Ross Sea - In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton plus NZ Sub-Antarctic Islands 30 days aboard Akademik Shokalskiy
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
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- 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
ITINERARY29 Nights 30 Days
- Day 1 | Invercargill, New Zealand
- Day 2 | Invercargill & Bluff
- Day 3 | The Snares
- Days 4 - 5 | Auckland Islands
- Day 6 | At Sea
- Days 7 - 8 | Macquarie Island
- Days 9 - 12 | At Sea
- Days 13 - 22 | Ross Sea Region
- Days 23 - 26 | At Sea
- Days 27 - 28 | Campbell Island
- Day 29 | At Sea
- Day 30 | Invercargill
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 mainland New Zealand. 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.
In the morning you will disembark in the Port of Bluff and join a transfer to either a central downtown location or to the airport.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
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!
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
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.
• I wanted to send you a quick thank you email. We had a fantastic trip, the boat, staff, scenery, itinerary, and pretty much everything else was incredible! Thank you so much for arranging the cabin upgrade, we were delighted to have our own room! We had a really brilliant time, and wanted to say thanks so much for being so helpful throughout, we're lucky to have found you.
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
Many thanks for all you help with our polar trip which exceeded all expectations. We will certainly recommend your company and seriously consider yourselves for future trips.
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Ross Sea trip. It was really the trip of a lifetime & the ship & crew were excellent.
Overall I think that it was an excellent trip that was well worth the price paid and I would have no hesitation recommending your company to others.
I'm sure you get plenty of compliments, but I just want to follow up telling you what a great time we had on the MS Expedition Antarctica Classic cruise. We were very pleased with all of the staff, on the ground and on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. We greatly appreciated their experience and expertise. Their very careful attention to all of the environmental rules and precautions should also be lauded. Thank you for all of your service and attention. If we're planning on one of the other regions that you serve, we'll definitely be in touch!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
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.
We had the most fantastic time! Everything exceeded our expectations - the ship, the expedition team, the scenery and the most amazing wildlife experiences - 15 humpback whales around the ship one sunset was particularly stunning. Thank you so much to you and your colleagues for your expert advice (the cabin choice was just perfect, especially for the bumpy days!) and guidance and helping made this experience so great. My lifetime's ambition was to visit Antarctica and you all helped make that possible. I should also say that the arrangements in Buenos Aires worked really well too. I think we all have ideas about the next trip - Svalbard or the NorthWest Passage - but maybe in a couple of years, although we do each have $1500 in vouchers from Quark! I am not on Facebook myself but will try to put a review on either of the links below. I've received the new brochure already.
A great big thanks to all at Wildfoot Travel for making my Antarcti Expediton an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. A truly mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken. Looking forward to the next trip with you.
Just came back from a trip aboard the Ortelius to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Thank you Wildfoot for organising it so well. We had the trip of a lifetime and everything ran very smoothly and stress free so many, many thanks
I travelled to the Antarctica Circle with Wildfoot. It was a memorable trip. The MS Expedition was definately the right choice. The ship is very nice, very comfortable, very clean, the crew is fantastic, the meals were very good, the expedition staff very kind and extremely knowledgeable and professional. All activities were very well and timely organized in a safety manner. Besides that, despite haveing had a rough sea on the Drake on way in, we were quite lucky with the weather (we got some cloudy days but also snow, bright sunshine and beautiful sunsets,) making every landing a wonderful happening. All in all, it was less than perfect.
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