About Heritage Expeditions

Heritage Expeditions was formed in 1984, 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 and 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer on expedition cruises into the 'heart of Antarctica' the Ross Sea, the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, around the islands of Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Philippines, Australia's iconic Kimberley Coast 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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Where We Go

Heritage - Where we go

Absolutely delivered all of our expectations and more! My son and I are not dedicated birders but enjoy the challenges and rewards of outdoor life and photography. The sheer quantity of sea life kept us engrossed and entertained all trip. Really pleased with many of our photos including the attached shot of the Bounty Island …

L R Walbridge
The birders were delighted with our Zodiac runs past massive cliffs, home to thousands of guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes and cormorants, interspersed with Horned and Tufted Puffins, Crested and Parakeet Auklets to name but a few of the 59 bird species we were able to tick off on the trip. With excitement we launched the Zodiacs …

Voyaging with Heritage Expeditions is unbeatable - globally - the true essence and meaning of exploration fills every moment of every voyage: thanks to the most extraordinary Rodney, Aaron and Nathan for bringing these "beyond the realm" experiences into our human souls, to be treasured forever.

Lynne Taylor
I’ve always been a traveller. I travel with little anticipation but a lot of research. The Kermadecs delivered much enjoyment – other people and learning from them, the physical aspect with the bush and understanding the geological basis for the activity we see. It’s been a great trip.

International travel is as important to me as the food I eat. Without it, I'm simply not fuelled. I feel most alive when I'm exploring and discovering new places and ways of being in the world. I think I've counted nearly 40 countries visited so far, but none of these previous travel experiences compare to …

~ Anonymous
What a wonderful expedition from beginning to end. I had the best time ever. Loved exploring this remote area with its picturesque landscape ever changeable and dramatic coastlines. The crew where outstanding from Sebastian the wonderful French chef to Sophia the ever helping and friendly assistant. Our guides Andy and Lyn were talented knowing so …

Jude Wood
Absolutely wonderful! Awe inspiring nature and brilliant, multi-talented helpful crew.

Vicki Baas
Seeing and photographing the Kermadec Storm Petrel did it for me. It’s unique to the Kermies and the only place you can see it is here – that was the whole idea of this venture!

Steve (Motueka), travelled 2016
One realises how fortunate one is to have been on an expedition like this only later, I assume. It was simply stunning, wonderful and so much more. The ship - Heritage Adventurer - I loved it! The captain and the crew, the hospitality staff (thanks Israel!) the expedition team (Cheli - Superleader) all wonderful. Warm, …

Mona Syhre
Already being back now for several weeks we still talk about the marvellous experience we had with the Spirit of Enderby during the 'Russia's Ring of Fire' trip. From the beginning (bookings, paperwork, till the end) everything was perfectly organised. The trip itself gave what we hoped for and even more, the birds, the cetaceans, …

Christine & Gert Huijzers
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