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Sub-Antarctic Islands – Galapagos of the Southern Ocean
13 days - Prices $5,600 - $8,800



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Ship(s): Spirit of Enderby


Trip Highlights:

Explore one of the world's wildest places with extraordinary wildlife, biodiversity, and rich history, with expert guides aboard an expedition vessel.

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Rates: $5,600 - $8,800

Summary: Journey as far south as Macquarie Island, described as ‘one of the wonder spots of the globe,’ as well as Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands and the Snares. Long recognized for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic islands lying to the south of New Zealand are World Heritage sites, afforded the highest conservation status and protection by both the Australian and New Zealand governments. Discover a sense of the astounding natural biodiversity and the importance of these islands as wildlife refuges. They are home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife on the planet. These islands not only play an important role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem – they also have a rich human history. This journey will forever change your appreciation of the Southern Ocean and its wildlife.

Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Invercargill, New Zealand
Make your way to the central city hotel meeting point in Invercargill. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of the expedition team.

Day 2: Port of Bluff
Take breakfast at your leisure in the hotel restaurant before transferring to the port to embark the Spirit of Enderby. Settle into your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship; the crew will conduct a number of compulsory briefings and drills. Join the expedition crew and captain on the bridge as you raise the anchor and set course to The Snares and your adventure begins.

Day 3: The Snares – North East Island
North East Island is the largest of The Snares and, staggeringly, this one island is 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 likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.

Days 4 - 5: Auckland Islands
Named for the same distinguished shipping family as your own vessel and one of the most beautiful islands in the group, Enderby Island is a great birding location and a chance to see everything from the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel to parakeets, bellbirds and the endemic shag, teal and snipe. Sandy Bay is one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion.
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by; loaded in human history, they harbor tales of castaways, bullion and coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. Land in Carnley Harbor to visit the Shy Mollymawk colony and perhaps spot the beautiful Wandering Albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs.

Day 6: At Sea
Make your way through an area known as the roaring ‘40s in the tumultuous Southern Ocean; learn more about the flora and fauna as you prepare for arrival at Macquaire Island. Enroute 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. Endeavor to spot the Fairy Prion, Fulmar Prion and Antarctic Prion – never an easy task – but you should experience some great views. Be on the lookout for the Soft-plumaged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, White-headed Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Black-bellied Storm-Petrel.

Days 7 - 8: Macquarie Island
The only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds, this remote outpost in the middle of the roaring westerly winds supports a breathtaking concentration of wildlife. You will never forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you will be immersed in a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays. Meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here and seek out the hundreds of Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes.

Day 9: At Sea
The Subantarctic Convergence Zone is traditionally very close to the area through which you sail today. This invisible line at the confluence of warmer and cooler waters can create an abundance of birdlife including five or six kinds of albatross and petrel. Join your captain on the Bridge, where you keep a keen lookout for them and for whales. Today there will be a lecture on Campbell Island as you prepare for your arrival tomorrow.

Days 10 - 11: Campbell Island
Named for the same distinguished shipping family as your own vessel and one of the most beautiful islands in the group, this is a great birding location and a chance to see everything from the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel to parakeets, bellbirds and the endemic shag, teal and snipe. Sandy Bay is one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s Sea Lion.

Day 12: At Sea
At sea 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 tonight as you complete the last few miles of your journey.

Day 13: Invercargill / Disembark
Arrive at the Port of Bluff early in the morning. After breakfast, customs formalities and a last minute opportunity to bid farewell to your expedition team you disembark and board the complimentary coach transfer to downtown Invercargill or Invercargill Airport.


The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and sea conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Alternate Itinerary: (Dunedin, New Zealand to Invercargill)
12/2/2013. Begins in Dunedin, New Zealand departing from Port of Otago.

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 this 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 onboard the ship; shore excursions as described; one-night pre-cruise hotel accommodation (twin share); pre- and post-cruise transfers.

Not Included:
Airfare; items of a personal nature, such as laundry, beverages; excess baggage charges; travel insurance; passport and visa fees; landing fees.


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