ROSS SEA ANTARCTICA
|2||Port of Bluff||Board Heritage Adventurer, set sail for The Snares|
|3||The Snares||Search for wildlife including Snares Crested Penguin and Buller's Albatross|
|4||Auckland Islands - Enderby Island||Explore on foot and in zodiacs. Searching for Hooker's Sea Lion|
|5||At Sea||Search the skies for Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Shy and White-capped Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross and Black-browed Albatross.|
|6 & 7||Maquarie Island||Royal Penguins, as well as King, Gentoo and Rockhopper.|
|8 - 10||At Sea||Search for petrels, albatross and whales as we prepare for the Ross Sea.|
|11 to 22||Antarctica's Ross Sea Region||Ample time to explore this amazing region: Cape Adare, Cape Hallett, Franklin Island, Ross Island Scott and McMurdo stations.|
|23 to 25||At Sea||More opportunities to spot pelagic species.|
|26||Campbell Island||The highlight of our visit is a walk to the hilltop breeding sites of Southern Royal Albatross, over six thousand pairs of which breed on Campbell Island.|
|28||Ivercargill/Queenstown||Disembark at the Port of Bluff early in the morning|
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.
Meet this evening in Dunedin or Invercargill (depending on itinerary) for an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner and meet the fellow adventurers and expedition team on your voyage. The following morning you will be transferred to the Harbour where you will embark on the Spirit of Enderby for the Galapagos of the Southern Ocean voyage.
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 together. Zodiac cruising the rugged coastline learn how the islands got their name and encounter Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs. You are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.
Enderby Island is a great place to view birds and wildlife. Visit Sandy Bay, the main breeding ground for the rare New Zealand (Hooker’s) Sea Lion and just one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands. There are chances to observe the 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. Keep a lookout for the rare Subantarctic Snipe. On Derry Castle Reef there is a good chance of seeing the Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and perhaps other migratory waders.
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by and harbour tales of castaways and coastwatchers. If weather and sea conditions are suitable energetic expeditioners are able to climb to the South West Cape Shy Albatross colony where Gibson’s Wandering Albatross nest among the tussocks above the colony.
As you make your way through an area known as the Furious Fifties in the tumultuous Southern Ocean, you will learn more about the flora and fauna as you prepare for your 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. Endeavour to spot the Fairy Prion, Fulmar Prion and Antarctic Prion – never an easy task – but you should get some great views.
Described by one Australian explorer as “One of the wonder spots of the world” this is the only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds. This remote outpost supports a breath-taking concentration of wildlife. You will never forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’ where you will be witness to a thousand chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays: King, Gentoo and Rockhopper Penguins can also be seen here. Meet with Park Rangers and seek out the thousands of Southern Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and along the coast, Redpolls and Imperial Shag can often be spotted.
Keep a keen lookout for cetaceans, albatross and petrels today, relax in the ship’s bar or catch up on your reading in the library.
Spend two days exploring the island by 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. 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.
En route to the Port of Bluff take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. Recap the highlights of your expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner as you complete the last few kilometres of your journey.
Your adventure ends at at the Port of Bluff. Early this morning arrive in port and after a final breakfast and customs formalities say your farewells before disembarking and transferring by complimentary coach to either a central city point or to the airport.