Macquarie Island and the subantarctic islands of New Zealand

Macquarie Island and the subantarctic islands of New Zealand – December 1st to 13th, 2017

Voyage and expedition cruise to Macquarie Island Expedition cruise on board the vessel Spirit of Enderby

Size of the group: 48 expeditioners maximum

Duration: 12 nights/13 days

The ship in details…

Expedition cruise basics…

Long recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This places them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as “the most important and significant natural habitats” on the planet. They are also afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments and access to these islands is by permit only.


PROGRAM AND ITINERARY:

About the program and itinerary…

Day 1: Dunedin
Meet your fellow voyagers and expedition staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you will stay overnight.

Day 2: Otago Harbour
You are transfered you to the port where staff will welcome you on board and as you settle into your cabin, your adventure begins.

Day 3: The Snares
The Snares Islands 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 you should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, the Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross nesting on the imposing cliffs.

Days 4 and 5: Auckland Islands
Characterised by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. You spend the day ashore on Enderby Island which is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Here you 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. You land in Carnley Harbour and if conditions are suitable climb to a Shy Albatross colony, otherwise you 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 your guides. This particular stretch of ocean is very productive and you can expect many seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.

Days 7 and 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. You 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: at sea

Days 10 and 11: Campbell Island
You will 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. You also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions.

Day 12: at sea

Day 13: Invercargill
You will disembark after breakfast in the Port of Bluff and be transfer to central city hotels or to the airport.

Map of the itinerary of the voyage and expedition cruise to Macquarie Island


PRICES (per person):

– Main deck triple: $6600 USD
– Main deck: $7600 USD
– Superior: $8300 USD
– Superior Plus: $8800 USD
– Mini suite: $9300 USD
– Heritage Suite: $9900 USD

Additional charges: local payment $800 USD pp

Prices include: pre/post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (inc. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions.

Prices do not include: all items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

The ship in details…


OUR OPINION ON THIS VOYAGE:

This is without doubt one of the most inspirational and informative journeys or expeditions into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one can make anywhere in the world. Long recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This places them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as “the most important and significant natural habitats” on the planet. The islands all lie in the cool temperate zone with a unique climate and are home to a vast array of wildlife including albatross, penguins, petrels, prions, shearwaters and marine mammals like sea lions, fur seals and elephant seals. The flora is equally fascinating; the majority of it being like the birds and endemic to these islands.

☞ Interest of this trip: birds (albatross, petrels, shags…), seals, cetaceans, flora (rata forest, megaherbs…), historical sites, research station…