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 ships – 140-guest expedition ship Heritage Adventurer, 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer, and 50-guest Polar Research vessels Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) and Akademik Shokalskiy – 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 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

Heritage's administration is peerless, the best that we have seen in around 25 year of this type of travel. We cannot thank Lorna for enough her help and efficiency in handling all the arrangements our requests. Her liaison with Asiana to sort out some last minute problems with our return flight to was exemplary ...

The highlight for me was the bottlenose dolphins bow-riding, especially the huge pod we saw, with all the calves. It was fantastic! Just beautiful to see them in the sea doing their own thing in the wild.

This was a wonderful trip to the Ross sea. Highlights were the magical rata forest of Enderby Island with its bellbirds, parakeets and sealions that stuck their heads out of the bushes and roared, the Ross Ice Shelf with the penguins calling and the booming of the surf in the caverns under the ice, Mt ...

Camilla Tooley
Thank you for the excellent trip to South to Antarctica. The moment I was standing on the fast ice and an adult emperor penguin jumped up on to the ice close to me while the ship was in the background was really marvellous!

We want to thank you all as a team and as a group of totally - focussed individuals for all you have done to make our trip safe, memorable, and ecologically thought provoking.

Nita & Bob
Thank you to all of the team for making this "the trip of a lifetime". Every day was a new adventure shared with staff and passengers from a wide range of backgrounds but a shared interest in exploration and conservation. We feel very privileged to have visited places that most people can only dream of ...

Merle and Tony
Did Rodney tell you about the amazing Zodiac rides to see the Walrus haul-out? It was totally incredible and he seriously enhanced the experience by using his hydrophone and letting us hear it too.

Dear Lorna I wish you to pass on my thanks to Rodney and all the staff who made my week in the Southern Ocean an experience of a lifetime. I think I might have been the oldest member of our party but it was all within my ability and I am so pleased I was ...

The staff including the Russian crew were really great, personable, accommodating, competent and very interesting, and the chefs produced all sorts of terrific food with a smile despite any adverse weather. It far exceeded my expectations and I will be looking forward to learning more Russian and going on other trips in the future.

A big Thank You to Rodney and staff and crew for a fantastic trip to Wrangel and North Eastern Siberia. Amazing wildlife and fascinating culture in an area that get very few visitors. Everything was run very professionally by Rodney and his staff and crew. Already looking forward to my next trip with Heritage...

Geir Ulstein
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