Summary : The ultimate Antarctic voyage, this expedition includes the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, as well as Macquarie Island, and the Ross Ice Shelf. You will spend 10 days in the Ross Sea, with plenty of time ashore to soak up the scenery, wildlife–including the famed Emperor Penguin—and the history. Explore the seldom-visited Possession Islands and Ross Island, and examine the eerily-preserved artifacts of Scott’s Discovery hut. Famous explorers and adventurers have sought out the Ross Sea Region, including Borchgrevink, Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, Richard Byrd, and Sir Edmund Hillary. Visit five historic huts on this voyage that captures the history of these explorers and their achievements.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive at Invercargill, New Zealand’s southernmost city and rich in Scottish history. Grab your last-minute luxuries before meeting fellow expeditioners for an informal get-together over dinner.
Enjoy a visit to the museum to view the Subantarctic display before transferring to the Port of Bluff, where you will board the Spirit of Enderby. Settle into your cabin and join your Expedition Staff and the Captain for a welcome on board.
Staggeringly, the Snares Islands are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. While Zodiac cruising the coast, learn how the islands got their name, and search in the sheltered bays for sights of the endemic Snares crested penguin, the cape petrel and buller’s albatross nesting on the imposing cliffs.
Characterized by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have born witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. Spend the day ashore on Enderby Island which is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands; here find parakeets flitting above carpets of red, white and yellow wildflowers and, on the beaches beyond, the rare hooker’s or New Zealand sea lion. Land in Carnley Harbor and climb to a shy mollymawk colony and nests of the beautiful wandering albatross amongst the tussock.
Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of the islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with your experts. Crossing the confluence of warmer and cooler waters at the Subantarctic Convergence, expect to see a large number of pelagic species, including five or six kinds of albatross and petrel.
This remote, rocky outpost in the middle of roaring westerly winds supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Expect a welcoming committee as a quarter of a million king penguins stand to attention on shore. You will never forget your first experience in a ceaselessly active ‘penguin city,’ where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors. Meet with the Park Rangers and observe the thousands of elephant seals along the beaches.
Soaring albatrosses and petrels circle the vessel as you steam south through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Ross Sea region and, beyond the bows of the ship, drifting icebergs begin to appear in extraordinary shapes. Maneuvering in close for your first ice photographs, pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight.
Due to the unpredictable nature of ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary in the Ross Sea is not possible, but you take advantage of every opportunity to make landings. The program emphasizes wildlife viewing, key scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular scenery.
You may visit the following areas:
Cape Adare – The location of Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, built during the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899. It is also the site of the largest adélie penguin rookery in Antarctica--up to one million birds.
Cape Hallett – The enormous Admiralty Range heralds your arrival at Cape Hallett. The mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000 meters and glaciers course down from the interior.
Terra Nova Bay – At Terra Nova, an Italian research station, many streams of scientific research are conducted, and they also claim to have the best ‘cafe espresso’ in Antarctica!
Franklin Island – This rugged Island, deep in the Ross Sea, is capped in ice and is home to a large adélie penguin population.
Ross Ice Shelf – The largest ice shelf in Antarctica, the Ross Ice Shelf is also the world’s largest body of floating ice. A natural barrier, it lies just 800 miles from the South Pole.
Ross Island – Mount Erebus, Cape Bird, Shackleton’s Hut, and Scott’s Hut. Drop in at a scientific field station and visit the preserved huts of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Captain Robert Falcon Scott. Informal lectures explain many facets of these amazing early expeditions and towering behind Scott’s hut broods Mt. Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the Ancient Greek God of Darkness.
Possession Islands – Rarely-visited, small and rugged, these rocks support tens of thousands of penguins. Observe the birds’ busy and humorous activity, with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.
Taking time to rest and enjoy shipboard life in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, enjoy time for lectures on your final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.
Drop anchor in Perseverance Harbor, an occasional refuge for southern right whales who come here to calve. Walk to the nesting site of the southern royal albatross and see the strange and beautiful ‘mega herbs’ growing on the hills, huge wildflowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions, with unusual colorings and weirdly-shaped leaves. Also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island shags, light-mantled sooty albatross and sea lions.
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey, join your experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.
Disembark in the Port of Lyttelton and disperse to begin other adventures. After fond farewells, transfer to central city hotels or to the airport.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation in this program, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance for the specific areas they will be visiting. The minimum coverage requirement is $100,000 for program. The policy provider, policy number and contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Cabin accommodations; all onboard lectures and access to public areas; all meals on board the ship; shore excursions as described; one night accommodation including dinner and continental breakfast; accommodation based on twin share occupancy (single supplement applies for guaranteed single); group transfers to embark the ship and transfer from the ship to city hotels and/or airport on disembarkation.
Airfare to and from your home to the port of departure and port of arrival; items of a personal nature such as insurance and excess baggage charges; passport, visa and vaccination fees; onboard the ship: beverages, laundry, ship to shore communications, medical supplies, souvenirs; landing fees; fuel surcharge may apply.