spirit of enderby ross sea antarctica cruise

Ross Sea: In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton

  • Overview
    The Ross Sea region of Antarctica is one of the most remote places on Planet Earth and one of the most fascinating places in the continent’s human history. With shipping restricted by impenetrable pack ice to just two brief months each austral summer, few people have ever visited this strange and beautiful territory, with opportunities for non-scientific personnel limited to a handful of tourist expedition ships. Heritage Expeditions offers such a voyage on its own fully equipped and ice-strengthened ship, crewed by some of the most experienced officers and sailors in the world and staffed by some of the most passionate and knowledgeable Guides. This is a unique opportunity to experience nature on a scale so grand there are no words to describe it. There is so much to do and so much to see here, from exploring historic huts and sites to visiting penguin rookeries, marvelling at the glacial ice tongues and ice shelves and understanding the icebergs and sea ice. Then there are all the seabirds, seals and whales to observe and photograph, modern scientific bases and field camps to visit and simply the opportunity to spend time drinking in the marvellous landscape that has always enthralled visitors. Lying like stepping stones to the Antarctic continent are the little known Subantarctic Islands. Our journey includes The Snares, Aucklands, Macquarie and Campbell Island. They break our long journey but more importantly they help prepare us for what lies ahead, for these islands are part of the amazing and dynamic Southern Ocean ecosystem of which Antarctica is at the very heart. It is the power house which drives this ecosystem upon which the world depends.
    Duration: 30 days
    Passengers: 48 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Invercargill, NZ
    Disembarkation Point: Invercargill, NZ
    Physical rating: Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Invercargill, New Zealand; Embarkation Day

      Arrive at Invercargill, New Zealand’s southern most city and rich in Scottish history. Grab your last-minute luxuries before meeting your fellow expeditioners for an informal get-together over dinner.

    • Day 2 - Port of Bluff

      Enjoy a visit to the museum to view the Subantarctic display before transferring to the Port of Bluff, where you will board the Spirit of Enderby. Settle into your cabin and join your expedition team and the captain for a welcome on board.

    • Day 3 - The Snares – North East Island

      Staggeringly, The Snares are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. Zodiac cruising the coast we learn how the islands got their name and in the sheltered bays we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, the Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross nesting on the imposing cliffs.

    • Day 4/5 - Auckland Islands

      Characterised by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. We spend the day ashore on Enderby Island which is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Here we find parakeets flitting above carpets of red, white and yellow wild flowers and on the beaches beyond, the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion. We land in Carnley Harbour and if conditions are suitable climb to a Shy Albatross colony, otherwise we explore sites within the harbour.

    • Day 6 - At Sea

      Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of these islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with our experts. This particular stretch of ocean is very productive and we can expect many seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.

    • Day 7/8 - Macquarie Island

      This remote, rocky outpost which endures roaring westerly winds, supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Four species of penguin, King, Royal, Rockhopper and Gentoo breed here. You will never forget your first experience in a ceaselessly active ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors. We will also meet with the Park Rangers, visit the Australian Antarctic Base and observe the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals along the beaches.

    • Day 9/12 - At Sea

      Soaring albatross and petrels circle the vessel as we steam south through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Ross Sea region and beyond the bow of the ship; drifting icebergs of extraordinary shapes begin to appear. Manoeuvring in close for your first ice photographs we pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight.

    • Day 13/22 - Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region

      With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible but we assess the conditions daily and take every opportunity to make landings and launch the Zodiacs. You can anticipate wildlife viewing, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery.

      We hope to visit the following areas:

      Cape Adare: A large flat spit of land, teeming with the staggering sight of Antarctica’s largest Adelie Penguin rookery: a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays. Curious penguins often come very close, offering superb photographic opportunities. Among the shifting mass of penguins we will find

      Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899.

      Cape Hallett: The enormous Admiralty Range heralds our arrival; wild and extraordinary, the mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000m, bounded by colossal glaciers. We land at an abandoned base site, now home to large numbers of Adelie Penguins and Weddell Seals.

      Franklin Island: Desolately beautiful and rugged, this is home to a large Adelie Penguin population and other nesting seabirds. We attempt a landing and explore the coastline.

      Possession Islands: Rarely-visited, small and rugged, these rocks support tens of thousands of penguins. Observe the birds’ busy and humorous activity, with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.

      Ross Ice Shelf: The world’s largest body of floating ice and a natural barrier, at times creating hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force by winds off the polar ice cap. Just 800 miles from the South Pole, this daunting spectacle prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. We cruise along its dizzying 30m high ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’.

      Ross Island: Mount Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton’s Hut/Scott’s Hut(s) and visits to a scientific field station (Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on our wish list but ice, weather and station operational requirements often make them inaccessible). Ross Island was and is the ‘hub of activity’ in the Ross Sea, dominated by Mt Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the ancient Greek God of Darkness. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If we can reach the bases we get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research.

      Terra Nova Bay: An Italian research station where the scientists are always hospitable and enjoy showing us around their lonely but beautiful home. They share with us their scientific research and also, perhaps, the best ‘cafe espresso’ in Antarctica!

    • Day 23/26 - At Sea

      Taking time to rest and enjoy shipboard life in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, we have time for lectures on our final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.

    • Day 27/28 - Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour

      We drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour, an occasional refuge for Southern Right Whales who come here to calve. Walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs growing on the hills. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colourings and weirdly-shaped leaves. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions.

    • Day 29 - At Sea

      Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey as you join our experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.

    • Day 30 - Invercargill; Disembarkation

      We disembark in the Port of Bluff and this adventure ends as we disperse to begin others. After fond farewells we transfer you to a central city point or to the airport.

    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

    The Heroic Era

    We plan to embark on a journey through the heroic era of exploration, where the ‘Race to the Pole’ took place. Shackleton, Shirase and Scott all tried, but it was the ever successful Amundsen that in the summer of 1911 reached the ‘Pole’. Many relics and a few huts from this era still remain in and around the Ross Sea, we plan to visit these sites and tell stories from the grandfathers of exploration from more than 100 years ago.

    Visit Mars for a Day

    These unique valleys in a remote region of Antarctica, have alluded researchers for decades. On a continent covered in ice and glaciers, the McMurdo Dry Valleys are ice free and considered the closest known landscape to Mars. It is a striking anomaly, that on a continent where 98% of its surface is covered in ice hundreds of meters thick, there exists a region completely ice free.

    The Dry Valleys are just one of the many highlights of exploring the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.

    ANZ sub-Antarctic Islands

    Australia and New Zealand’s Subantarctic islands are a wonderland of rugged landscapes, birds, penguins and seals. Little known and often forgotten about for the likes of South Georgia, these islands present a very similar experience. Macquarie Island in particular, is home to the Wandering Albatross, King Penguins and Elephant seal colonies of wild proportions. The New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands are made up of Auckland, Snares, Campbell, Bounty, Chatham and the little known Antipodes Island. Home to rare and endemic birds species, rarely visited and in a number of instances our expeditions to these islands are the only ones permitted.

  • 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.

    Expedition Gear

    A high quality expedition jacket is provided for the Ross Sea and Commonweatlh Bay regions. Please note you will still require a lighter Goretex style jacket for visiting the sub-Antarctic islands and thermal insulating layers.

    Landing Fee

    Our expedition rates incorporate the required USD$880 landing fee

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All onboard ship accommodation with meals
    - All expedition shore excursions

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
    - Visas
    - Gratuities. International/domestic flights
    - Drinks
    - Laundry
    - All items of a personal nature
  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    SPIRIT OF ENDERBY

    The Spirit of Enderby is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in March 2013 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space. On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs. The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew. The name Spirit of Enderby honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.

    Features & Facilities
    • Basic accommodation
    • Small and intimate vessel
    • Bar/Library
    • Lecture room
    • Observation decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Internet
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 48
    Crew #: 30
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 72m
    Width: 13
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 1750
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
spirit of enderby main deck twin cabin

Main Deck Twin

10 Jan 2018 - 08 Feb 2018
Feature two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins. Cabin prices are inclusive of the required landing fee.
USD 23,880pp
USD 23,880pp
spirit of enderby  superior twin cabin

Superior Twin

10 Jan 2018 - 08 Feb 2018
Feature bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Cabin prices are inclusive of the required landing fee.
USD 25,880pp
USD 25,880pp
spirit of enderby  superior twin cabin

Superior Plus Twin

10 Jan 2018 - 08 Feb 2018
Feature two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Cabin prices are inclusive of the required landing fee.
USD 29,180pp
USD 29,180pp
spirit of enderby mini suite cabin

Mini Suite

10 Jan 2018 - 08 Feb 2018
Feature a a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows. Cabin prices are inclusive of the required landing fee.
USD 30,280pp
USD 30,280pp
spirit of enderby heritage suite cabin

Heritage Suite

10 Jan 2018 - 08 Feb 2018
The Heritage Suite has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views. Cabin prices are inclusive of the required landing fee.
USD 32,880pp
USD 32,880pp