28 December 2022
Fly Cruise and Stay
- Embark Ship: Queenstown, New Zealand
- Disembark Ship: Bluff, New Zealand
Package Duration: 12 nights, Fly, Cruise & Stay
Package Starts: 28 December 2022 from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne
Cruise Starts: 29 December 2022 - from Port of Bluff, New Zealand
Cruise Ends: 8 January 2023 - into Invercargill, New Zealand
Package Ends: 9 January 2023 - with flight back to Australia from Queenstown
Cruise Highlights: Beyond Fjordland - New Zealand`s Wildest Islands
Reinstated in 2018, this expedition returns, in full circle, to where Heritage Expeditions` legacy began. Exploring the remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fjordland, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired a dream for responsible travel. In the calm waters of Fjordland, and away from the crowds, there are great opportunities to lookout for marine life, elusive birds and stunning vistas.
BEYOND FJORDLAND & INTO THE WILD Fly, Cruise & Stay package prices include:
- FREE^ return economy class airfare from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Queenstown inc tax (surcharge of $400 pp extra for Adelaide departures and $600 pp extra for Perth departures)
- FREE^ One way transfer from Queenstown airport to hotel
- 1 nights hotel accommodation in Queenstown with dinner and breakfast
- One way transfer from the hotel in Queenstown to the Port of Bluff for embarkation
- 10 night Subantarctics & New Zealand Fjordland expedition cruise aboard the Heritage Adventurer (184 guests) from the Port of Bluff to Invercargill
- All shipboard main meals
- All expedition shore excursions on land and via zodiac lead by a team of experts in the region
- Landing fees of $500 USD per person
- One way transfer from Invercargill to Queenstown hotel after disembarkation
- FREE 1 nights hotel accommodation in Queenstown post cruise
- FREE^ One way transfer from Queenstown hotel to airport
*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin in AUD (unless stated as single), based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (02Dec21). Some cabins may have obstructed views. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. Transfers only included if guests are arriving/departing by air at specific airports on exact package dates. Offer subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty. Beverages and gratuities are not included in the prices listed here. Currently, gratuities are USD $7.00 per person per day, payable on board only, and are subject to change without notice. ^Free airfare is in economy class, in the carrier of our choosing, from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne. Hotel is allocated by our agency. All rates converted from original USD and subject to currency fluctuation until paid in full. Offer ends 31Mar22 or until sold out/withdrawn.
Special Validity Dates
Special is valid from 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 or until sold out/withdrawn.
|28 Dec 2022
||Fly FREE Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne to Queenstown
|28 Dec 2022
||Arrive Queenstown, Transfer to hotel
|28 Dec 2022
||Queenstown, New Zealand
|29 Dec 2022
||Bluff, New Zealand
|30 Dec 2022
|31 Dec 2022
||Campbell Island, New Zealand
|1 Jan 2023
||Auckland Islands, New Zealand
|2 Jan 2023
|3 Jan 2023
||Snares Island, New Zealand
|4 Jan 2023
||Oban, Halfmoon Bay, Stewart Island
|5 Jan 2023
||Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
|6 Jan 2023
||Dusky Sound, New Zealand
|7 Jan 2023
||Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
|8 Jan 2023
||Bluff, New Zealand
|8 Jan 2023
||Disembark Bluff/Invercargill & transfer to Queenstown hotel for overnight stay
|9 Jan 2023
||Transfer to airport, Fly FREE to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne
10 Night Cruise sailing from Bluff roundtrip aboard Heritage Adventurer. Hotel stay pre-cruise in Queenstown.
Day 1: Queenstown
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.
Day 2: Port of Bluff
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 Campbell Island and our adventure begins. We will sail past Ruapuke Island, formerly a local Maori stronghold supporting a population of over 200 people. We will also be able to see Stewart Island. Despite appearing quite small on most maps it is really quite large and has a 700 kilometre coastline. Seabirds that we may encounter at this early point in the voyage include: albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and Little Blue Penguins.
Day 3: At Sea
As we make our way through the Southern Ocean we take the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna as we prepare for our arrival at Campbell 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, Campbell Island Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Sooty Shearwater and Little Shearwater. There should be plenty of petrels and again the hard to identify prion species. We can expect some of the best pelagic birding on this leg of the journey from Bluff to Campbell Island with great views during the crossing.
Day 4: Campbell Island
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 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 evening we will sail up the eastern coast, making our way to Port Ross in preparation for our landing at Enderby Island.
Day 6: 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. Other more common species we will see include the Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Blackbird, European Starling, Red-billed Gull and Redpoll. On Derry Castle Reef we will look for migratory waders which could include Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and possibly vagrants.
Day 7: 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 8: Stewart Island – Paterson Inlet/Ulva Island
New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place; the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. We will enjoy a morning exploring Ulva Island which is rich in history and wildlife, being a predator-free island from 1997 the bird song and wildlife is some of the best. In Paterson Inlet you will have time to explore the sandy beaches of Boulder Bay and West End Beach or just enjoy some time around Post Offce Bay and Sydney Cove. Some of the wildlife you may get to see while walking the tracks on Ulva Island include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red Crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui. There are many more species that may also be seen, our knowledgeable expedition guides will be listening for bird calls and keeping a close watch in overhead canopies and the surrounding shrubs to identify further species. In the afternoon we turn our attention to other parts of Paterson Inlet and visit the historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay, where from 1923 and 1933 the Ross Sea Whaling Company of Sandefjord, Norway ran a repair base in Prices Inlet where chaser boats were serviced in preparation for the Antarctic summer. There may be an opportunity to explore quirky town centre Oban in Halfmoon Bay where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the iconic South Sea Hotel.
Days 9 to 11: Fiordland
We have three days to explore the incredible wilderness of fiords in the south-west corner of the South Island. This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Fiordland was well known to local Maori people, with the demi-god Tu-teraki-whanoa being said to have used his adze, Te Hamo, to carve out the region’s fiords. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, they were the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’s records of his discovery and maps attracted sealers and whalers not long after who then formed the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country. Fiordland’s coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region of New Zealand’s mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look out for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible, areas we plan to visit during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. The Captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to make the best use of our time in this incredible region of New Zealand, including areas that even few New Zealanders have visited. The isolation of Fiordland has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed. On the evening of Day 11 we will enjoy a celebratory dinner with newfound friends and reflect on a wealth of new experiences from our adventure.
Day 12: Invercargill/Queenstown
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.
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, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.
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. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship.
Ship Profile & Stats
- Maiden voyage: 1991
- Tonnage: 8,378
- Length: 124 m
- Beam: 18 m
- Draft: 4.97 m
- Speed: 15 knots
- Passenger capacity (dbl): 140
- Presentation Theatre
- Dining Room
- 2 Bars
- Bistro Dining Room and Lounge
- Health, Wellbeing & Beauty Area
- Observation Lounge
- Observation Deck
Every year Heritage Expeditions voyages with small groups of between 18 and 140 intrepid travellers to some of the most unique and remote islands, coasts and shorelines on earth aboard their expedition ships Heritage Adventurer, Spirit of Enderby, Akademik Shokalskiy and Heritage Explorer on voyages ranging from 5 – 28 days.
Founded in 1985 by the Russ family in Christchurch, New Zealand, Heritage Expeditions is still proudly family-owned and operated. Contributing to conservation through experiential learning and providing funds for research and management, they are pioneers in environmentally-responsible expedition travel offering intimate group excursions to Antarctica and the Subantarctic Islands, through the Pacific, and around the Russian Far East and Wrangel Island on their purpose built expedition ships.
Each expedition is meticulously planned and led by a team of botanists, ornithologists, naturalists and experts in their field, ensuring guests maximise every opportunity to learn, discover and experience as much as possible, while minimising the impact of their visit and returning as ambassadors for these very special places.