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Colorful boats in Hobart Harbor, Tasmania

Seabirds & Cetaceans of Australasia: An Epic East Coast Pelagic

Vanautu - Australia - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
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Join this 9-day Seabirds & Cetaceans of Australasia: An Epic East Coast Pelagic cruise from Vanautu to Australia aboard Heritage Adventurer. Explore remote waters from Port Vila to Hobart. Tailored for birders, whale enthusiasts, and adventurers, this 9-day adventure offers a chance to discover rare pelagic seabirds and cetaceans while contributing to citizen science. From Vanuatu to Australian waters, navigate through uncharted territories, pausing to observe wildlife in promising areas. This expedition promises encounters with seabirds and marine life rarely seen, making it a must for Australian naturalists and birders. 
Heritage AdventurerColorful boats in Hobart Harbor, Tasmania
Highlights
  • Explore remote, uncharted waters in search of rare pelagic seabirds and cetaceans
  • Tailored for birders, whale enthusiasts, and adventurers
  • Discovering the diverse ecosystems of the southwestern Pacific
  • Visit seldom-explored areas such as Chesterfield Reefs & Australian waters
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: Port Villa, Vanuatu

Join Heritage Adventurer this afternoon at Vanuatu’s busy capital city of Port Vila where contemporary hotels, restaurants and markets abound. The captain and expedition team will be waiting to greet you on arrival and show you to your cabin. You will have time to settle in and familiarise yourself with the ship; take the opportunity to introduce you to your expedition team and voyage plans. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as set sail.

Day 2-8: At Sea

You have 7 days at sea to explore; in the more tropical waters, look for the ephemeral feeding flocks which are typically dominated by species like Brown and Black Noddy, White and Sooty Tern, Red-footed, Masked and Brown Booby and Wedge-tailed Shearwater. These feeding frenzies are often attended by marauding Jaegers/Arctic Skua and Frigatebirds. However, a big focus will be on seeking out the low-density petrels that may or may not be associating with these flocks. With the caveat that most of these waters are unstudied, some potential species that the expedition experts know to be in this general area at this time of the year include a truly heart-pumping selection of names: Vanuatu Petrel, Magnificent Petrel, Polynesian Storm-Petrel and New Caledonian Storm Petrel. The latter was only very recently recognised as a species and was discovered and named on board a previous pioneering Heritage Expeditions voyage. Indeed, travelers should be sailing through more or less the entirety of that species’ currently known range and it will be very interesting to record how many travelers can find and where they are. If travelers are lucky, may even spot another Heritage Expeditions discovery the Heritage Lava Petrel. As travelers head south into subtropical seas, the numbers and variety of the much-desired Gadfly Petrels will surely increase and the possibilities among these deep-water specialists include such list birds as Kermadec, Providence, Mottled, White-necked, Black-winged, Gould’s, Collared, Gray-faced, Soft-plumaged, White-headed and Tahiti Petrel are all out there, to name only the most likely ones. Days filled with seeking out these species are as exciting as it gets for a seabirder. And if travelers want to dream big there are surely even rarer prizes lurking out there for those looking for Australian rarities – in such infrequently visited and far flung waters anything seems possible. Sail south towards the final destination of Tasmania, the water temperature decreases and the seabird diversity increases. The first albatross will make an appearance in the final days and at least 8 species are possible at this time of year in the waters. These may include the mighty Northern and Southern Royals, and Gibson’s and Snowy Wandering Albatrosses. Many other new species will also start appearing including the Giant Petrels and Cape and White-chinned Petrel along with various potential species of Prion. It is even harder to anticipate what cetaceans travelers may encounter, but expect to see a good variety of dolphin species as more than a dozen are theoretically possible along the route. Have reasonably good opportunities for at least fleeting encounters with some of the very poorly-known Beaked Whale species, along with some of the larger whales, especially Sperm Whale.

Day 9: Hobart, Australia

  • 1 Breakfast
Early this morning, arrive in Hobart, capital of Australia’s Island state of Tasmania and bustling port town rich in culture and colonial history with a renowned foodie scene all wrapped in stunning waterfront surrounds. After a final breakfast, bid farewell to fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to Hobart International Airport. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations, it is not recommended to book any onward travel until after midday.

Note: During 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. 

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,995 2-3 travelers
Superior Triple
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Superior Triple
Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Triple
Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds, and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 4 Superior
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Deck 4 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Deck 5 Superior
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Deck 5 Superior
Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Main deck
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Main Deck Single
Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 is a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Adventurer - Superior Single
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Superior Single
Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Worseley Suite
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Worsley Suite
Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage, and a flat-screen entertainment system.
Heritage Suite
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Heritage Suite
Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table, and chairs, and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub, and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat-screen entertainment system.

Notes

- 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.

TECHNICAL SPECS
Year Built: 1991
Shipyard: Rauma, Finland
Classification: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
Accommodation: 140 guests
Length: 124 metres
Beam: 18 metres
Draft: 4.97 metres
Gross Tonnage : 8,378gt
Engines: 3,940 horsepower (x2)
Maximum Speed: 15 knots
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Range: 8,600 nautical miles
Zodiacs: 14
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • House beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Landing fees
  • All expedition shore excursions
  • Pre- & Post- Cruise Transfers
  • Program of lectures by noted birding guides and naturalists
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Required Visas if applicable
  • Laundry 
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance

Map

When to Go

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Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge
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