New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands –
Exploration of the Antipodes
15 days - Prices $11,795 - $24,700
Luxury expedition ship traveling from New Zealand to the sub-Antarctic islands, rich with wildlife and history. Excellent birding!
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$11,795 - $24,700
Isolated, windswept, beautiful and fragile, New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands are unique and irreplaceable, a privileged visit. Described by the United Nations Environment Program as “The most diverse and extensive of all sub-Antarctic archipelagos,” all five island groups - the Bounty Islands, the Antipodes Islands, the Snares Islands, the Auckland Islands and Campbell Island - were honored with World Heritage status in 1998. The New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands are blessed with the most significant populations of many species, such as the Southern Royal Albatross, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin and the New Zealand Sea Lion. They are particularly notable for the large number and variety of pelagic seabirds and penguins that nest there. This expedition to the Sub-Antarctic islands is designed for nature lovers and photographers alike.
Day 1: Auckland, New Zealand / Embark
In the Maori language Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city of 100 lovers, having earned the name because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many. The setting is spectacular, the city being nestled upon three harbours - the Waitemata, the Manukau and the Kaipara. Don't miss the chance to dine out in Auckland as the city has perfected the style of cuisine called "Pacific Rim", blending Asian and Pacific flavours. Seafood features prominently on restaurant menus so be sure to try New Zealand green lipped mussels and succulent Clevedon Coast oysters - all matched with an excellent New Zealand wine.
Days 2 - 3: At Sea
At sea, the expedition team will be on hand to give you an overview of all aspects of sub-Antarctic life, with lectures and presentations on wildlife, environmental sustainability and the history of this region. These lectures are given by some of the foremost experts in their fields including botany, marine biology, anthropology and history.
Day 4: Chatham Islands
The Chatham Islands are halfway between the equator and the South Pole. Settled by the Moriori who sailed to the islands from New Zealand sometime between 900 CE and 1500 CE, the islands later saw an influx of Maori tribes, whalers and sealers.
These islands are a bird spotter's paradise and you will visit the Awatotara Valley, a bird sanctuary free of predators and home to bird species that have long since disappeared on mainland NZ. You can also join the included culture and history tour visiting local highlights.
In the afternoon, a Zodiac expedition will take you to the southern Chathams to explore a seal colony and watch for rare bird varieties including Chatham Island Snipe, Tui, Tomtit, Red-crowned Parakeet and Oystercatcher.
Day 5: At Sea
Enjoy the time at sea to take advantage of onboard amenities, including a gym with sweeping ocean views, state-of-the-art lecture theater and Jacuzzi on the Sun Deck.
Day 6: Bounty Islands
The Bounty Islands are comprised of 135 hectares of a small group of 13 granite islets and rocks in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the South Island of New Zealand. They are part of the Antipodes sub-Antarctic Islands tundra eco-region, uninhabited by humans, but heavily populated by penguins and albatrosses. Another 19th century popular hunting ground for sealers, the Bounty Islands were discovered by Captain William Bligh just months before the infamous mutiny in 1788.
Day 7: Antipodes
First named the Penantipodes, the group was discovered in 1800 by Captain Waterhouse of H.M.S. Reliance. An American sealer under the command of Captain Pendleton was the first to station a sealing gang on the Antipodes. The brig “Union of New York” left an officer and 11 men there in 1804. On returning to Sydney via Fiji the ship was lost and the entire crew massacred. The sealing gang was eventually rescued in 1805 after more than a year on the Antipodes and an accumulation of almost 60,000 skins. By the 1830's the seals were all but extinct and there was no further sealing. In the early 1880's there was renewed interest in these islands for the penguin skin trade to meet a demand for fashionable ladies' muffs.
Day 8: At Sea
Your expedition team will highlight the many things to look forward to as you make your way to Macquarie Island. The closer you get, the more abundant the birds will become. Spend some time on deck viewing and photographing the beautiful wildlife of this region.
Day 9: Campbell Island
Campbell Island was first discovered in January 1810 by Captain Frederick Hasselburg, master of the sealing brig “Perseverance.” He named the island after his employers Robert Campbell and Co. of Sydney and sadly drowned later that year after a boat capsized in Perseverance Harbor. Campbell is a volcanic island with fascinating rock formations. 50 years ago, between 2 and 3 million Rock Hopper Penguins were nesting on the island but since then 90% have been decimated by bacterial infection. Less than 20 pairs of Wandering Albatross nest are found here. Approximately 8,500 pairs of Royal Albatross and about 74,000 pairs of Black Browed Mollymawk also call the island home. Over 40 other breeds of birds including the Southern Royal Albatross have also been observed on Campbell Island.
Day 10: At Sea
Day 11: Macquarie Island
Often described as one of the "wonder spots" of the world, the sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie has been said to rival South Georgia in its magnificence, scenic diversity and prolific wildlife. Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1933 and a World Heritage Site in 1997, Macquarie now operates a full-time manned station where biological and meteorological research is conducted.
Sandy Bay, situated halfway down the island's eastern seaboard, is your planned landing site. The Zodiacs will traverse breakwaters of giant kelp before reaching rocky beaches where landing conditions can best be described as "wet and challenging". Once ashore you'll find the bay, with its rugged backdrop of mountains and tussock covered headlands, is home to 20,000 breeding pair of royal penguins, king penguins, rock hopper penguins, Gentoo penguins and elephant seals. This profusion of wildlife wasn't always so protected, the rusting remains of machinery used by whalers being stark reminders of the exploitation which took place on the island during its early history.
Day 12: At Sea
Day 13: Auckland Islands
Sites in Port Ross may be visited including an abandoned Maori settlement, a German expedition observation point at Terror Cove and a WWII coast watching station at Ranui Cove. In Carnley Harbor castaway depots at Camp Cove, are marked by an A frame building built in 1887 by the crew of the Awarua, inscribed with the names of people from the French Bark Angou wrecked in 1905. You may cruise to Victoria Passage, a dramatic opening at the end of Carnley Harbor. The bird life of Auckland Island is profuse.
Day 14: At Sea
Day 15: Dunedin, New Zealand / Disembark
Your vessel’s shallow draft will allow her to cruise all the way into Dunedin city wharf (whereas other vessels berth at Port Chalmers) to provide a full day ashore to enjoy this charming city, regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Otago region was settled by Maori's over four centuries ago, with Scottish migrants establishing a small town in 1848. After gold was discovered, Dunedin rapidly developed to become New Zealand's biggest city and the country's industrial and commercial heart of the time, with many ornate heritage buildings dating from this period still standing today. The Botanic Gardens, New Zealand's first, are located at the northern end of the city on the lower slopes of Signal Hill.
Ports of call and itinerary may be subject to weather and tidal conditions, and is subject to change.
Accommodations onboard, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programs, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port and handling charges; Zodiac excursions and tender transfers; access to the ship's library; government fees and taxes; services of 75 experienced crew.
Airfare; travel and medical insurance, laundry charges, shopping onboard, bar expenses, hair dressing and massage treatments, optional shore experiences, medical treatment, telephone and internet charges.
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