Day 1: Dunedin
Meet your fellow voyagers and Expedition Staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you will stay overnight.
Day 2: Depart Port of Otago
We transfer you to the Port of Otago where the Captain welcomes you on board the Spirit of Enderby and as you settle into your cabin, our adventure begins.
Day 3: Snares Islands
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 we learn how the islands got their name and encounter Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs. We are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.
Day 4: Enderby Island
Named for the same distinguished shipping family as our 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 or New Zealand Sea Lion.
Day 5: Carnley Harbour
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by; loaded in human history, they harbour tales of castaways, bullion and coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. We land in Carnley Harbour to visit the Shy Mollymawk colony and perhaps spot the beautiful Wandering Albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs. With an island named Disappointment and a mountain called the Tower of Babel this unique archipelago has to be seen to be believed.
Days 6 to 7: Campbell Island
We spend two days exploring the island by foot and take in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful ‘mega herbs’ growing on the hills, huge pink and yellow wildflowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male Sea Lions testing their strength.
Day 8: At Sea
Take in informal lectures with our experts on the Subantarctic Islands and the tumultuous Southern Ocean; relax in the ship’s bar or catch up on your reading in the library. Crossing the confluence of warmer and cooler waters at the Subantarctic Convergence we can expect the birdlife to be abundant including five or six kinds of albatross and petrel. Join us on the bridge, where we keep a keen lookout for them and for whales.
Days 9 to 10: 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. We meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here and also seek out the thousands of Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes.
Days 11 to 13: At Sea
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey, join our experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner on the final night.
Day 14: Port of Hobart, Australia
Making safe harbour at last in historic Hobart, our adventure ends but memories will last long beyond this; we transfer you to the city or airport and bid fond farewells.
Landings at the Sub Antarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at Snares Is.
Circumstances may be encountered during our voyage which will make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. These circumstances include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed during the voyage.