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 and Fiordland, Stewart Island and Marlborough Sounds. 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

Besides the privilege of the wildlife we had on view, especially all those birds! The people - staff and fellow passengers ‘made' this trip. Thanks again to Heritage Expedition staff for their energy, competence and knowledge they shared with us. Judd is a brilliant leader and was very well supported by our competent guides. On …

Annette Hatten
It was a great experience to travel with Heritage to the 'Top of the world' – Wrangel & Herald Island and the Chukotkan coast. Organisation was great, food on board excellent, the zodiac excursions and landings professional. I have escorted a lot of Arctic cruises and photographic trips in Svalbard/Spitsbergen and can highly recommend this …

Joerg Ehrlich, CEO DIAMIR Erlebnisreisen
It was the passion of the staff which has further fuelled my interest in the area, it has made me think of post-graduate study in the area. Heritage is passionate for the conservation and protection of the islands and passes this on to the passengers.

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
I just arrived in Belgium but my heart,love and memories are still in Russia's Far East. What an incredible trip! This truly must be one of the last wildernesses in the world. The visit to Yankicha Island was a life changing experience. More than a million Crested Aukletsn accompanied by the truly bizar Whiskered auklets. …

Dominique Verbelen
This was an awesome experience and the foundations were: An extremely comfortable ship - we wore patches and never felt sea-sick Professional and endlessly helpful staff and crew The passionate and knowledgeable guides who communicated that so well and never lost patience with a continuous stream of questions The Islands and the ocean - it …

Laura Jones
From the moment we left Avacha Bay and a Tufted Puffin appeared out of the fog, we knew it was going to be a special trip. In those 2 weeks were spectacular views of Steller's Sea Eagle, multiple sightings of Brown Bears (safely from our zodiac!), and amazingly curious walruses. Not forgetting the thousands of …

Barbara and David
I am so sorry it has taken me this long to write to you all and thank you for the most extraordinary experience of my life. I traveled with Samuel, Agnes, Helen, David, Andrew, Connor, Matt and Dr Pat and Leanne of course, to the Ross Sea back in February this year. My husband James …

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.

We all have dreams, most never see the light of realisation. It was on this voyage that I was to feel the excitement of fulfillment of my life long dream to see the birds of this long forgotten part of the world.

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