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. Its founder Rodney Russ was a biologist working for the New Zealand Wildlife Service. Through his work on Kakapo, 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 his sons Aaron and Nathan Russ, operates its own Polar Research vessels Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) and Akademik Shokalskiy, on expeditions to Antarctica, the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia, through Indonesia and Melanesia, and the Russian Far East. Each authentic, small-ship expedition cruise is meticulously planned and led ensuring expeditioners (up to 50 per voyage) 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

We would like to thank you most sincerely for making our voyage so comfortable and enjoyable. Without your thoughtful attention and hardwork this journey would not have been so memorable.

It was a dream come true to have a week watching seabirds and the wildlife in the Subantarctic Islands, and an experience I'm sure I will remember for the rest of my life. Thanks to all the staff and crew for such an enjoyable trip south.

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
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!

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
Thanks to the great staff, Russian crew and NZ staff for making this trip so fantastic. Now that i'm home it seems like a dream. I loved seeing this part of Russia and learned so much. I enjoyed my fellow participants and camaraderie. I'll always remember this trip and look forward to another ...

Amy Ballard
Absolute grandeur and uniqueness of Antarctica was made more memorable by the fantastic atmosphere and ambience of the journey.

In the safe hands of expedition leader Rodney and ship captain Dimitri, The Spirit of Enderby took us on a journey of a lifetime. The adventure of crossing the notorious southern ocean, the remarkable history and huts of the 'heroic age' explorers, the mesmerising wildlife encounters, the scenic snow clad mountains of the Antarctic continent ...

Stacey Lethlean
Thanks so much - a truly memorable voyage that we will never forget you have all worked so hard on our behalf - much appreciated

The cruise was excellent and everyone on the ship did a great job. I'm very pleased with everything, from the food to the zodiac cruises. We all had an amazing experience and brought home memories that will last for the rest of our lives.

Anders Blomdahl
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