Few people would know where these subtropical islands are. That is one of their many attractions, that visitors are rare. They lie 1000km northeast of New Zealand about half way to Tonga and well off the main shipping routes. There are four islands within the Kermadec group and all are the summits of huge undersea volcanoes situated along the western edge of the Kermadec Trench, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. An extensive Marine Reserve protects the unique marine ecosystem that surrounds these islands; the diving and snorkeling can only be described as amazing and unique. This 11-day voyage is off the beaten track, even for the Spirit of Enderby, but it is so rare to have the opportunity to explore such unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems that she is constantly drawn back.
Day 1 : Tauranga Day 2 : At Sea Day 3 : L'Esperance Rock and Curtis | Cheeseman Islands Days 4-7 : Raoul Island Day 8 : Macauley Island Days 9-10 : At Sea Day 11 : Tauranga
Visit beautiful remote islands, such as Curtis and Cheeseman Island
Encounter tropical seabirds & species found nowhere else in New Zealand
Dive, snorkel, and hike on magnificent Raoul Island
Explore the extensive Marine Reserve that protects the unique marine ecosystem
Make your way to a central city meeting point. The captain and expedition team awaits your arrival at the ship to greet you and show you to your cabin. You have the opportunity to unpack before exploring the ship and meeting other expeditioners. There is also a formal introduction to the team followed by safety briefings. Plan to sail late afternoon.
A day at sea is a chance to relax. Do some reading in the bar/library, or come birding up on the bridge. A series of lectures, videos, and briefings are scheduled to prepare you for your visit to the Kermadecs. For the keen birders, you are sailing across deep waters – prime Pterodroma petrel country and you are likely to see an impressive variety of these birds. You are also likely to encounter black-winged, white-necked, Kermadec and Cook’s and there is always the chance of something really rare. If viewing conditions are good you stand a reasonable chance of seeing the mighty sperm whale and the elusive Cuvier’s beaked whale.
Day 3 L'Esperance Rock and Curtis | Cheeseman Islands
Today continue your journey northwards, arriving in the afternoon at the southernmost island in the group: L’Esperance Rock. Later visit Curtis and nearby Cheeseman Island. If the weather and sea conditions are suitable cruise by Zodiac (no landings are permitted).
All of these islands are havens for breeding seabirds and you are likely to encounter impressive numbers as you cruise offshore. In addition to the more common species, be on the lookout for white-bellied storm petrel and the Kermadec white-faced storm petrel. You are also likely to encounter some tropical seabirds that occur nowhere else in New Zealand, such as the masked booby, red-tailed tropicbird, and black noddy.
You have four days scheduled for activities at Raoul Island, including options for diving, snorkeling, and hikes ashore. The weather and sea conditions dictate your activities to a certain extent. The seas surrounding the Kermadecs are the only true example of subtropical waters in New Zealand and are sufficiently distant from the mainland to have escaped heavy commercial fishing. The extensive Marine Reserve ensures added protection and guarantees some of the best diving in the South Pacific. For those keen on diving, a Dive Master organizes as many dives and snorkeling opportunities as weather and time allow.
During your days on Raoul Island, cruise the Meyer Islets by Zodiac to witness seabirds returning in the evenings. Many of these birds are endemic, including the Kermadec petrel, the white napped petrel, and the Kermadec race of the little shearwater. On shore get great views of the endemic Kermadec red-crowned parakeet and it is also one of the easiest places to see spotless crakes. You should also get good views of black noddy, grey ternlet, white tern and the beautiful red-tailed tropicbird.
The following are some of the walks that you may be able to do on Raoul Island depending on weather and time:
• Boat Cove to the Department of Conservation Base
• Green Lake Walk
• Water Supply Walk
• Denham Bay Hut
• Mahoe Hut
Arrive at Macauley Island early in the morning. The original forest cover was destroyed by goats and since their removal in the 1970s the vegetation is recovering. Landings are not permitted on this island so you can Zodiac cruise and dive/snorkel if sea conditions are suitable.
These days present an opportunity to catch your breath after your activities at Raoul and Macauley Islands. Your staff and Dive Master offer lectures and further presentations on the islands and some of the conservation issues surrounding them.
Day 11 Tauranga
Your vessel berths in Tauranga this morning. Enjoy breakfast on board and a last minute opportunity to bid farewell to your expedition team. Disembark and board your complimentary coach transfer to the central city or local airport.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
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Main Deck Triple
One cabin located on the Main Deck, with two lower bunk beds, one upper bunk bed, outside porthole, wash basin, desk and chair, wardrobe with hanging space, and shared bathrooms on same deck.
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Thirteen cabins located on the Main Deck, with two lower bunk beds, outside porthole, wash basin, desk and chair, wardrobe with hanging space, and shared bathrooms on same deck.
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Four cabins located on the Middle Deck,with one lower and one upper bunk, side-facing windows, desk and chair, wardrobe with hanging space, and private bath facilities.
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Eight cabins located on the Upper and Middle Decks,with two lower bunk beds, side-facing windows, desk and chair, wardrobe with hanging space. and private bath facilities.
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Two cabins located on the Upper Deck, with one double bed in separate room, side-facing windows, separate lounge area with a single bed, desk and chair, wardrobe with hanging space, and private bath facilities.
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One cabin located on the Upper Deck, with one double bed in separate room, forward- and side-facing windows, separate lounge area with a single pull-out bed, desk and table area, wardrobe with hanging space, and private bath facilities.
- Travel Insurance is mandatory for all passengers aboard the Spirit of Enderby.
- 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.
Please note: Additional dive information is available upon inquiry.
This trip includes:
Pre/Post cruise transfers
All on board ship accommodation with meals
All expedition shore excursions
This trip does not include:
Dive program (please inquire for details)
Government landing fees
All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities.
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!