Have questions? We're here.
Observe beautiful fur seals

Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Caledonian Sky
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your New Zealand trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert Ask a Question
Visit the sub-Antarctic islands of Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland, and The Snares on the Caledonian Sky, among a small, exclusive number of operators that hold permits to travel to these far-flung isles. Observe several albatross species—wandering, black-browed, gray-headed, light-mantled sooty, and northern and southern royal—as well as colonies of king, royal, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins. Search the elfin forests for handsome yellow-eyed penguins, melodious bellbirds, diminutive tomtits, and colorful red-crowned parakeets. Cruise through Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful sounds, a supremely scenic land of soaring cliffs and plunging waterfalls. Step ashore on Ulva Island to view the South Island robin, South Island saddleback, yellowhead, and weka, a flightless rail.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 2 : Dunedin | Embark Caledonian Sky
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Enderby, Auckland Islands
Day 5 : At Sea
Days 6-7 : Macquarie Island, Australia
Day 8 : At Sea
Day 9 : Campbell Island, New Zealand
Day 10 : The Snares Islands
Day 11 : Stewart Island | Ulva Island
Day 12 : Dusky & Breaksea Sounds, Fiordland National Park
Day 13 : Doubtful Sound
Day 14 : Milford Sound | Disembark | Queenstown
Day 15 : Queenstown
Day 16 : Queenstown | Home

Highlights

  • Visit the islands of Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland and The Snares
  • Observe several albatross species
  • Search the elfin forests for yellow-eyed penguins, bellbirds and many more
  • Cruise through Milford a supremely scenic land of cliffs and waterfalls.
  • Step ashore on Ulva Island to view lush rainforest and diverse species

Ship

Caledonian Sky

Places Visited

  • Antarctica
  • New Zealand
  • South Pacific
  • Auckland Islands
  • Campbell Island
  • Doubtful Sound
  • Dunedin
  • Dusky Sound
  • Enderby Island
  • Macquarie Island
  • Milford Sound
  • Queenstown
  • Stewart Island
  • The Snares

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A beautiful view of Milford Sound. A group fo people enjoying a fire on the coast of New Zealand. Observe beautiful fur seals Windblown trees and sheep

Day 1 Dunedin, New Zealand

Arrive in Dunedin and transfer to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 Dunedin | Embark Caledonian Sky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, choose one of two local discovery options: Take a drive to Taiaroa Head to visit the world-famous northern royal albatross colony; then, observe and photograph yellow-eyed penguins at close range. Or, enjoy a scenic train ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway, then join a local historian for a walk through the heart of enchanting Dunedin, viewing the distinct Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles of First Church and St. Paul Cathedral. Board the Caledonian Sky this afternoon.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Join naturalists for lectures and on deck to look for royal, shy, and Buller’s albatross, plus a host of southern ocean petrels as we cruise to Enderby Island.

Day 4 Enderby, Auckland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today nature walks lead you through lush vegetation and rata forests to visit nesting southern royal albatross. Station yourself near a beach covered with Hooker’s sea lions to watch yellow-eyed penguins, one of the rarest penguins in the world, as they return to their nesting sites. In the elfin forest, search for bellbirds, tomtits, and red-crowned parakeets.

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lecture series continues with recaps on Enderby and briefings on our next sub-Antarctic landings.

Day 6-7 Macquarie Island, Australia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend two days exploring Macquarie Island. Though tides and weather will determine our landings, we hope to visit a king penguin colony as well as colonies of royal and gentoo penguins. A variety of birds, as well as elephant and fur seals, can be found set against a background of mountains and tussock-covered headlands. Several species of albatross breed here, as well as Macquarie Island cormorants, and northern and southern giant petrels.

Day 8 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a relaxing and educational day at sea as our lecture series continues.

Day 9 Campbell Island, New Zealand

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Campbell Island is home to a multitude of seabirds, marine mammals, and unique sub-Antarctic megaherbs. Photographic opportunities include frame-filling encounters with southern royal albatross, as well as Hooker’s sea lions. Birders search for the endemic Campbell teal and Campbell snipe; both species were previously believed to be extinct.

Day 10 The Snares Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Board Zodiacs for a cruise around The Snares Islands. This nature reserve is home to millions of breeding sooty shearwaters, as well as Buller’s albatross, Cape petrels, and endemic Snares crested penguins.

Day 11 Stewart Island | Ulva Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Peaceful Stewart Island is home to fewer than 500 inhabitants. Explore the coastline before anchoring near Oban. Local guides lend insight into the island’s unique environment and Maori history. Nearby Ulva Island is a predator-free sanctuary with lush temperate rainforest. It is a wonderful place to view the South Island robin, South Island saddleback, yellowhead, and the curious weka, a flightless rail.

Day 12 Dusky & Breaksea Sounds, Fiordland National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today is devoted to Fiordland National Park, a nearly uninhabited wilderness with breathtakingly beautiful fjords filled with wildlife. Part of Te Wahipounamu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park is famed for spectacular glacier-carved waterways and unique flora and fauna. In Dusky Sound explore by Zodiacs to discover rainforest luxuriant with tree ferns, mosses, and lichens and visit Astronomer’s Point, the site of a temporary observatory established during Captain Cook’s 1773 voyage. The forests and waterways are home to many birds—bellbirds, tuis, fantails, and the kereru, a large native wood pigeon.

Day 13 Doubtful Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Keep your binoculars ready as the ship slowly cruises Doubtful Sound, inspecting the coves where rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes found.

Day 14 Milford Sound | Disembark | Queenstown

Be on deck this morning to watch the panorama of Milford’s sheer cliff faces, which rise thousands of feet almost vertically from the water’s edge, as well as the crashing waters of Bowen and Stirling Falls and the stunning mile-high Mitre Peak. Disembark for a short drive to the picturesque town of Te Anau for lunch. Continue to Queenstown, with dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 15 Queenstown

Today choose one of two excursion options, designed to highlight Queenstown’s natural and cultural attributes. Journey through the dramatic Lord of the Rings landscapes of Central Otago and meet the winemakers of the world’s southernmost wine-producing region. Or, take a thrilling jet boat ride amongst stunning scenery, then ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. Alternatively, you may choose to explore Queenstown on your own, browsing the private studios, gardens, and galleries of internationally renowned artists. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.

Day 16 Queenstown | Home

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight.

Caledonian Sky

Dunedin

Queenstown

Per person starting at
$15,980
Your suite on the Caledonian Sky features three portholes
Select a Date
Category 1
Averaging 240 sq. ft. and have three portholes. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
Relax in your category 2 suite on the Caledonian Sky
Select a Date
Category 2
Averaging 230 sq. ft. and have large picture windows. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
Your stateroom on the Caledonian Sky is large and allows great light
Select a Date
Category 3
Averaging 220 sq. ft. with a picture window. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
Greet the day through your sliding glass window
Select a Date
Category 4
Averaging 220 sq. ft. with direct deck access via a sliding glass door. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
Your cabin on the Caledonian Sky has a sliding glass door and two portholes
Select a Date
Category 5
Averaging 240 sq. ft. and direct deck access via a sliding glass door. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.
Sail in comfort aboard the Caledonian Sky
Select a Date
Category 6
Averaging 215 sq. ft. and pave patio doors leading to private balconies. Two twin beds convertible into one queen bed, sitting area, well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs) at 110 volts.

Notes

- Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. Temperatures will range from the low 50sºF to the mid-60sºF in Queenstown, and from 40ºF to 55ºF in the sub-Antarctic islands.  

Included:
  • All gratuities
  • Accommodations in hotels and on board the Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary
  • All onboard meals
  • All group meals on land
  • Soft drinks, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows
  • All group activities and excursions
  • Landing and port fees
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

Excluded:
  • All air transportation
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages except as listed, e-mail/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Kassandra Miller
Kassi M

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Awards and Accolades

All News