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Sea lion nestled in the seaweed.

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean: New Zealand and Australia's Subantarctic Islands

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Heritage Adventurer
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Set sail on one of the most inspirational and educational expeditions into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one may undertake around the globe. The Subantarctic Islands, located south of New Zealand, have long been recognized for their extraordinary biodiversity. They are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Australian and New Zealand governments have designated the area as having the highest conservation status and protection, and entry to the islands is restricted to those with a permit. This trip is remarkable in that it visits four Subantarctic Islands: Snares, Auckland, Macquarie, and Campbell. Join Heritage Adventurer for this 12-day voyage and opportunity to explore, photograph, and learn about these incredible destinations in the company of some of the most educated and passionate experts available.
Traveler photographing the unique plant life.Travelers relax on the beautiful beach.The Red-crowned Parakeet.Sea lions resting on the beach.Sea lion nestled in the seaweed.
Highlights
  • Explore wildlife-rich Macquarie Island, home of endemic royal penguins.
  • Venture by Zodiac and on foot to the Snares, Auckland, and Campbell Islands.
  • View a vast array of flora, albatross, penguins, petrels, & elephant seals.
  • Appreciate the biodiversity & importance of the islands as wildlife refuge.
  • Enjoy additional discovery by kayak on select departures.
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

  • 1 Dinner
Meet your fellow voyagers and expedition staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you stay overnight. 

Day 2: Port of Bluff | Embark

You will be transferred to the Port of Bluff where the staff welcomes you on board the Heritage Adventurer and as you settle into your cabin, where your adventure begins.

Day 3: The Snares Islands | North East Island

North East Island is the largest of The Snares and, staggeringly, this one island is claimed by some to be home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. While Zodiac cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the main island if the weather and sea conditions are suitable. In the sheltered bays, we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds.

Day 4: Auckland Islands | Enderby Island

Named for the same distinguished shipping family as your own vessel and one of the most beautiful islands in the group, this is a great birding location and a chance to see everything from the famous southern royal albatross and northern giant petrel to parakeets,, and the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, teal, and snipe. Sandy Bay is one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand sea lion.

Day 5: Auckland Islands | Carnley Harbour

These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by. We plan to arrive mid-morning entering the harbor through the eastern entrance which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and rugged, tussock-covered hills. Our activities here today are weather-dependent. We have a number of options. If the weather is fine there will be an opportunity for the more energetic expeditioners to climb to the South West Cape and visit the Shy Mollymawk colony. For those not making the climb there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island, Western Harbour and Victoria Passage. Other options include the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout which was occupied during the Second World War. We could visit Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864. 

Day 6: At Sea

As the ship makes its way through an area known as the Furious Fifties in the tumultuous Southern Ocean, learn more about the flora and fauna of the region as you prepare for your arrival at Macquarie Island. En route there are great birding opportunities which may include the wandering albatross, royal albatross, black-browed albatross, light-mantled sooty albatross, Salvin’s albatross, grey-headed albatross, northern and southern giant petrel, sooty shearwater, and little shearwater. Endeavour to spot the fairy prion, fulmar prion, and Antarctic prion – never an easy task, but you should get some great views. Other species to be on the lookout for include the soft-plumaged petrel, mottled petrel, white-headed petrel, grey-faced petrel, white-chinned petrel, grey-backed storm-petrel, Wilson’s storm-petrel, and the black-bellied storm-petrel.

Day 7-8: Macquarie Island

Described by one Australian explorer as “One of the wonder spots of the world”, this is the only place on earth where the beautiful royal penguin breeds. Three other species of penguins, the king, gentoo and rockhopper also breed here. You won't soon forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you are quickly immersed in a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering, and courtship displays. This all happens amongst the hundreds of southern elephant seals lolling on the beaches and dunes. On arrival meet with scientists and park rangers based here who accompany you on all your landings.

Day 9: At Sea

There will be briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for our visit there and opportunities for pelagic birding and/or simply relaxing.

Day 10: Campbell Island | Perseverance Harbor

Explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory for a full day.  We will offer a number of options which will enable you to explore the island including an extended walk to Northwest Bay. There will also be an easier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle. All of these options will allow you the opportunity and time to enjoy the Southern Royal Albatross which nest here in large numbers. We also visit areas of the island which contain outstanding examples of the megaherbs for which the island is renowned.

Day 11: At Sea

At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. We will recap the highlights of our expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as we complete the last few miles of our journey.

Day 12: Invercargill | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive at the Port of Bluff early in the morning. After breakfast, customs formalities, and a last-minute opportunity to bid farewell to your expedition team, disembark and board your complimentary transfer by coach to downtown Invercargill or Queenstown airport. Your adventure ends but memories last long beyond this.

Ship/Hotel

Heritage Adventurer

Dining area
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

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Deals

Save up to 20%: Second Wave 2025-26 Season Launch 24472
Enjoy up to 20% Early Bird savings on select departures when you book by July 31, 2024. Get a 20% discount on Heritage Suites and a 15% discount on Worsley Suites. This offer is subject to availability for new bookings, cannot be combined with other discounts, and does not apply to landing fees. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
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Per person starting at
$9,990 2-3 travelers
Included landing fees are not eligible for promotions or agency commission.
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

- Included landing fees are not eligible for promotions or agency commission.
- 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
  • 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 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
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Pre- & Post- Cruise Transfers
  • One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
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

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