Sir Douglas Mawson is arguably the grandfather of Antarctic science. The Australian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914 is notable for its achievements and sadly its tragedies.
Encouraged by the success of Shackleton’s 1908-09 Nimrod expedition, of which he was a member, Douglas Mawson planned his own expedition to explore the Antarctic coastline directly south of Australia. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition sailed from Hobart on 2 December 1911, making a brief stop at Macquarie Island to establish a radio base and then making landfall at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay. Unbeknownst to Mawson and his men, they had discovered the windiest place on the planet – renowned as the ‘home of the blizzard’. Tragedy struck the expedition when Ninnis and Mertz, the other two members of Mawson’s three-man Far Eastern Sledging Party, died. Mawson returned to base blinded by snow and having cheated death on more than one occasion. He made it back so late in the season that he had to overwinter in Antarctica as his relief ship had sailed.
Mawson’s Hut at Cape Denison still stands; protected against the extreme weather for which the region is renowned. Cape Denison has historically been one of the very few ice free and readily accessible areas along the East Antarctic coastline. However when the Mertz Glacier tongue broke off in 2010 it blocked the annual movement of sea ice preventing any shipping and effectively isolating the area, we have been monitoring conditions in this region since and now see opportunities to return and explore this majestic, remote coastline.
Pre/Post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation, meals and all expedition shore excursions.
All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.
The Shokalskiy is the sister ship to the Spirit of Enderby, they were both built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and being fully ice strengthened they are perfect for Expedition Travel.
She carries just 48 passengers and has been recently refurbished to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.
Please contact us for further Trip Reports
" To all at heritage Expeditions,Thanks heaps for the trip to east Antarctica and the NZ subantarctic islands.I had the best time,and without doubt the my best experience ever,what a place and what a trip.Thanks again to Rodney and all involved. "
" I have found all of your staff that I have dealt with over the years very friendly and helpful which is just part of making heritage a wonderful company. If it wasn't for Heritage none of us would get to experience some very special and amazing parts of the globe. Thank you very much. "
" It has been a delight to travel with you!! Your true enjoyment of the natural world is wonderful and refreshing! "