Ross Sea - In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton plus NZ Sub-Antarctic Islands 30 daysAboard: Spirit of Enderby
The ultimate Antarctic Voyage. The Ross Sea is one of the most remote regions and is only accessible for two months each year when the ice thaws. See amazing scenery and encounter spectacular wildlife, including millions of penguins, especially the rarely seen emperor. Visit evocative historical sites with surviving evidence of the early explorers and contrast with modern scientific research stations.
Please note, there is a mandatory US$880pp landing fee charge applicable on this expedition
- Rare landings in NZ sub-Antarctic islands
- Spectacular Ross Sea region of Antarctica
- Historical exploration sites
- Myriad avian and marine wildlife
- One night hotel accommodation pre cruise including dinner and breakfast
- Transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- All zodiac and shore excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Invercargill, New Zealand
Arrive independently in Invercargill and make your way to your included hotel for an overnight stay. Meet your fellow travellers and expedition team over dinner and prepare yourself for the adventures ahead.
Invercargill & Bluff
In the morning you will have time to visit the interesting museum in town before transferring to the Port of Bluff, where you will board the Akademik Shokalskiy. Settle in to your cabin and explore your home for the next 28 nights and join your captain and expedition team at the welcome meeting.
Your first port of call will be North East Island, the largest of the Snares and home to more nesting seabirds than in all of the British Isles. Enjoy a Zodiac cruise around the coast to see Snares crested penguins, Cape petrel and Buller's albatross.
Over the course of these two days we will be exploring around the rugged Auckland Islands, a striking archipelago of towering cliffs and jagged sea stacks lying 465 kilometres south of the mainland. During our time here we will spend a day ashore on Enderby Island, which is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. As we explore around the island we will be on a constant lookout for the abundant parakeets that are frequently seen here alongside the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lions that are found along the rugged beaches. The red, white and yellow wild flowers that beautifully carpet the landscape make for excellent scenic photography opportunities.
We will also hope to land in Carnley Harbour where, if conditions are favourable, we can enjoy a gentle climb up to a Shy Albatross colony. Alternatively there are a number of interesting sites that we can explore within the harbour.
As we sail towards Macquarie Island you can enjoy lectures and presentations from your onboard team of experts about the biology and history of the areas you will be visiting. Spend some time on deck to watch for changing birdlife as you cross the Sub-Antarctic Convergence Zone.
The remote Macquarie Island supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere, with millions of breeding penguins, large groups of Elephant Seals and other wildlife inhabiting the sandy beaches and the tussock grass. As well as exploring the island in search of wildlife encounters you can also visit the Australian Antarctic Base and meet with the park rangers to find out more about this remarkable wildlife paradise.
During your days at sea heading towards Antarctica you can enjoy informal lectures and presentations about the incredible Ross Sea region, and spend time on deck looking out for the soaring albatross and petrels that follow the ship. Drifting icebergs with vivid colours announce your arrival into the Antarctic and as you cross the Antarctic Circle make sure your camera is ready for the first of many ice photographs.
Ross Sea Region
Due to the unpredictable nature of ice and weather conditions, an exact day-by-day itinerary in the Ross Sea is not possible, but we take advantage of every opportunity to make landings. Your programme will emphasise wildlife viewing, key scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular scenery. Visit the huts of Scott, Shackleton and other explorers as well as modern research stations, and see myriad birds and extensive wildlife, including penguin rookeries with over 1,000,000 birds. Each day will bring fantastic shore walks and Zodiac boat excursions.
Although our course will be mostly dictated by conditions, during your time here there are a number of exciting areas that you can expect to visit including Cape Hallett, where our arrival will be heralded by the enormous Admiralty Mountains. Here we will land at an abandoned base site to see the area’s colossal glaciers and large numbers of Adelie Penguins and Weddell Seals before moving on to the desolately beautiful and rugged Franklin Island to see another large Adelie penguin colony and the rarely visited Possession Islands which are home to tens of thousands more penguins.
Of course no voyage to this part of the world would be complete without a visit to the majestic spectacle of the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest body of floating ice, where we will be cruising just 800 miles from the South Pole. The hazardous conditions here can make it hard for a landing but your robust expedition ship will ease along the 30m high ice cliffs with some time on deck hopefully rewarding in the memorable sight of icebergs calving off the shelf.
The historic and scientific elements of our time here will bring us to Ross Island where we hope to see the monstrous active volcano of Mt Erebus and visit Shackelton’s Hut as well as Scott’s Hut and a scientific field station, and Terra Nova Bay where we hope to enjoy an exploration around the Italian research station here.
After the excitement of Antarctica’s Ross Sea region it’s time to relax as your ship heads towards Campbell Island and one final adventure. Enjoy entertaining lectures and pelagic bird and whale watching en-route.
The last landing of our thrilling expedition will bring us to Campbell Island where we will go ashore at Perseverance Harbour to enjoy a walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs that grow on the hills here. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colourings and intriguingly-shaped leaves. While we explore around the area we will be on a constant lookout for the Southern Right Whales who occasionally come here to calve, as well as sea lions and rare birds such as Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and Campbell Island Shags.
As your epic adventure comes to an end it’s time to head back towards Invercargill. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight with your crew and new-found friends and reflect upon the remarkable sights that you will have seen on your expedition.
You will disembark in the Port of Bluff and join a transfer to either a central downtown location or to the airport.
A view from Above
The Spirit of Enderby was built in Finland as a Russian oceanographic survey ship and is still registered in Vladivostok under her original name of Professor Khromov and has a mostly Russian crew. The ship is fully ice strengthened for use in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Renamed Spirit of Enderby by Heritage expeditions, who lease the ship, it was fully refurbished in 2009 and has accommodation for up to 50 passengers in a mixture of suites and cabins, many with private facilities. There is an open bridge and deck policy and public areas including a dining room, lecture theatre, bar, lounge and library, small hospital and sauna.
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.Dr Lorna Mairs
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.