Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island:

Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard

Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island: Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard
20% off selected departures

DAYS 6 / SHIP Heritage Adventurer

DEPARTURES 3 Jan 2025 / 27 Dec 2025

PLACES VISITED

PRICES FROM $3,750 $3,040 USD (More Rates)

Join Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, as we explore New Zealand’s remote southern backyard on this special voyage. Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife rich Stewart and Ulva Islands before exploring the primordial majesty of Fiordland where clouds scud ragged peaks of glacier-cleaved mountains only accessible by expedition ship, and the rare opportunity to combine these iconic destinations on one voyage.

Rich in history and wildlife, Stewart and Ulva Islands are home to a unique range of birdlife including Bellbird, Tui, Kaka, Tomtit, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, Saddleback, Mohua and of course, the Southern Brown/Stewart Island Brown Kiwi. There will be opportunities to listen to the native bird song and enjoy the golden sandy beaches, before taking the time to take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.

As we expedition cruise up the lower west side of New Zealand's South Island, we prepare for the grand scale scenery of Fiordland. Exploring these remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired our dream for responsible travel. In the calm waters of Fiordland, and away from the crowds, we can expect to encounter playful New Zealand Fur Seals, curious Bottlenose Dolphins, elusive birds and enjoy endless stunning vistas.

During our time here we plan to Zodiac cruise glittering waterways amid the podocarp forest-cloaked spines of Anchor and Resolution Islands and the tiny islands of Dusky Sound where orchids, flame-tipped Rata and clusters of alpine tree daisies put on an impressive floral display.

On predator-free Anchor Island, home to half the world's population of Kakapo as well as Little Spotted Kiwi, we'll cross tannin-stained streams and walk around Lake Kirirua, its calm surface reflecting the forest-fringed edge, before arriving at historic Luncheon Cove - a location of New Zealand firsts including first sealing gang, first European settlement and first ship to be built in the country. Discover hidden inlets, coves and beaches as we make our way around Sportsman Cove and Zodiac cruise to explore the lush wilderness of Cooper Island.

Our passion for helping protect and sharing New Zealand's special wilderness remains as strong as it was back in 1985. Join us and tick this once-in-a-lifetime experience off your travel bucket list and explore remote parts of New Zealand's Southern region, an area known for its diverse range of wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery where you will discover the real Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Join Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, as we explore New Zealand’s remote southern backyard on this special voyage. Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife rich Stewart and Ulva Islands before exploring the primordial majesty of Fiordland where clouds scud ragged peaks of glacier-cleaved mountains only accessible by expedition ship, and the rare opportunity to combine these iconic destinations on one voyage.

Rich in history and wildlife, Stewart and Ulva Islands are home to a unique range of birdlife including Bellbird, Tui, Kaka, Tomtit, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, Saddleback, Mohua and of course, the Southern Brown/Stewart Island Brown Kiwi. There will be opportunities to listen to the native bird song and enjoy the golden sandy beaches, before taking the time to take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.

As we expedition cruise up the lower west side of New Zealand's South Island, we prepare for the grand scale scenery of Fiordland. Exploring these remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired our dream for responsible travel. In the calm waters of Fiordland, and away from the crowds, we can expect to encounter playful New Zealand Fur Seals, curious Bottlenose Dolphins, elusive birds and enjoy endless stunning vistas.

During our time here we plan to Zodiac cruise glittering waterways amid the podocarp forest-cloaked spines of Anchor and Resolution Islands and the tiny islands of Dusky Sound where orchids, flame-tipped Rata and clusters of alpine tree daisies put on an impressive floral display.

On predator-free Anchor Island, home to half the world's population of Kakapo as well as Little Spotted Kiwi, we'll cross tannin-stained streams and walk around Lake Kirirua, its calm surface reflecting the forest-fringed edge, before arriving at historic Luncheon Cove - a location of New Zealand firsts including first sealing gang, first European settlement and first ship to be built in the country. Discover hidden inlets, coves and beaches as we make our way around Sportsman Cove and Zodiac cruise to explore the lush wilderness of Cooper Island.

Our passion for helping protect and sharing New Zealand's special wilderness remains as strong as it was back in 1985. Join us and tick this once-in-a-lifetime experience off your travel bucket list and explore remote parts of New Zealand's Southern region, an area known for its diverse range of wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery where you will discover the real Fiordland and Stewart Island.

READ LESS

Send a message to an
Expedition Specialist:

ITINERARY
Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island: Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard
Expand All

Day 1: Queenstown
Guests should make their way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This evening there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner; an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some of our expedition team.

Day 2: Port of Bluff/ Stewart Island
Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant before departing for the Port of Bluff and Stewart Island before embarking your ship. New Zealand’s third island is well off the usual beaten tourist track. It is a wonderfully tranquil place and with 85 per cent of the island designated national park, the scenery of untouched bushland is stunning. Despite its small stature on most maps, Stewart Island has 700-kilometres of coastline so there is much to explore and experience here. Enjoy the impressive bird song as we explore Ulva Island, rich in history and wildlife, which has been predator-free since 1997. Some of the wildlife you may get to see while walking its tracks and exploring Boulder and West End Beaches, Post Office Bay and Sydney Cove include Stewart Island Robin, Stewart Island Weka, South Island Kaka, Kereru (wood pigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), Red-crowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbird, Tui and Southern Brown Kiwi. There are many more species that may also be seen, our knowledgeable expedition guides will be listening for bird calls and keeping a close watch in overhead canopies and the surrounding shrubs to identify further species. In Paterson Inlet visit the historic Norwegian whaling station in Prices Inlet and Kaipipi Bay, where from 1923 and 1933 the Ross Sea Whaling Company of Sandefjord, Norway ran a repair base where chaser boats were serviced in preparation for the Antarctic summer. Discover quirky town centre Oban in Halfmoon Bay where a drink with a view can be enjoyed at the historic and iconic South Sea Hotel.

Days 3 to 5: Fiordland
We have three days to explore the incredible wilderness of fiords in the south-west corner of the South Island. This is an area rich in history, majestic scenery and abundant in wildlife. Fiordland was well known to local Maori people, with the demi-god Tu-teraki-whanoa being said to have used his adze, Te Hamo, to carve out the region’s fiords. Captain Cook and his crew landed here on HMS Resolution in 1773, they were the first Europeans to visit Fiordland, subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’s records of his discovery and maps attracted sealers and whalers not long after who then formed the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country. Fiordland’s coast is only accessible by sea, making it the most remote region 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. Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and Little Penguins are all residents of the fiords; during our time here we will look out for them. Our schedule gives us the flexibility to visit as much as possible, areas we plan to visit during our time in Fiordland include Doubtful Sound, Dusky Sound and Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. During our time in Dusky Sound there will be the opportunity to experience an unforgettable helicopter flight through the Sound swooping down alongside Cooper Island and Cook Channel with a landing on Mt Pender where spectacular vistas across constellations of islands stretching into the horizon and dotting the winding fiords can be enjoyed. Our final plan will be determined by the weather. The Captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to make the best use of our time in this incredible region of New Zealand, including areas that even few New Zealanders have visited. The isolation of Fiordland has been beneficial because its beauty remains unspoiled and its historic sites undisturbed. On the evening of Day 5 we will enjoy a celebratory dinner with newfound friends and reflect on a wealth of new experiences from our adventure.

Day 6: Invercargill/Queenstown
Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3pm from Queenstown. Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed.

Our ship: Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the 'Grande Dame of Expedition Cruising' due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland's Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration. Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (…

VIEW SHIP PROFILE

Pricing

Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island - 3 Jan 2025 to 8 Jan 2025 - Heritage Adventurer

Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard

Queenstown → Queenstown

Cabin Category Price Per Person Description Availability
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $3,750 USD Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $3,895 USD Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 4 Superior image Deck 4 Superior $4,250 USD Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 5 Superior image Deck 5 Superior $4,550 USD Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Main Deck Single image Main Deck Single $4,895 USD Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $4,925 USD Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Receive complimentary in-room dining, minibar replenished daily, Heritage Expeditions keep cup, notebook and pen. Available
Superior Single image Superior Single $4,925 USD Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $8,400 USD Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table and chairs and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Receive complimentary in-room dining, minibar replenished daily, free laundry, US$100.00 per person SPA credit, Heritage Expeditions keep cup, notebook and pen. Available
20% off selected departures

Book before 31 July 2024 and SAVE 20%

T&C's apply, new bookings only made on Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island departing in 2025, excludes landing fees and optional extras, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

 

Includes:

Pre/post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals, house beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and all expedition shore excursions. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities, helicopter excursion. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island - 27 Dec 2025 to 1 Jan 2026 - Heritage Adventurer

Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard

Queenstown → Queenstown

20% off selected departures

Cabin Category Price Per Person Description Availability
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $3,750 $3,040 USD Main Deck Triple Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $3,895 $3,156 USD Superior Triple Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 4 Superior image Deck 4 Superior $4,250 $3,440 USD Superior Cabins on Deck 4 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Deck 5 Superior image Deck 5 Superior $4,550 $3,680 USD Superior Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Main Deck Single image Main Deck Single $4,895 $3,956 USD Main Deck Single Cabins on Deck 3 are a spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $4,925 $3,980 USD Located on Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Receive complimentary in-room dining, minibar replenished daily, Heritage Expeditions keep cup, notebook and pen. Available
Superior Single image Superior Single $4,925 $3,980 USD Superior Single Cabins on Deck 5 are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Available
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $8,400 $6,760 USD Located on Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table and chairs and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat screen entertainment system. Receive complimentary in-room dining, minibar replenished daily, free laundry, US$100.00 per person SPA credit, Heritage Expeditions keep cup, notebook and pen. Available
20% off selected departures

Book before 31 July 2024 and SAVE 20%

T&C's apply, new bookings only made on Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island departing in 2025, excludes landing fees and optional extras, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

 

Includes:

Pre/post cruise transfers, one night hotel accommodation in a twin share room (incl. dinner/breakfast), all on board ship accommodation with meals, house beer, wine and soft drinks with lunch and dinner and all expedition shore excursions. Programme of lectures by noted naturalists.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities, helicopter excursion. International/domestic flights, visas and travel insurance.

Trip Reports

Looking for a taste of what you can expect on our expeditions or want to relive your voyage? Our Trip Reports offer a detailed, day-by-day account of all of our previous expeditions tracking the voyage route and highlighting the numerous wildlife and cultural encounters experienced along the way.

READ MORE

26 Dec 2023
The recent "Unseen Fiordland and Stewart Island" expedition aboard Heritage Adventurer has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now availab…READ MORE
03 Jan 2023
  The recent "Unseen Fiordland, Stewart Island: Exploring New Zealand's Remote Backyard" HA230103 expedition aboard Heritage Adventurer has …READ MORE
24 Nov 2021
It's all hands on deck for Heritage Expeditions as New Zealand's pioneering expedition cruise company prepares for another Southern Ocean Summer fo…READ MORE
Send Message
Call Us
Receive e-News
Request Brochure