Chatham & Antipodes Island Expedition

From Auckland to Dunedin
  • Sub Antarctic Islands & Cruises
  • Expedition
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

An epic exploration of New Zealand's archipelagos, start by setting sail for the stunning scenery, intriguing history, flora and fauna of the remote Chatham Islands, making explorations by Zodiac cruise. Then, chart a course for the Sub Antarctic Islands, including a sail past the Bounty Islands, before landings in the Antipodes and the Snares with their unrivalled wildlife viewing opportunities. We will also visit Ulva Island (Stewart Island) on our way back to Dunedin - a sanctuary for many bird species and great for bird-watching close up. 

Enjoy all of this onboard in 5 star luxury on your state of the art cruise yacht, Le Lapérouse. Environmentally friendly, fitted with innovative equipment and complete with lounges designed to be largely open to the exterior, this new and intimately sized yacht offers a unique type of cruise experience. With only 92 cabins onboard, this is an intimate cruise offering the possibility of exploring fabulous destinations, with fine dining and exceptional service. Le Lapérouse offers a spa and 2 restaurants, and with their private balconies and terraces, all cabins benefit from high levels of light and luminosity and offer breathtaking views out towards the horizon.

Be sure to discover The Blue Eye, a multisensorial underwater lounge offering a unique experience unlike anything else in the world!

Viva's Best Bits...

Enjoy fine dining, fine wine, entertainment, high end service, and comfort, whilst exploring remote and fascinating destinations.

"Be sure to head down to deck "0" the Blue Eye, to experience a unique multisensorial underwater lounge! Relax with a glass of wine and watch the underwater world pass by" Tara, Team Viva

Chatham Islands are a premier bird island, known for species like the endemic black robin and storm petrels, the volcanic Antipodes have 2 species of parakeet, the Antipodean wandering albatross, while the Snares and Ulva island are also fantastic wildlif

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours: Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific
Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the ‘City of Sails’
when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mount Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Māori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Day 2-3
At Sea

Enjoy the day cruising at sea, you day might unfold something like this: breakfast in the cabin with room service, in the restaurant or outside if weather permits. Enjoy Lenôtre pastries cooked on board, bread made daily by our French baker, home-made cakes and muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, cheeses and cold cuts, detox juices, and more. Then relax onboard, head to the pool, the deck, a lounge, or enjoy the comforts of your cabin.

For lunch on board, enjoy our varied buffet. Among the wide choice of salads, vegetables, meat and fish, desserts and pastries, choose a starter, a main dish and a dessert that have been specially cooked for you based on the theme of the day (Corsica, Mediterranean, Asian, barbecue, Italian, etc.)

In the afternoon, there is further time to relax, perhaps head to the spa, keep fit at the gym, or watch the world go by in the blue eye lounge.

Afternoon tea, Around 4 p.m., after having enjoyed a few sweet treats with cold or hot drinks accompanied by music in the Grand salon, it's time to get ready for dinner.

Time for a gourmet dinner
Your late afternoon continues in front of a beautiful sunset to the sound of beautiful melodies played on the piano, with an aperitif. Every day, discover a new cocktail recipe. Dinner follows, cooked by our chefs in keeping with the tradition of grand French fine dining.

Your evening follows on with entertainment in the Grand Salon or the Theatre. Enjoy an evening dancing, a classical concert, a show performed by our professional dancers or a film projection on the big screen.

Day 4
Chatham Islands

Your ship will reach the remote Chatham Islands in the afternoon, allowing for some Zodiac excursions around the area. The Chatham Islands are renowned for their stunning scenery, intriguing history, geology, flora, and fauna. Located 800 kilometres to the east of the South Island, the ancient 80 million year old archipelago consists of about ten islands within an approximate 60-kilometre radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Much of the natural character of the Chatham Islands is protected in a network of areas set aside for conservation.

Day 5
Chatham Islands & Bounty Islands

You will enjoy more Zodiac® excursions around the Chatham Islands
in the morning, before enjoying a sail-pass along the Bounty Islands.
These remote islands are the least visited on New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, and home to the endemic Bounty Island Shag- the world’s rarest cormorant as well as being the primary breeding ground for erect-crested penguins and 75,000 pairs of Salvins Albatross. Guests will marvel at this oceanic eden and enjoy viewing the spectacle from the comfort of the outer decks or the observatory lounge

Day 6
Antipodes Islands

The volcanic islands of the Antipodes Island group lie 860 km to the southeast of New Zealand. The group consists of one main island, Antipodes Island, Bollons Island to the north, and numerous small islets and stacks. The islands are home to a wide variety of sea and land bird species including two species of parakeet. The seabirds range from the
tiny storm petrel to the Antipodean wandering albatross. Large colonies of New Zealand Fur Seals can be seen on the rocks or swimming close to shore. Landing on the Antipodes is not permitted, however you will enjoy Zodiac outings to witness the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife, if time and weather permit.

Day 7
At Sea

Enjoy the comforts of Le Lapérouse as you spend the day cruising.

Day 8
The Snares, New Zealand Sub Antarctic Islands

Amongst the islands of the Southern Ocean, the Snares have the distinction of being the only forested group without introduced mammals, not even mice. Consequently, it is a remarkable haven for wildlife. The island boasts more nesting seabirds than the entire realm of the British Isles. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months. Four species of Albatross are listed as breeding on the Snares along with 35,000 endemic Snares crested penguins. Landing on the Snares is not permitted, however you will enjoy Zodiac outings to witness the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife, if time and weather permit.

Day 9
Ulva Island, Stewart Island

The island has never been logged and was declared pest free in 1997, becoming one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. The island is now a haven for many species of birds and plants that are rare, or have died out on the mainland of New Zealand. Bird species regularly encountered include: the flightless Stewart Island Weka, South Island saddleback, yellowhead and Stewart Island robin. Ulva Island is not only
a bird enthusiast’s paradise, it is also one of the few offshore islands with a largely undisturbed podocarp forest. Well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people providing a unique opportunity to see rare birds and plants at close quarters in a safe environment.

Day 10

The Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross. Le Lapérouse will be alongside the inner city wharf in Dunedin.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 9 nights onboard in your selected cabin
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 All meals while on board the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All tours mentioned with professional English speaking guide (subject to weather conditions)
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard spa, gym, swimming pool and dedicated space for photographers
  • Included Copy 20 Hydraulic platform for easy embarkation into zodiacs
  • Included Copy 20 The Blue Eye - A multisensorial underwater lounge
  • Included Copy 20 Unlimited Onboard Wi-Fi*
  • Included Copy 7 Any airfares, visa, gratuities, laundry and personal expenses
Le Lapérouse


  • Included Discover the remote Chatham Islands archipelago
  • Included Visit the remote volcanic Antipodes Islands
  • Included Guided walk of stunning Ulva Island looking for rare flora and fauna (Stewart Island)
  • Included Birdlovers we be delighted with a visit to The Snares
  • Included Wildlife: Sub Antarctic Fur Seals, NZ Sea Lions and Southern Elephant Seals
  • Included Zodiac explorations and shore landings
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