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Albatrosses squack at the sky.

In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton

Example 30 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Shokalskiy
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The Ross Sea region of Antarctica is one of the most remote places on Planet Earth and one of the most fascinating places in the continent's human history. With shipping restricted by impenetrable pack ice to just two brief months each austral summer, few people have ever visited this strange and beautiful territory. Join this 30-day expedition from Invercargill to Christchurch, helmed by skillful sailors and knowledgeable guides, to experience nature on a scale so grand there are no words to describe it.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Invercargill, New Zealand
Day 2 : Embark at 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 13-22 : Antarctica's Ross Sea Region
Days 23-26 : At Sea
Days 27-28 : Campbell Island | Perseverence Harbor
Day 29 : At Sea
Day 30 : Disembark in Invercargill

Highlights

  • Visit the Ross Sea region, one of the world's most remote &intriguing sites
  • Experience nature on a scale so grand there are no words to describe it
  • View relics of 'the heroic' or 'golden age' of exploration, including huts
  • Observe and photograph penguins, seabirds, seals and whales

Ship

Akademik Shokalskiy

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Albatrosses squack at the sky. Soak in the scenery on Campbell Island Sea lions lying on the beach by a group of penguins. Expedition Staff Unique landscape of Auckland Islands.

Day 1 Invercargill, New Zealand

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive at Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost city. Established by Scottish settlers, the area’s wealth of rich farmland is well suited to the sheep and dairy farms that dot the landscape. Passengers should make their way to the Ascot Park Hotel where the group will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of the expedition team.

Day 2 Embark at Port of Bluff

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and take the opportunity to explore some of the local Southland scenery and attractions before heading to the Port of Bluff to embark the Akademik Shokalskiy. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship; this will also be the opportunity to partake in a number of safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team and captain on the bridge as they set your course to The Snares and your adventure begins.

Day 3 The Snares | North East Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, they were appropriately called The Snares because they were probably considered a hazard by their discoverer Lieutenant Broughton in 1795. Comprising of two main islands and a smattering of rocky islets, they are uninhabited and highly protected. North East Island is the largest of The Snares and it is claimed that this one island is home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. Arrive early in the morning and cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the rugged coastline by Zodiac if weather and sea conditions are suitable (landings are not permitted). In the sheltered bays, you should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguins, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds. Cape Pigeons, Antarctic Terns and Red-billed Gulls are also present in good numbers. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting on The Snares; the actual number is much debated. Around Christmas time each year the Buller’s Albatross return here to nest. Out on the Western Chain (considered part of The Snares island group) the Salvin’s Albatross will already be nesting. Other nesting seabirds include Cape Petrel (or Pigeon), Mottled Petrel, diving-petrel and Broad-billed Prion.

Day 4-5 Auckland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend these two days exploring the Auckland Islands. Enderby Island in this group is a great place to view birds and wildlife and is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Located at the northern end of this cluster of islands, it offers a varying landscape with a low plateau of scrubland and cushion bog. We will enjoy the extensive areas of regenerating patches of megaherbs especially the Anisotome latifolia and Stilbocarpa Polaris. Introduced cattle, rabbits and mice were removed from this island in the mid 1990s and the plants and birds are responding, increasing in numbers and diversity.

Aarrive in Carnley Harbour, once the caldera of the Carnley volcano. The walls of the caldera have been breached on both the eastern and western sides, separating Adams Island to the south. The eastern entrance is navigable for smaller vessels such as ours. The extensive harbor is rich in history and in opportunities. Your activities totally weather dependent as the wind often funnels down the harbor making anchoring and some landings impossible.

 

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 your experts. Crossing the confluence of warmer and cooler waters at the Subantarctic Convergence, a very productive stretch, you can expect many 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 in the middle of roaring westerly winds supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Four species of penguin breed here: king, royal, rockhopper, and gentoo. You may 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 albatrosses and petrels circle the vessel as your ship steams south through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Ross Sea region, meanwhile beyond the bows of the ship drifting icebergs begin to appear in extraordinary shapes. The ship maneuvers in close for your first ice photographs as you pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight.

Day 13-22 Antarctica's Ross Sea Region

  • Ship
  • 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible but your expedition team assesses conditions daily and takes every opportunity to launch the zodiacs and make landings. You can anticipate wildlife viewing, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery.

Your ship crew hopes to make landings in the following areas:

Cape Adare: A large flat spit of land, teeming with the staggering sight of Antarctica’s largest Adelie penguin rookery. You may witness a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering, and courtship displays. Curious penguins often come very close, offering superb photographic opportunities. Among the shifting mass of penguins you can find Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899.

Cape Hallett: The enormous Admiralty Range heralds your arrival. Wild and extraordinary, the mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000 meters, bounded by colossal glaciers. Land at an abandoned base site, now home to large numbers of Adelie penguins and Weddell seals.

Terra Nova Bay: An Italian research station where the scientists are always hospitable and enjoy showing you around their lonely but beautiful home. They share with you their scientific research and also, perhaps, the best ‘cafe espresso’ in Antarctica!

Franklin Island: Desolately beautiful and rugged, this is home to a large Adelie penguin population and other nesting seabirds. A landing is attempted to explore the coastline.

Ross Ice Shelf: This is the world’s largest body of floating ice and a natural barrier, at times creating hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force by winds off the polar ice cap. Just 800 miles from the South Pole, this daunting spectacle prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. Cruise along its dizzying 30 meter ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’.

Ross Island: Mt. Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton & Scott’s Hut and visits to a scientific field station (Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on the wish list but ice, weather and station operational requirements often make them inaccessible). Ross Island was and is the ‘hub of activity’ in the Ross Sea, dominated by Mt Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the ancient Greek God of Darkness. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If possible reach the bases to get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research.

Possession Islands: Rarely-visited, small and rugged, these rocks support tens of thousands of penguins. Observe the birds’ busy and humorous activity, with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.

Day 23-26 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
En route to Campbell Island, take part in a series of lectures designed to prepare you for your next stop. Pelagic species abound here as they did en route to Macquarie Island earlier in your voyage. Above all, take the time to rest and enjoy shipboard life after the excitement of the Antarctic.

Day 27-28 Campbell Island | Perseverence Harbor

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Drop anchor in Perseverance Harbor, 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 ‘mega herbs’ growing on the hills - huge wildflowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions, with unusual colorings and oddly-shaped leaves. Seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island shags, light-mantled sooty albatross, and sea lions.

Day 29 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey, join your experts for a recap of highlights, and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.

Day 30 Disembark in Invercargill

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in the Port of Bluff. After fond farewells you are transferred to a central city point or to the airport.

In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations, please do not book any onward travel until after midday today.

Akademik Shokalskiy

Per person starting at
$23,000
Twin Cabin
Select a Date
Main Deck
Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private washbasin. Nearby shower and toilet facilities are shared with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole.
Superior Room
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Superior
One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Twin Private Cabin
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Superior Plus
Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
Superior Cabin
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Mini Suite
Separate bedroom with a double bed and a sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows.
Capitan
Select a Date
Heritage Suite
Large lounge area, separate bedroom with double bed and a sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Large forward and side facing windows allow great views.

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.

Circumstances may be encountered during your voyage which 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.

Cruise fare includes:
-Landing fees
- Pre & Post cruise transfers
- One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
- All on board ship accommodation with meals
- All shore excursions and activities

Cruise fare does not include:
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Travel insurance
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Rachel S

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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