- 13 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 13 Dinners
Throughout this expedition, the Master and Expedition Team may make changes to the itinerary around weather conditions and other factors to maximize your expeditionary experience. Below are the key destinations to visit.
DOUBTFUL SOUND & DUSKY SOUND
Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, is characterized by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline. This morning, we enter dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound to cruise past the towering cliffs and sheet granite walls of Facile Harbor, and explore the sheltered inlets by zodiac. Doubtful Sound / Patea is flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls. The stillness and silence of this fiord is compelling and unforgettable, especially in the afternoon light. You may spot lounging fur seals, dolphins, and the Fiordland penguin.
STEWART ISLAND / RAKIURA
Known in Maori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – ‘The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ - Stewart Island is New Zealand’s little visited ‘third island’. On Ulva Island, take a guided walk to spot rare birdlife, including the Rifleman, Weka, and Kereru. Explore the village of Oban, and cruise to Prices Point Whaling Station to learn the region’s history.
SNARES ISLANDS / TINI HEKE
This morning, sail into your first Sub-Antarctic anchorage at the Snares Islands. The most pristine place in New Zealand, the islands are protected as part of the Subantarctic Islands World Heritage Site and landing ashore is prohibited. We may cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the island to observe unique mega herbs and the many bird species which nest here, including the Snares Penguin, sooty shearwater, and Buller’s Albatross.
AUCKLAND ISLANDS / MOTU MAHA
360 kilometers south of Stewart Island, the Auckland Islands are known for their towering mountains and slopes blooming with southern rata and mega herbs. We will go ashore at Enderby Island to spot many of the unique birds that nest here, including the Southern Royal Albatross, northern giant petrel, and yellow-eyed penguin. On Auckland Island, explore the remains of Hardwicke Settlement, abandoned in the early 1800s, and climb the slopes to observe the shy albatross colony and take in the view. Cruise by zodiac through the sheltered inlets of Carnley Harbour and spot rare sea lions, or visit other historic sites.
Discovered in 1810 by the Australian sealer Frederick Hasselborough, Macquarie Island is a natural wonder. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997, it is the only location where rocks from the earth’s mantle are exposed above sea level. The island is home to the entire royal penguin population during breeding season, as well as numerous other species including king penguins. Seal species include fur seals and elephant seals. Cruise Lusitania Bay to take in the awe-inspiring site of thousands of penguins, go ashore to visit the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition, and marvel at the diverse wildlife.
CAMPBELL ISLAND / MOTU IHUPUKU
Campbell Island is New Zealand’s most southern island. Over many years it was the location for sealing, whaling, and farming endeavors, but was declared a nature reserve in 1954. Go ashore at Perseverance Harbour, the location for the now automated meteorological station, to observe the otherworldly flora display of mega herbs, including the Campbell Island daisy, the Silver Leaf Daisy and the Campbell Island Carrot. Walk carefully along the protected pathways to spot some of the six species of albatross that breed here, as well as rare yellow-eyed penguins and many other birds, and visit the ‘world’s loneliest tree’, a Sitka Spruce over 100 years old.
The Antipodes Island group, volcanic and uninhabited, are part of the New Zealand Subantarctic World Heritage site. The steep and rocky islands are recognized as an Important Bird Area. We may spot the southern rockhopper and erect-crested penguins, albatrosses, petrels, and the Antipodes snipe, pipit and parakeet. The islands are surrounded by basalt cliffs emerging from the sea, hollowed by sea caves, and blanketed by mist. Here, we will cruise the coastline to spot birds and admire the landscape of tussock grass, shield fern and mega herbs.
The Chatham Islands, a territory of New Zealand, have sustained human settlement for centuries. For over 400 years, the original Moriori settlers were isolated from the outside world. Over two days, explore these islands and meet the local people. On tender cruises around Mangere Island and Pyramid Rock, look for endemic species such as the Forbes’ parakeet, Chatham Island Shag, and perhaps the critically endangered Taiko and Black Robin. Visit the main settlement of Waitangi, and learn about Moriori and European history at Pitt Island.