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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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This is without doubt one of the most inspirational and informative journeys or expeditions into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one can make anywhere in the world. Long recognized for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The area has been afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments, so access to these islands is by permit only. This unique expedition includes four of the Subantarctic Islands: The Snares, Auckland's, Macquarie, and Campbell. Join the Spirit of Enderby for this 13-day cruise and for your chance to explore, photograph, and understand these wonderful places in the company of some of the most knowledgeable and passionate guides.
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
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You will be transferred to the Port of Bluff where the staff welcomes you on board the Spirit of Enderby and as you settle into your cabin, where your adventure begins.

Day 3: The Snares Islands | North East Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

Heritage Adventurer
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant
Heritage Adventurer Restaurant

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$8,450
Heritage Adventurer - 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.
Heritage Adventurer - Main Deck Triple
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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.
Heritage Adventurer - 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.
Heritage Adventurer - 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.
Heritage Adventurer - Main Deck Single
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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.
Heritage Adventurer - Worsley 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 Adventurer - 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

Landings at the Subantarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at Snares Island. Circumstances may be encountered during your voyage which will 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:
- One night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast)
- Pre & Post cruise transfers
- All on board ship accommodations and meals
- All expedition shore excursions (optional kayaking is available for a fee on select departures)

Cruise fare does not include:
- Government landing fees
- All items of a personal nature: laundry, drinks, and gratuities
- International/domestic flights
- Visas
- Travel insurance

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