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 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

Thank you so much! This trip opened up a different world for me. I was so impressed with your staff and your entire organization. I am recommending your tours to all my friends. My friend has been in touch with you regarding the Jewel of the Russian Far East trip. Love the unique and off ...

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
We have been back from our amazing trip for just over a week now so I thought it was time to give you some feedback. The whole trip was fantastic and we were very glad that we had the Heritage Suite for a voyage of that length because it was great to have the space ...

Jenny Varley
I want to recognise the excellent experience I had during this trip, well done to the whole team on board and remote support team in NZ. Additionally, I want to share with Rodney the fantastic support we got from the local Russian partner in PK: whilst we were waiting for 12 hours for our flight ...

Had the best time of my life, have spoken to so many people about my experience and have produced 4 books, one on each island and used that as a talking tool to encourage others to take that amazing step into the unknown.

A quest of a life time was realised when we saw the rare Magenta Petrel at sea. To get close to such rare and majestic species is a true privilege.

The Heritage expedition was truly wonderful, and we had a memorable voyage. The expedition leaders kept telling us that we were very lucky with the weather, and we felt lucky to be there. The journey was smooth, and we were able to do great hikes, and go out on the Zodiacs and reach new places ...

Christine & Barry Miller
We had a terrific time on this trip. Visiting unique villages, gorgeous snorkelling spots, eating fantastic meals, enjoying the company of our fellow passengers and that of our enthusiastic, helpful and informative staff....being out of range of the internet...wow...what's not to like? It was both wonderfully relaxing and exciting, in a ...

I learned so much about the history, fauna and flora of the islands.

Big thank you to the team for a great trip, seeing Orcas from the Zodiacs was a highlight for me and seeing a bear.

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