heritage adventurer sub-antarctica islands macquarie island

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean: Subantarctic Islands inc Macquarie Island

  • Overview

    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 recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This places them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as ‘the most important and significant natural habitats' on the planet. They are also afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments and access to these islands is by permit only. On this expedition we offer you the unique chance to explore, photograph and understand these wonderful places in the company of some of the most knowledgeable and passionate guides.

    Voyage Currency: Please consider this voyage is priced in USD$ and the AUD$ rates shown are indicative only at today's exchange rate. You may ask us about securing your invoice in AUD$.  

     

    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 140 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Queenstown, New Zealand
    Disembarkation Point: Queenstown, New Zealand
    Physical rating:
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 0.0x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Queenstown, New Zealand | Arrival Day

      Guests should make their way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.

      Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary.

      This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as
      administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

    • Day 2 - Bluff, New Zealand | Embarkation Day

      Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and have the morning free to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and departing for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to conduct a number of safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as we set our course to The Snares and our adventure begins.

    • Day 3 - The Snares - North East Island

      The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, they were appropriately called The Snares as they were once considered a hazard for sailing ships. Comprising of two main islands and a group of five islands called the Western Chain; they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. It is claimed by some that these islands are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. We plan to arrive in the morning, and as landings are not permitted, we will 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. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting on The Snares; the actual number is much debated. Buller’s Albatross breed here from early January onwards. There will be opportunities to view the forests of large tree daisy Olearia lyallii which forms a canopy over much of the island group.

    • Day 4 - Auckland Islands - Enderby Island

      The Auckland Islands group was formed by two volcanoes which erupted some 10-25 million years ago. They have subsequently been eroded and dissected by glaciation creating the archipelago as we know it today. Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group and is named after the same distinguished shipping family as one of our own vessels. This northern most island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. The island was cleared of all introduced animals (pests) in 1994 and both birds and the vegetation, especially the herbaceous plants, are recovering both in numbers and diversity. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion, a rare member of the seal family. Beachmaster bulls gather on the beach, defending their harems from younger (ambitious) males, to mate with the cows shortly after they have given birth to a single pup. Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion numbers are in a slow decline, for reasons which are not obvious but most probably connected with a nearby squid fishery. During our day ashore there will be several options, some longer walks, some shorter walks and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. The walking is relatively easy. A boardwalk traverses the island to the dramatic western cliffs, from there we follow the coast and circumnavigate the island. Birds that we are likely to encounter include the following species: Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Banded Dotterel, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. There is also a very good chance of seeing the Subantarctic Snipe.

    • Day 5 - Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour

      In the south of the archipelago there is a very large sheltered harbour rich in human history including shipwrecks, treasure hunters, Coastwatchers and, of course, scientific parties. We plan to arrive mid-morning entering the harbour 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. This climb provides magnificent views in all directions, especially over the western entrance to Carnley Harbour, Adams Island and Western Harbour. 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. All five men aboard survived and lived here for 18 months before sailing their modified dinghy to New Zealand to get help. Two of the survivors wrote books about their ordeal, their first-hand accounts tell us a lot about their time here. Later this afternoon we depart for Macquarie Island.

    • Day 6 - At Sea

      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.

    • Day 7/8 - Macquarie Island

      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.

    • Day 10 - Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour

      We have a full day to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory. Its history is as rich and varied as the other islands we visit. Discovered in 1810, it was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats. Farming followed from 1895 to 1934 when it was abandoned. Coastwatchers were stationed on the island during the war and at the end of the war the station was taken over by the New Zealand Metrological service. They maintained a manned weather/ research station there until 1995. In the early 1970s the removal of farm animals commenced and all were eventually removed by 1990. The vegetation recovered quickly and the cats died out naturally. In a very ambitious (and never before attempted on such a large scale) eradication programme the New Zealand Department of Conservation successfully removed the rats. With the island declared predator free, the way was clear to reintroduce the endangered Campbell Island Flightless Teal, which had been rediscovered on an offshore island in 1975. Snipe, which were formerly unknown from the island but were discovered on another offshore island, recolonised the islands themselves. The vegetation which the great English botanist Sir Joseph Hooker described in 1841 as having a “Flora display second to none outside the tropics” is flourishing and is nothing short of spectacular. 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 - Bluff, New Zealand | Disembarkation Day

      Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3pm from Queenstown. Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Zodiac Cruising

    Zodiacs are the workhorses of polar expeditions, safely transporting guests to remote shorelines and shallow inlets—places the ships can’t reach. Expedition staff make stepping in and out of them safe and comfortable.

    Included

    Adelie Penguins

    Adelie penguins are the most abundant of all penguin species and are there estimated to be some 5 million birds. They have been an incredibly successful species living further south than any other species and have one of the oldest continually used rookeries, which has existed for some 6,000 years.

  • Inclusions

    Pre-cruise accommodation & transfers

    One night accommodation is provided before your expedition. Transfers to/from the expedition ship are provided on the day of embarkation and disembarkation.

    Landing Fee

    Our expedition rates incorporate the required USD$880 landing fee

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Accommodation and all meals on board
    - Pre/Post cruise transfers
    - Excursion a shore and lectures
    - Expedition jacket

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International airfare
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Laundry / bar / beverage / other personal charges incurred onboard
    - Drinks
    - Gratuities
    - Visa & Passport fees
  • Map
    Galapagos map
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the 'Grande Dame of Polar Exploration' due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purposebuilt for adventure in 1991 at Finland's Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.

    Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship iceclass rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages.

    Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. 

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 139
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: Lloyds 1AS, GL E4
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished: 1991
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2021
    Length: 124m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 8378
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets:
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heritage adventurer main deck cabin

MAIN DECK - Triple

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Two single & one Pullman bed, portholes, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 9,250pp
USD$ 9,250pp
heritage adventurer superior deck cabin

SUPERIOR DECK - Triple

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Two single & one Pullman bed, panoramic window, lounge & en-suite.
USD$ 9,750pp
USD$ 9,750pp
heritage adventurer superior deck cabin

SUPERIOR DECK 4

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Large panoramic window, King or single beds, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 11,250pp
USD$ 11,250pp
heritage adventurer superior deck cabin

SUPERIOR DECK 5

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Large panoramic window, King or single beds, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 11,750pp
USD$ 11,750pp
heritage adventurer main deck cabin

MAIN DECK - Single

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Two single & one Pullman bed, portholes, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 13,570pp
USD$ 13,570pp
heritage adventurer superior deck cabin

SUPERIOR DECK - Single

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Two single & one Pullman bed, panoramic window, lounge & en-suite.
USD$ 13,990pp
USD$ 13,990pp
heritage adventurer worsley suite cabin

WORSLEY SUITE

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Large panoramic window, King or single beds, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 14,595pp
USD$ 14,595pp
heritage adventurer heritage suite cabin

HERITAGE SUITE

30 Dec 2023 - 10 Jan 2024
Large double panoramic window, King or single beds, lounge & spacious en-suite.
USD$ 20,970pp
USD$ 20,970pp