Day 1QueenstownArrive at your hotel informal get together
Day 2Queenstown/InvercargillAfter lunch embark ship Port of Bluff, set course for your adventure, Ruapuke Island
Days 3 & 4FiordlandExplore South-west corner of the South Island, Captain Cook's landing in 1773, Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour, Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins
Day 5Stewart Island Stewart and Ulva Islands, Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island, Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red Crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird and Tui
Day 6Dunedin Otago Harbour, Northern Royal Albatross at the Tairoa Head Albatross Colony, berth at Port Chalmers
Day 7LytteltonLyttelton Harbour, visit regions acclaimed private garden and gardens of Sir Miles Warren at Ohinetahi, or venture north to the acclaimed wine region of Waipara
Day 8Marlborough SoundsLabyrinth of waterways, explore a coastal trail, watch for native birds including Saddleback, Parakeets and Robins
Day 9NelsonBeautiful coastal scenery of the Abel Tasman National Park or discover the regions culinary delights, artisan crafts and world-class wines
Day 10WellingtonExplore this vibrant city on foot, cable car, Zealandia nature reserve, Botanic Gardens and Te Papa New Zealand’s national museum
Day 11NapierImmerse yourself in the Art Deco world, wineries of the Hawkes Bay, alternatively visit Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony
Day 12GisborneEastwoodhill Arboretum and traditional welcome by the iwi.
Day 13Great Barrier Island Port Fitzroy, sub-tropical forests with majestic Kauri tree and ferns, walk a trail around the harbour or take a cruise
Day 14Bay of IslandsBeautiful coastal scenery, Islands dot the bay, clear blue waters and golden sand beaches; the place of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi
Day 15AucklandArrive central city waterfront, after breakfast bid farewell to fellow passengers and crew then transfer to the airport
Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific


Heritage Adventurer

The Heritage Adventurer (formerly the MS Hanseatic) is a modern, ice-strengthened Antarctic cruise ship with all en-suite cabins accommodating up to 146 guests. Purpose built for polar waters in Rauma Finland, the Heritage Adventurer not only has the highest ice class rating (Lloyds 1AS) she also offers unmatched stability and superior speed to get you to your destination and out exploring.

Day 1 Queenstown, New Zealand

Make your way to the hotel spending the first night of the expedition, an informal get together for dinner; an opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.

Day 2 Queenstown/Invercargill

Today enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant with the morning free exploring Queenstown after lunch depart for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship. You may join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck. Sail past Ruapuke Island, formerly a local Maori stronghold supporting a population of over 200 people.

Days 3 & 4 Fiordland

We have two 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, with the demi-god Tuteraki-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 they 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.

Day 5 Stewart Island

Reischek Parakeet - Heritage Expeditions

Spend the day exploring Stewart and Ulva Islands. Rich in history and wildlife, Ulva Island has been predator-free since 1997 and its bird song and wildlife is some of the best in New Zealand. 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.

Day 6 Dunedin

This morning we sail into the beautiful Otago Harbour, watch closely for Northern Royal Albatross at the Tairoa Head Albatross Colony. From our berth at Port Chalmers explore the famed, fashion-forward city of Dunedin, the Edinburgh of the south and its rich history as the gateway to Otago. Explore the scenic Otago Peninsula where sea lions rest and Yelloweyed penguins can be spotted in one of their last strongholds where the beautiful farmed hills roll down towards white sand beaches. Alternatively venture towards the interior of Otago through the scenic Taieri Gorge.

Day 7 Lyttelton

The bustling port of Lyttelton is the maritime gateway to Canterbury and famously the setting for Sir Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners starring Michael J Fox. Depart Heritage Adventurer and travel along the shores of Lyttelton Harbour to the acclaimed gardens of Sir Miles Warren at Ohinetahi. Travel across the Port Hills with its commanding views across the city and plains to explore the Botanic Gardens and the bustling post-quake city on the rebuild with its distincly English setting around the Avon River, as well as visiting some of the region’s most acclaimed private gardens of the ‘Garden City’. Alternatively, venture north to the acclaimed wine region of Waipara and discover what makes this region so well suited for the growing of Pinot Noir and Riesling. During our time in North Canterbury we will also visit one of the many long established sheep farming families.

Day 8 Marlborough Sounds

This morning Heritage Adventurer sails into the sheltered waters of the Marlborough Sounds, a beautiful labyrinth of waterways intersecting the northern shores of the South Island. Take the opportunity to explore a coastal trail through the lush regenerating forest and watch for native birds including Saddleback, Parakeets and Robins on one of the island nature reserves.

Day 9 Nelson

The spiritual home of Heritage Expeditions and one of the best, yet seldom-visited ports of New Zealand, join your naturalists to discover the incredibly beautiful coastal scenery of the Abel Tasman National Park or take the opportunity to discover the regions culinary delights, artisan crafts and world-class wines.

Day 10 Wellington


The capital of New Zealand and an exceptional natural harbour, Heritage Adventurer will be docked in the centre of the action from where you can easily explore the vibrant city on foot. Visit the cable car, explore the world renowned Zealandia nature reserve, discover the Botanic Gardens and visit Te Papa New Zealand’s national museum.

Day 11 Napier

The Art Deco capital of New Zealand, and possibly the world, the post-quake city of Napier lies at the heart of the thriving Hawkes Bay. Immerse yourself in the Art Deco world of central Napier with its quaint shops and unrivalled architecture before venturing to the world-renowned wineries of the Hawkes Bay famed for their exceptional Syrah and Chardonnay vintages. Alternatively join your naturalists on a visit to the exceptional Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony.

Day 12 Gisborne

Despite being named “Poverty Bay” by Captain Cook, the region is endowed with an exceptional climate and rich soils meaning it is one of New Zealand’s most renowned fruit and vegetable growing regions. A visit to Eastwoodhill Arboretum in the hills behind the town is not to be missed; the result of one man’s passion and dedication this is now the National Arboretum. As we are in Ngati Porou country you will be traditionally welcomed by the iwi.

Day 13 Great Barrier Island

This morning we will be discovering one of New Zealand’s hidden gems as we explore Great Barrier Island and the beautiful Port Fitzroy. Enjoy the opportunity to discover the sub-tropical forests that predominate here with stands of majestic Kauri tree and a verdant understory of ferns. Take a walk along one of the trails around the harbour for outstanding views or join your naturalists for a Zodiac exploration of one of the finest harbours in the north.

Day 14 Bay of Islands

We spend the last day of our New Zealand discovery amongst some of the most beautiful coastal scenery to be found anywhere, as the name suggests Islands dot the bay where clear blue waters lap against golden sand beaches. It was here that much of New Zealand’s early history both Maori and European unfolded, including the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Visit the Treaty Grounds at Waitangi and discover the significance and stories surrounding the region.

Day 15 Auckland

Arriving Auckland, berth in the central city waterfront, following breakfast disembark and head to the airport or continue your exploration of New Zealand.

To book this voyage call 1300 784 794 or email

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.