Galapagos of the Southern Ocean

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean 12 days

Prices From £7,675pp
November to December | 11 nights

Single Cabins Available

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean 12 days

Aboard: Heritage Adventurer

Undoubtedly, this expedition stands out as one of the most inspiring and educational journeys into the Southern Ocean ecosystem. It presents a unique opportunity for exploration, photography, and understanding of the captivating Subantarctic islands located south of New Zealand and Australia. Accompanied by exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate guides, participants will delve into the enchanting world of these islands. Renowned for their diverse biodiversity, these UNESCO World Heritage sites enjoy the highest conservation status and protection from the Australian and New Zealand governments. Access to these islands is strictly regulated by permit, making this expedition one of the few avenues to discover their fascinating allure.

During this thrilling journey, you will explore four Subantarctic Islands – The Snares, Campbell, Macquarie, and the Auckland Islands. Here, you will encounter a wide range of wildlife, including seals, sea lions, penguins, and numerous seabird species. Additionally, the expedition offers the opportunity to marvel at the abundance of endemic flora thriving in this unique climate.

Please Note 1: 18th December 2024 departure will feature special guest Ewen Bell, an award-winning travel photographer and author who will be delivering interactive small group photography workshops and accompanying guests on excursions and shore visits.

Please Note 2: 22nd November 2024 trip will depart from Hobart, Tasmania.

Various departures available. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departures. Please enquire for full dates and rates.

Highlights

  • Discover the fascinating natural biodiversity of the beautiful Subantarctic Islands
  • A unique chance to discover some of the most important and significant natural habitats on the planet
  • Explore where few have gone before as you visit The Snares, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island and the Auckland Islands
  • Sail with knowledgeable and passionate guides who know these areas like no other, on an expedition that offers unprecedented access to these lands
  • Uncover a world of remarkable flora and fauna including albatross, penguins, petrels, prions, shearwaters and marine mammals like sea lions, fur seals and elephant seals
  • Sail aboard a pioneering vessel combining authentic expedition with celebrated history and refined design

What's Included

  • One night hotel accommodation pre-voyage, including dinner and breakfast
  • Transfers to and from ship
  • Full board accommodation on board ship with all meals and house beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • All zodiac and shore excursions
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists

Single Cabins Available

This vessel offers single occupancy cabins, which is a perfect option for solo travellers. Travelling alone is often the best way to see the world. No responsibilities, no difficult choices and no trying to please anyone else…just you, your itinerary and your adventurous spirit!

Our popularitinerary Suggestions

All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable

Queenstown - Port of Bluff
1 - 2Days

Queenstown - Port of Bluff

Your expedition begins in the New Zealand resort town of Queenstown where, after arriving independently, you will make your way to the group hotel for your included overnight stay. In the evening you can meet your fellow travellers and some of your expedition team at an informal dinner as the excitement builds for the adventure ahead.

After breakfast at the hotel the following morning there will be some free time to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and then transferring to the Port of Bluff for embarkation. There will be time to familiarise yourself with the ship and settle into your comfortable cabin before dinner, and as the ship sets sail towards the Snares, you will be invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and Observation Deck to watch as the mainland fades into the distance and your adventure truly begins.

The Snares - North East Island
3Day

The Snares - North East Island

Your first adventure will bring you to the Snares, the closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, and named as such owing to how they were once considered a hazard for sailing ships. 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 put together. As landings are not permitted here, we will Zodiac cruise around the rugged coastline in the hope of sightings of Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrels, Snares Island Tomtits and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs and in the picturesque sheltered bays. We are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Sooty Shearwaters, Red-billed Gulls, Fernbirds and more.

Auckland Islands - Enderby Island
4Day

Auckland Islands - Enderby Island

We now reach the Auckland Islands archipelago and will spend two days here exploring, with our first stop taking us to Enderby Island. Named after the distinguished shipping family and known as one of the most beautiful islands in the group, this is a wonderful 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. The island is relatively easy to land on and, with permission, we will make our way to Sandy Bay, one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion. Throughout the day you can enjoy a range of guided shore walks, including a walk along the boardwalk that traverses the island to the dramatic western cliffs.

Auckland Islands - Carnley Harbour
5Day

Auckland Islands - Carnley Harbour

Moving on to the southern area of the Auckland’s archipelago, we reach the sheltered Carnley Harbour which is a fascinating spot rich in human history. The area has witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by, and harbours tales of castaways, bullion and coast watchers, through to today’s scientific visitors.

Sailing through the dramatic eastern entrance to the harbour flanked by soaring cliffs and rugged, tussock-covered hills, we will make land and begin our explorations. Depending on the weather conditions, options today include an energetic climb to the South West Cape and a visit the Shy Mollymawk colony which will reward in magnificent vistas. Should you prefer not to participate in the climb, you can instead enjoy a memorable Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island, Western Harbour and Victoria Passage. We may also visit the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout which was occupied during the Second World War, or Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864.

At Sea
6Day

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.

Macquarie Island
7 - 8Days

Macquarie Island

Today we will arrive off the coast of Macquarie Island, described by one Australian explorer as “One of the wonder spots of the world”. Upon arrival, we will be greeted by some of the scientists and park rangers that are based here and who will accompany us to shore to begin our exploration. Being the only place in the world where the beautiful Royal penguin breeds, sighting this iconic species will be high on the list of expectations. Yet it’s not just the royal penguins that we can find here. Large colonies of king, gentoo and rockhopper penguins also breed here and combine to create a bustling “penguin city” that is a joy to witness and experience. Thriving alongside the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes, this is a wildlife spectacle that is simply not to be missed.

At Sea
9Day

At Sea

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.

Campbell Island - Perserverance Harbour
10Day

Campbell Island - Perserverance Harbour

Your final adventure will bring you to Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory, where we will make land at Perseverance Harbour to spend the day exploring the island on 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 growing on the hills. These huge pink and yellow wild flowers have adapted well to the harsh conditions. 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.

Thanks to an incredibly impressive eradication programme, the island is completely predator free and is a mecca for birdlife including the endangered Campbell Island Flightless Teal which was reintroduced to the island in the early 2000s. We will 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
11Day

At Sea

As your ship makes its way back to the Port of Bluff, this is the ideal time to enjoy some well-earned relaxation and enjoy the amenities of your expedition ship. You can join the final lectures and presentations delivered by the team of noted naturalists, spend time on deck reflecting on the amazing experiences of the last 10 days, or simply relax in the bar and chat with your newfound friends. The farewell dinner tonight will be the perfect conclusion to an unforgettable voyage.

Invercargill/Queenstown
12Day

Invercargill/Queenstown

Arrival back to the Port of Bluff this morning signals the end of our Subantarctic Islands expedition cruise, and after a final breakfast on board it will be time to bid farewell to your expedition crew and fellow passengers. A complimentary transfer will be provided to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airport.

A view from Above

All Aboard

Heritage Adventurer
Mid range vessel

Heritage Adventurer

Previously known as the MS Hanseatic, the Heritage Adventurer is a renowned authentic expedition ship. Purpose-built with ice-strengthened hull, the vessel combines the highest passenger ship iceclass rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Designed to match Heritage’s signature experiential expedition travel, the ship accommodates up to 140 guests in welcoming and spacious cabins that feature outside views, separate lounge areas, TVs, en-suite bathrooms and double or twin beds.

Communal areas include a lounge, two restaurant areas including an al-fresco bistro, gym and spa, lecture theatre, library, passenger lifts and outdoor swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Too much to choose from? This is where we come in

Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand adventure for you.

Amy Lucas Travel Specialist

With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Amy knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.

Simon Rowland Senior Travel Expert

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.

Michael Gardiner Senior Travel Expert

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.

Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

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0800 195 3385
Outside the uk
+ 44 1625 5811 43
Call us
+ 44 1625 5811 43
Call us
+ 44 1625 5811 43

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Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

Call us - 0800 195 3385
Outside the uk? + 44 1625 5811 43
+ 44 1625 5811 43 Call us - 0800 195 3385

Chat Now

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callback

Fill in our
Enquiry form

Book Consultation

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Consultation

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