eclipse II
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Embark on a 25-day cruise from Queenstown to Hobart aboard the Scenic Eclipse II. Explore the captivating realm of Antarctica, where penguins gather in the thousands amidst a landscape of glaciers and icebergs. Follow in the footsteps of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson along the East Coast, navigating remote bays and islands. Experience the unpredictability of this incredible destination while the expert team onboard adapts to weather and ice conditions for a wondrous voyage.
Queenstown, New ZealandCrabeater sealExplore the stunning Milford SoundEmperor penguins and chicksElephant seal on the coastColorful boats in Hobart Harbor, TasmaniaA Weddell seal watches the ship cruise byAdelie penguins
Highlights
  • Explore the high altitudes of the Southern Alps and mirror-like Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown
  • Discover the dramatic scenery of Milford Sound with clear lakes, ancient glaciers, and rainforests
  • Witness the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife of the Balleny Islands and East Coast Antarctica
  • Learn about geographical mysteries at Terra Nova Islands and explore the Terra Nova Hut
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is an amazing destination that takes your breath away. The towering Southern Alps, shimmering Lake Wakatipu, dreamy vine-laced countryside, and cozy town with crackling fires and glasses of wine make for an unforgettable experience. Enjoy your one-night stay in Queenstown.

Day 2: Queenstown | Milford Sound | Embark

This morning, get ready and transfer by coach from Queenstown to Milford Sound. This secluded area in the Fiordland of the South Island boasts some of New Zealand's most breathtaking scenery, including crystal-clear lakes,  fiords carved by ancient glaciers, and lush rainforests.

As you board the ship, greet the friendly crew who will accompany you throughout your voyage. To kick off the cruise, you can enjoy champagne and mingle with your fellow passengers. It's a great way to start your adventure in this picturesque part of New Zealand.

Day 3-6: At Sea

While exploring the luxurious spaces on board Scenic Eclipse, you can have the chance to meet some of the experts who will bring the places you visit to life. The expert Discovery Team will enrich your Antarctica experience with their encyclopedic knowledge in almost every field imaginable: geology, glaciology, photography, marine biology, history, and ecology. They've been exploring the world's most remote reaches for years and will fascinate you with facts and stories about the destinations you're about to visit.

These insights – details beyond anything you can find in guidebooks or websites – will be revealed as you cross the Southern Ocean, with the Discovery Team hosting regular daily lectures and discussions in the yacht's state-of-the-art theatre on topics ranging from ecology to exploration, photography to ornithology.

Think of this as a voyage where the journey is as thrilling as the destination.

Day 7-8: Balleny Islands

This 160-kilometer-long chain of volcanic islands (some still active) is a delightful surprise in what you may expect to be the whole Antarctic landscape.

The Balleny Islands are remote and fascinating, their location straddling the Antarctic Circle, leaving them heavily glaciated. Landings aren’t permitted, but in favorable weather conditions, you may have the chance to explore in Zodiacs for a front-row seat to one of the greatest convergences of wildlife in the world.

Humpbacks, fin, and minke whales may put on a show while you are nearby, breaching, blowing, and slapping their tails. Crabeater, Weddell, elephant, and leopard seals loll about, sunbaking between swims. And Adélie and chinstrap penguins march and squark, creating a melodic cacophony.

Make sure you head to the Observation Deck for a vantage view or enjoy the comforts of your private balcony to take in every moment navigating this incredible region.

Almost entirely mantled by ice, Young Island is the northernmost island in the archipelago, and British mariner Captain Balleny – after whom the chain is named – reported seeing smoke billowing from its 1,340-metre summit when he was here exploring in 1839.

At the other end of the chain, Sturge is the southernmost island in the Balleny archipelago. Pull out your binoculars or head for the telescopes in the Observation Lounge because this particular slip of land has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. Twitchers will rejoice at spotting the enormous breeding colonies of southern fulmars and snow petrels based on the ice-free cliffs along the western and northern coasts. Gain deep insights from your expert Discovery Team about the region and its rich birdlife.

Day 9-18: East Coast Antarctica

The Adare Peninsula is a postcard of natural drama, with jagged cliffs and ink-black escarpments backed by the towering Admiralty Mountains. Much of the spectacle comes courtesy of the 250,000 breeding pairs of Adélie penguins—the largest colony in Antarctica—that call the region home, making it one of the most jaw-dropping sights of your journey, which is saying something.

Nothing quite prepares you for the Adélie orchestra you can hear as the ship draws close to shore – raucous neighborhood disputes, high-pitched laughter, impatient, hungry youngsters, and confident courtship.

This is where the Southern Ocean gives way to the Ross Sea, a place that has drawn avid expeditions for centuries. It was the site of the first documented Antarctic landing on the continent in 1895, and Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink’s two 1899 huts remain on land. Explore the remains with your Discovery Team, who will take you to shore in Zodiacs for an experience that hits you in waves and lingers long after you return home.

Captain James Ross discovered and named Yule Bay, a curve in the coast of northern Victoria Land. Like much of Antarctica, the immensity of the ice here can only be fully appreciated with some perspective.

In these rarely seen reaches of East Coast Antarctica, glaciers glitter like gems, ice lakes are scattered with star points of light, immense snow cliffs cast blue shadows, and the gossamer sheen of silver gleams across the ridges of the frozen ocean and white abstract shapes. This is a place of superlatives, and the beauty will - leave you speechless.

Day 19-21: At Sea

The past three weeks have delivered an abundance of emotions and active explorations—today could be the day for some downtime in the expansive 550m² Senses Spa. There, be rejuvenated with yoga and Pilates classes included or indulge in a range of high-quality treatments and wellness experiences, from dreamy massages and facials to body wraps and scrubs, manicures, and pedicures. Then, take time on one of the thermal lounges; your limbs will thank you later.

Indulge more in your Discovery Yacht's facilities. Begin the day with a yoga class, followed by a soak in the heated vitality pool, your backdrop's endless horizon. Your active start to the day means you can reward yourself by calling on your butler to bring breakfast to your room. You could enjoy lunch here as well. Or make a date with your new friends to re-live Antarctica memories over a meal at Lumiere. On-board chefs prepare fresh and inspired meals you can linger over well into the afternoon.

Now, you only need to decide which bar or lounge to move to, making the most of the truly all-inclusive beverage menu, including premium wines and spirits. For a dose of sunshine, retire to the Scenic Bar & Lounge, order a cocktail or flute of French champagne, and let your cares drift away.

Take advantage of the open bridge policy to meet with the Captain and his team and learn all about Scenic Eclipse's state-of-the-art technology and environmentally sustainable systems, which aim to leave as small a footprint as possible.

Learn about Scenic Eclipse's GPS Dynamic Positioning and how it allows her to maintain location without dropping anchors onto sensitive seabeds. The Azipod propulsion system delivers the lowest noise and vibration levels to ensure minimal disturbance to marine life. Visiting Antarctica positively breeds environmental ambassadors, and you can learn more over an enrichment lecture in the state-of-the-art theatre.

Day 22: Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is a place that sparks every sense. First, smell, then sound, then sight. From a distance, Macquarie’s earth appears to be moving. As Scenic Eclipse approaches, you realize that the land is heaving – under the weight of millions of penguins.

Subject to permits, you may see this spectacle of epic proportions, an extraordinary landscape hosting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Ocean. Countless tuxedoed, bushy-eyebrowed, and golden-crowned penguins – king, rockhopper, Gentoo, and the endemic royal – breed here, and they’re not shy about having a good time. Or about greeting passengers who step ashore with squarks and squeaks. Occasionally, one flops for ice surfing, paddling on its belly like a torpedo-shaped toboggan. The fluffy, impossibly cute youngsters have the gleeful look of children allowed to stay up past their bedtime for a grown-up gathering.

See leopard seals that patrol the waters, southern elephant seals that peek from tussocked dunes, and sooty albatrosses that circle overhead.

Day 23-24: At Sea

Thousands of penguins. Countless seals and whales. Antarctica-only birdlife. Endless expanses of ice. The remarkable sights of the world’s southernmost continent take a while to digest. Sometimes, quiet contemplation is the best way to do that – perhaps editing images, writing in your journal, or marking highlights on a map. At other times, being with others who appreciate your emotions is ideal. Join your fellow passengers in one of the up to ten restaurants, nine bars, and lounges or while relaxing in the Observatory Lounge & Library. Relive every moment that sparked joy over the last three weeks—looking forward to sharing these once-in-a-lifetime memories with your loved ones at home. 

End your journey as you began it – by indulging in Scenic’s truly all-inclusive philosophy. Enjoy an unrivaled selection of premium beverages available on board all day across nine bars and lounges, including premium gin, saké, and more than 100 varieties of whiskey.

Make your reservation for the Night Market @ Koko’s, where chefs prepare unique dishes inspired by the markets of Asia while you watch on from behind the hot and cold grill. Knowing that you share this night only with your chef and seven other guests makes it all the more memorable.
 

Day 25: Hobart, Australia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Your voyage ends in Hobart – knowing there’s still nothing between you and Antarctica, but swathes of icy ocean help take away the sting of everyday life. After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to your new friends and the dedicated Scenic Eclipse crew, who have made your voyage so remarkable. Fly home carrying once-in-a-lifetime memories with you, or extend your journey to explore the captivating city of Hobart. 

Please book your flight to depart out of Hobart after 12:00 PM.

Please note that the itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons and weather conditions. As such, Scenic cannot guarantee that the cruise will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above.

Ship/Hotel

Scenic Eclipse II

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$58,990 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
Select a Date
D Verandah
344-366 sqft. Verandah Suites, located on Deck 5, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
DA Deluxe Verandah
344-366 sqft. Deluxe Verandah Suites located on Deck 5, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
DB Deluxe Verandah
344-366 sqft. Deluxe Verandah Suites located on Deck 5, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
DD Grand Deluxe Verandah
409-430 sqft. Choose a Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite, located on Deck 5, which provides additional room to relax. Amenities include a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
C Verandah
344-366 sqft. Verandah Suites, located on Deck 6, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
CA Deluxe Verandah
344-366 sqft. Deluxe Verandah Suites located on Deck 6, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
CD Grand Deluxe Verandah
409-430 sqft. Choose a Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite, located on Deck 6, which provides additional room to relax. Amenities include a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
GP Grand Panorama
344-366 sqft. Verandah Suites, located on Decks 5, 6, 7 or 8, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
B Verandah
344-366 sqft. Verandah Suites, located on Decks 5, 6, 7 or 8, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
BA Deluxe Verandah
344-366 sqft. Deluxe Verandah Suites located on Decks 6, 7 or 8 provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
BD Grand Deluxe Verandah
409-430 sqft. Choose a Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite, which provides additional room to relax. Amenities include a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
A Verandah
344-366 sqft. Verandah Suites, located on Decks 5, 6, 7 or 8, provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
AA Deluxe Verandah
344-366 sqft. Deluxe Verandah Suites located on Decks 6, 7 or 8 provide a spacious and comfortable introduction to ocean cruising with the finest appointments and amenities including a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
AD Grand Deluxe Verandah
409-430 sqft. Choose a Grand Deluxe Verandah Suite, which provides additional room to relax. Amenities include a luxury king-size bed, separate lounge area, en-suite bathroom with shower, butler service.
Select a Date
S Spa
495-538 sqft. Located on the higher decks, luxurious Spa Suites include a luxurious king-sized bed, spa bath, steam shower, butler service, and additional features and services that will
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P Panorama
1,184sqft. Located at the front of the yacht on Deck 8 these opulent suites feature spacious curved terraces, a king-sized bed, full bath with steam shower and additional features and services.
Select a Date
SA Spa
495-538 sqft. Located on the higher decks, luxurious Spa Suites include a luxurious king-sized bed, spa bath, steam shower, butler service, and additional features and services
Select a Date
SB Spa
495-538 sqft. Located on the higher decks, luxurious Spa Suites include a luxurious king-sized bed, spa bath, steam shower, butler service, and additional features and services
Select a Date
OP Owner's Penthouse
2,099sqft. The oversized Owner’s Penthouse Suites are the ultimate indulgence. Located on Deck 9 and elegantly appointed with spacious curved terraces featuring a private Jacuzzi and the best views onboard, you will never want to leave.

Notes

All rates are quoted in USD and represent cost per person, based on double occupancy.
Included
  • 24 Breakfasts, 22 Lunches, 23 Dinners
  • 24 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Wifi
  • Porterage
  • Port taxes and charges
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Complimentary beverages
  • Engaging lectures and education program with on board experts
  • Scenic Discovery excursions by Zodiac
  • Full kayak program and stand-up paddle boarding
  • Complimentary expedition parka and water bottle, plus use of special polar boots
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Select drinks including a very small number of rare, fine and vintage wines, champagnes and spirits are not included in the package and may be available at an additional charge
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • All travel invoice risks. We strongly recommend you to take out comprehensive travel insurance with a reputable insurance company to cover you against risks associated with your tour. Including cover for loss of luggage, medical expense, and cost and expenses incurred due to cancellations, delays, or other disruptions
  • Submersible experience
  • Helicopter experience

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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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.
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