In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton: Antarctica

From Invercargill to Invercargill
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  • Antarctica from NZ & AU
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Tour Description

Departing Bluff, New Zealand, this Antarctica cruise takes you to isolated and rarely visited Ross Sea region of Antarctica, as well as exploring the Sub Antarctic Islands. Go where very few travellers go! Traversing the formidable Southern Ocean this expedition cruise gives you the chance to truly follow in the footsteps of an intrepid Antarctic explorers.  You will travel with crew that are experienced in the regions on the ice-strengthened ship Spirit of Enderby. Visit penguin rookeries, historic huts and sites, and be wowed by icebergs, sea ice, whales, seals and bird life.

On the way to Antarctic, explore the remote sub Antarctic Islands. The Snares, Macquarie, Campbell and Auckland Islands have their own unique natural and historic profile. The Snares boast colossal populations of nesting seabirds, the penguin population of Macquarie Island is in the millions. Seals and elephant seals line the shores of Macquarie and Auckland Islands and countless sea and land birds fill the air with their chatter. On Campbell Island, explore the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross. Visit the Ross Sea area of Antarctica on this cruise and experience the continent as though you were alone. Infrequently visited by Antarctic cruises the air is dry and cold here and the sun never sets. The ice is thick and vast and scores of seals, penguins and other seabirds patrol the horizon. 

Viva's Best Bits...

King, Royal, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Adelie & Snares penguins, the rare Hooker Sea Lion, Southern Elephant Seals, Weddell seals, Sothern Royal & Sooty Albatross...see wildlife unique to this region.

"If you like wild, rarely explored and off the beaten track, then this adventure is for you! A rare opportunity to visit The Snares, Macquarie, Campbell and Auckland Islands, plus Antarcticas Ross Sea!" Tara, Team Viva

Venture into the remote Ross Sea region of Antarctica - and see where the adventures takes us - perhaps visit Antarctica’s largest Adelie Penguin rookery.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Invercargill

Arrive at Invercargill, New Zealand’s southern most city and rich in Scottish history. Grab your last-minute luxuries before meeting your fellow expeditioners for an informal get-together over dinner.

Day 2
Port of Bluff

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and explore some of the local Southland scenery and attractions before heading to the Port of Bluff to embark the Akademik Shokalskiy. Settle into your cabin and join your expedition team and the captain for a welcome on board.

Day 3
The Snares

Staggeringly, The Snares are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. Zodiac cruising the coast we learn how the islands got their name and in the sheltered bays we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, the Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross nesting on the imposing cliffs.

Day 4-5
Auckland Islands

Characterised by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. We spend the day ashore on Enderby Island which is, perhaps, the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Here we find parakeets flitting above carpets of red, white and yellow wild flowers and on the beaches beyond, the rare Hooker’s, or New Zealand, Sea Lion. We land in Carnley Harbour and if conditions are suitable, climb to a Shy Albatross colony, otherwise we will explore sites within the harbour.

Day 6
At Sea

Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of these islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with our experts. This particular stretch of ocean is very productive and we can expect many seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.

Day 7-8
Macquarie Island

This remote, rocky outpost which endures roaring westerly winds supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Four species of penguin; King, Royal, Rockhopper and Gentoo all breed here. You will never forget your first experience in a ceaselessly active ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors. We will also meet with the Park Rangers, visit the Australian Antarctic Base and observe the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals along the beaches.

Day 9-12
At Sea

Soaring albatross and petrels circle the vessel as we steam south through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Ross Sea region and beyond the bow of the ship; drifting icebergs of extraordinary shapes begin to appear. Manoeuvring in close for your first ice photographs we pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight.

Day 13-22
Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region

With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible, but we assess the conditions daily and take every opportunity to make landings and launch the Zodiacs. You can anticipate wildlife viewing, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery. We hope to visit the following areas: Cape Adare: A large flat spit of land, teeming with the staggering sight of Antarctica’s largest Adelie Penguin rookery: a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering and courtship displays. Curious penguins often come very close, offering superb photographic opportunities. Among the shifting mass of penguins we will find Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the continent in 1899. Cape Hallett: The enormous Admiralty Range heralds our arrival; wild and extraordinary, the mountains rear up towering out of the sea to over 4,000-metres high and are bounded by colossal glaciers. We make our landing at an abandoned base site, now home to large numbers of Adelie Penguins and Weddell Seals. Franklin Island: Desolately beautiful and rugged, this is home to a large Adelie Penguin population and other nesting seabirds. We attempt a landing and explore the coastline. 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. Ross Ice Shelf: The world’s largest body of floating ice and a natural barrier, at times creating hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force by winds off the polar ice cap. Just 800 miles from the South Pole, this daunting spectacle prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. We cruise along its dizzying 30-metre high ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’. Ross Island: Mount Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton’s Hut/Scott’s Hut(s) and visits to a scientific field station (Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on our wish list but ice, weather and station operational requirements often make them inaccessible). Ross Island was, and is, the ‘hub of activity’ in the Ross Sea, dominated by Mt Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the ancient Greek God of Darkness. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If we can reach the bases, we will get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research. Terra Nova Bay: An Italian research station where the scientists are always hospitable and enjoy showing us around their lonely but beautiful home. They share with us their scientific research and also, perhaps, the best ‘espresso’ in Antarctica!

Day 23-26
At Sea

Taking time to rest and enjoy life on board your ship in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, we have time for lectures on our final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.

Day 27-28
Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour

We drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour, 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 megaherbs on the hills. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colourings and weirdly-shaped leaves. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions.

Day 29
At Sea

Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey as you join our experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 30
Invercargill or Christchurch

We disembark and our adventure ends as we disperse to begin others. After fond farewells we transfer you to central city hotels or to the airport. Enquire for a full itinerary and/or a Bird and Mammal List. NOTE: Voyages disembark in both Invercargill and Christchurch, please ask us for more details

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 1 night hotel accommodation with dinner and breakfast in Invercargill
  • Included Copy 20 28 nights shipboard accommodation
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals onboard the ship
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All scheduled landings/shore excursions
  • Included Copy 20 Pre/Post cruise transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Guiding and lectures by expedition team and team
  • Included Copy 20 English-speaking expedition team
  • Included Copy 7 Landing Fees (per person in USD): $880.00 per person
  • Included Copy 7 International/domestic flight, travel insurance, laundry, drinks, gratuities
Transportation
Spirit of Enderby

50 Passengers

Akademik Shokalskiy | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

48 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Great for bird life - King, Royal, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Adelie & Snares penguins, Albatross and more!
  • Included Sightseeing by Zodiac
  • Included Opportunities to visit heritage huts and sites
  • Included Shore excursions
  • Included Great photos - icebergs, rugged islands, beaches and windswept landscapes
  • Included Interesting flora - wild flowers on the sub-Antarctic islands
  • Included Antarctic wildlife - Hooker Sea Lion, Southern Elephant Seals, Weddell seals
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

30 days

Price from

$23,000 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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