11 – 23 Dec, 2020
Able to climb up and down stairs.
Flexibility to get and out of Zodiacs.
No quarantine upon return to NZ
The ship is deep cleaned between cruises.
– All meals aboard ship
– Ice-breaker class vessel
– Expedition shore excursions
– Landing Fees ($1,200 per person)
– Services of your knowledgeable Expedition Leader and crew
• Domestic airfares
Meet your fellow voyagers and expedition staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you will stay overnight
We transfer you to the port where staff will welcome you on board the Spirit of Enderby, and as you settle into your cabin, our adventure begins.
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. Zodiac cruising the rugged coastline we learn how the islands got their name and encounter Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs. We are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.
Named for the same distinguished shipping family as our 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, Bellbirds and the endemic shag, 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.
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by. Loaded in human history, they harbour tales of castaways, bullion and Coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. Today we land in Carnley Harbour and, if weather and sea conditions permit, visit the Shy Mollymawk colony at South West Cape or, if weather is not suitable, we will select one of a number of other sites available to us.
As we make our way through an area known as the Furious Fifties in the tumultuous Southern Ocean, we will learn more about the flora and fauna as we prepare for our 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. We will endeavour to spot the Fairy Prion, Fulmar Prion and Antarctic Prion – never an easy task – but we 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.
Described by one Australian explorer as “One of the wonder spots of the world” this is the only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds. Three other species of penguins, the King, Gentoo and Rockhopper also breed here. You will never forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you will be 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 we meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here who will accompany us on all our landings.
We head north from Macquarie Island through waters rich in seabirds towards Campbell Island. We invite you to join the captain on the bridge, to keep a keen lookout for birds and for whales. Today there will also be briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for our visit there.
We spend two days exploring the island by foot taking in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs on the hills. These huge pink and yellow wild flowers have adapted well to the harsh conditions. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male sea lions testing their strength.
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.
We 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, you disembark and board our complimentary coach transfer to downtown Invercargill or Invercargill Airport.
We’re excited to let you know we have partnered with pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch. Due to the remote destinations visited there is no need to quarantine upon return to NZ soil.
Like ourselves, they are NZ owned and run. They pioneered authentic expedition voyages to Antarctica and the Sub Antarctic Islands. and have a wealth of experience in this area. As we both share common values we know you will be well looked after and have a great adventure.
It was truly amazing and I loved every minute of it! The journey, the ship, the places and the activities, the crew and fellow passengers and, of course, the wildlife and remarkable flora were highlights… the whole experience was just magical.