Southern Fiords Easter Voyage:

An Exploration Fiordland's Southern Fiords Over Easter

Southern Fiords Easter Voyage: An Exploration Fiordland's Southern Fiords Over Easter

DAYS 9 / SHIP Heritage Explorer

DEPARTURES 25 Mar 2024

PLACES VISITED

PRICES FROM $5,295 USD (More Rates)

Experience the grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness, ice-carved mountains, forests, sounds and unique wildlife of Fiordland's Preservation and Chalky Inlets and Doubtful and Dusky Sounds on this 9-day exploration of the Southern Fiords over the Easter break. Rich in natural history, geology and the location of some significant historical firsts and important restoration and conservation projects, it is easy to see why Fiordland inspired our dream for responsible travel.

Maori legend describes how demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa carved out the region's fiords with his adze, Te Hamo, from rock walls to create the fiords we know today. Captain Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to visit, landing here aboard HMS Resolution in 1773 and subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook's records of his discovery and maps would attract sealers and whalers not long after, who would go on to form the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country.

Fiordland's Southern Fiords are only accessible by sea, making them some of the most remote areas of New Zealand's mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses while the calm waters are home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals.

The isolation of the Southern Fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. In these calm waters, away from the crowds, we plan to explore some of the most unique and wild parts of New Zealand as we sail though these beautiful fiords and landscapes.

Experience the grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness, ice-carved mountains, forests, sounds and unique wildlife of Fiordland's Preservation and Chalky Inlets and Doubtful and Dusky Sounds on this 9-day exploration of the Southern Fiords over the Easter break. Rich in natural history, geology and the location of some significant historical firsts and important restoration and conservation projects, it is easy to see why Fiordland inspired our dream for responsible travel.

Maori legend describes how demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa carved out the region's fiords with his adze, Te Hamo, from rock walls to create the fiords we know today. Captain Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to visit, landing here aboard HMS Resolution in 1773 and subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook's records of his discovery and maps would attract sealers and whalers not long after, who would go on to form the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country.

Fiordland's Southern Fiords are only accessible by sea, making them some of the most remote areas of New Zealand's mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses while the calm waters are home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals.

The isolation of the Southern Fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. In these calm waters, away from the crowds, we plan to explore some of the most unique and wild parts of New Zealand as we sail though these beautiful fiords and landscapes.

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ITINERARY
Southern Fiords Easter Voyage: An Exploration Fiordland's Southern Fiords Over Easter
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Day 1: Te Anau/Doubtful Sound
Make your way to the designated meeting point in Te Anau then transfer to Doubtful Sound, via the picturesque Wilmot Pass, the road constructed as part of the Manapouri hydro scheme, to join Heritage Explorer (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The Captain and Expedition Leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard and our explorations of Deep Cove, home to several waterfalls including Helena and Lady Alice Falls, begins.

Day 2 & 3: Doubtful Sound
We have dedicated two days to experience some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Fiordland – Doubtful Sound, or the ‘sound of silence’ as it’s also known. Spanning some staggering 40-kilometres and holding the title as New Zealand’s deepest fiord, Doubtful Sound with its cloud-scraping wilderness cloaked mountains, sheer stone cliffs, waterfalls, inlets, quiet coves and wildlife presents nature on a scale so grand it’s off the chart. Photographic opportunities abound and our time spent here could include ship cruising Blanket Bay, the Shelter Islands, Pandora River, Deas Cove and Open Bay.

Day 4: Breaksea Sound & Acheron Passage
The extensive sheltered waters of scenic Breaksea Sound, initially scouted for sheep farming suitability by early settlers in the 1850s is also the location of Breaksea Island, an iconic site in New Zealand conservation history as one of the first large islands declared rat-free in 1988. A navigation through Acheron Passage this afternoon, which separates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sure to be one of the highlights or our time in Fiordland. This iconic scenic waterway is an area where Bottlenose Dolphins are often spotted. Our explorations here may include venturing into Wet Jacket Arm where the crew of Cook’s Resolution ended up with wet jackets during their survey work. It is also the site where moose were released, and last seen, in New Zealand.

Day 5 & 6: Dusky Sound
Our two-day exploration of Dusky Sound visits some of the most significant historical and conservation sites in New Zealand while we marvel at the majestic scenery sailing deep into the heart of Fiordland. Predator-free Anchor Island homes half of the world’s population of Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi and is also the location of historic Luncheon Cove and a number of New Zealand firsts including New Zealand’s first sealing gang, the building of New Zealand’s first European homestead and first European designed ship, the 16-metre Providence built here and launched in 1795. On nearby on Pigeon Island learn the history of Richard Henry and his pioneering live transfer of birds to island refuges – an international first in wildlife conservation. While his attempts were unsuccessful due to stoats swimming over to the island, it is heartening to learn the island is now pest free and a sanctuary for native birdlife, with Henry’s vision fulfilled.

Day 7: Chalky Inlet
The entrance to Chalky Inlet is guarded by the impressive limestone cliffs of Chalky Island, the inspiration behind Captain Cook’s naming of the fiord. One of several important predator-free islands in the inlet including Great Island and Passage Islands, Chalky Island is home to some of New Zealand’s most critically endangered bird species including the Little Spotted Kiwi and Kakapo, and endemic Te Kakahu Skink, discovered in 2002. The protected harbours at North and South Port offer much to explore as the centres of human history in the inlet with North Port the final resting place of the rusting hulk of purposely grounded GSS Stella while South Port reveals an industrial past with the remnants of once prolific sawmilling activity. Sailing to the head of the fiord the surrounding mountains envelope us with their majesty.

Day 8: Preservation Inlet
Today is dedicated to exploring Preservation Inlet, rich in history we will delve into the gold mining and forestry attempts that once made this now quiet waterway a bustling hub of activity. The area’s natural bounty saw more than 2,500 gold miners and saw millers flock to the region in the late 1890s, this early settler history at mining towns Cromarty and Te Oneroa, now reclaimed by nature, can still be observed, none more spectacularly than at the failed Tarawera Mine and Smelter, where the ruins of the smelter’s historic three-storey chimney were restored in 2015. Among the activity Preservation Inlet can also lay claim to having New Zealand’s first whaling station at Cuttle Cove and the location of one of the country’s most remote lighthouses at Puysegur Point, which began operation in 1879 perched some 40-feet above the South Island’s south-western most point. Here a great coastal walk, formerly a telegraph track built to connect the lighthouse, leads to the old landing shed at Otago Retreat. Tonight we celebrate our unforgettable adventure with a farewell dinner.

Day 9: Preservation Inlet/Te Anau
After a final breakfast in the granduer of Fiordland’s Preservation Inlet, say your farewells and take in the grand views and awe-inspiring scenery on a spectacular helicopter transfer to Te Anau. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Te Anau until after 3pm this afternoon.

Our ship: Heritage Explorer

New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board. Heritage Explorer …

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Pricing

Southern Fiords Easter Voyage - 25 Mar 2024 to 2 Apr 2024 - Heritage Explorer

An Exploration Fiordland's Southern Fiords Over Easter

Cabin Category Price Per Person Description Availablity
Buller's image Buller's $5,295 USD Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller’s cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Available
Salvin's Double image Salvin's Double $5,945 USD Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Double cabins feature a double bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Available
Salvin's Twin image Salvin's Twin $5,945 USD Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Twin cabins feature two lower berths, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Available
Wandering image Wandering $6,245 USD Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Available
Royal image Royal $7,245 USD Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck. Available
Includes:

Landing fees, pre cruise coach transfer and post cruise helicopter transfer, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities. GST, house drinks, expert on board naturalist guides.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, domestic flights, Queenstown packages, extensions and travel insurance.

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