13 Days | ex Invercargill or Dunedin (New Zealand)
Invercargill or Dunedin
On arrival in Invercargill transfer to your hotel (TBC) You will have time to get a few last-minute items for your trip and explore the town, rich in Scottish history. Tonight, get to know your fellow travellers over dinner.
Port of Bluff or Otago Harbour
Today you will be transferred to the port where staff will welcome you onboard. You will have time to settle into your cabin before your adventure begins.
The Snares – North East Island
The largest of The Snares, some claim North East Island is home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. Discover the island by Zodiac, cruising the rugged coastline and learn how the islands got their name. Species you may encounter on the imposing cliffs include Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross. Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds are some of the other species you may see.
Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
Named after the same renowned shipping family as the Spirit of Enderby expedition vessel, Enderby Island is a great birding location – there is every chance to see the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel. You may also see the rare New Zealand (or Hooker’s) Sea Lion at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands.
Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by. Loaded in human history, they harbour tales of castaways, bullion and Coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. Today we land in Carnley Harbour and, if weather and sea conditions permit, visit the Shy Mollymawk colony at South West Cape or, if weather is not suitable, we will select one of a number of other sites available to us.
Today, the ship travels through an area known as the Furious Fifties in the tumultuous Southern Ocean. Onboard, learn more about the flora and fauna as you prepare for your arrival at Macquarie Island. Keep an eye out for birdlife as this area offers great birding opportunities – particularly for Albatross. Species you may see 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. Other species to be on the lookout for include the Soft-plumaged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel and the Black-bellied Storm-Petrel.
Macquarie Island is incredibly important for penguins. Home to the magnificent Royal Penguin, the island is the only place in the world where this beautiful species breeds. Three other species of penguin, the King, Gentoo and Rockhopper also breed here. A visit to a noisy penguin rookery is an experience you will never forget – with feeding chicks, territorial disputes and courtship displays all occurring. These small birds show no fear of human visitors. And will often wander up to you to get a closer look. The penguin show is all going on around the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals that relax and loll along the beaches and dunes. Guests will be accompanied by the scientists and Park Rangers based on the island.
The ship heads north once more towards Campbell Island. Today you are invited to join the captain on the bridge and keep a keen lookout for birds and whales. Today there will also be briefings and lectures on Campbell Island in preparation for your visit.
Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour
Spend two days exploring the island by foot taking in the stunning panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks. It was once a lonely outpost for seal hunters, the island has been returned to nature. Take a walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs (huge pink and yellow wild flowers) on the hills. Other birdlife and wildlife you may see include Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and young male sea lions that test their strength on the beaches.
Enjoy a final day onboard as you relax and reflect on a remarkable journey. Join your fellow guests and naturalist guides for a recap of your trip highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.
Arrive into Port of Bluff early in the morning. After breakfast, customs formalities and a last-minute opportunity to bid farewell to your expedition team, disembark and transfer to downtown Invercargill or Invercargill Airport.
Please note: Voyages depart from either Invercargill or Dunedin, please contact us for exact departure details.