About Heritage Expeditions

Heritage Expeditions was formed in 1985, as a way of increasing awareness and conservation of the natural world through responsible expedition travel. Founded by Rodney and Shirley Russ, Rodney was a biologist working for the New Zealand Wildlife Service. Through his work with Kakapo, Chatham Island Black Robin and other endangered species he appreciated that rather than locking wilderness areas away, it was important to share them with people so that they might become 'ambassadors' advocating and supporting conservation efforts. He has long held the view that conservation and responsible travel are partners, that together can achieve what might otherwise be unachievable.

From those small beginnings Heritage Expeditions, which is still family-owned and run, now by Rodney and Shirley's sons Aaron and Nathan Russ, operates its own Polar Research vessels Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) and Akademik Shokalskiy and 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer on expedition cruises to Antarctica, the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, through Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the Russian Far East and coastal New Zealand. Each authentic, small-ship expedition cruise is meticulously planned and led ensuring expeditioners (up to 50 guests on Spirit of Enderby and Akademik Shokalskiy and 18 on Heritage Explorer) maximise every opportunity they have to learn and experience as much as possible about the region, while at the same time minimising the impact of their visit.

Today Heritage Expeditions works from modern purpose-built offices in Christchurch, New Zealand. When booking with us you benefit from the enormous wealth of experience, knowledge and passion of our team for the destinations we visit.

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Heritage - Where we go

Met Tech.. Thanks very much for the support I needed to get my work done. It was brilliant. Alan.

Alan Lorking
Hi everyone in the office and on board the Spirit of Enderby, we wish to thank you all for a most enjoyable expedition. Everything was to our satisfaction and brought back memories of our Galapagos of the Southern Ocean trip in December 2009.

I am just writing to you to say “Thank You” to Heritage Expeditions & The Press for running the “Nature’s Great Photography Competition”. I had an amazing time exploring the sub Antarctic islands with Heritage Expeditions. What was unknown to me at the time of winning this competition was that my wife’s Great grandfather ...

These guys are badass. Pioneers in conservation tourism, they have been leading the charge over the past decade in responsibly sharing our precious places, encouraging us to be guardians of the natural world.

Liz Carlson, Young Adventuress
It’s really hard to find a highlight amongst a huge number, but for me was swimming with Galapagos Sharks – I never thought I would be able to do that – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ruth, Christchurch (travelled 2016)
As I watched the trip unfold I get the feeling I’ll never see the like again.

I'm just back from the Wrangel Island adventure - incredible. The highlight had to be the Polar Bears on the ice floes - but as well, the many hikes over the tundra, the pristine landscape, the on-board talks by very knowledgeable, relevant and enthusiastic speakers, the delicious meals, and the friendly and helpful staff. I love ...

Margaret Logan
Seeing the Kermadec storm petrel was my highlight – and believing in magic again.

Looking over the crater lakes from the top of the track was my highlight. It was fantastic just to see the views and that wild volcanic activity from above.

The itinerary, enthusiasm of the crew and the wonderful ship environment made this a truly unforgettable experience that I would recommend to anyone out there with an adventurous spirit.

Rochelle Kirby
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