Western Pacific Odyssey:

New Zealand to Japan

Western Pacific Odyssey: New Zealand to Japan

DAYS 31 / SHIP Spirit of Enderby

DEPARTURES 13 Mar 2020 / 1 Apr 2021

PLACES VISITED New Caledonia / Norfolk Island / Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands

PRICES FROM $9,600 USD (More Rates)

The Complete WESTERN PACIFIC ODYSSEY RETURNS - Including Bonin Islands!!

Known in birding circles simply as the 'WPO', this expedition incorporates many of the key birding areas in the South West Pacific. First offered in 2007, it is now considered one of the 'must do' expeditions for any birder because of its opportunities to see some of the rarest pelagic seabirds in the world, plus many island endemics. But it is not just for 'birders'. The cetacean list can only be described as outstanding. And if you ever tire of birding or cetacean watching then there are options for snorkelling, swimming and relaxing.

After departing the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand, we sail for the rich waters of the Hauraki Gulf where there are numerous speciality seabirds, including the recently discovered New Zealand Storm-petrel. From there it's northward to Norfolk Island. Next stop is New Caledonia where we search for the amazing Kagu and other endemic bird species in the Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue.

We then spend six exciting days in the Solomon Islands birding on Nendö, Santa Ana, Makira, Guadalcanal (Mt Austin), Tetepare and Kolombangara, before cruising across the New Britain Trench, an area known to be extremely rich in cetaceans. As we sail along the coasts of Bougainville and New Ireland, we will look for two rarely seen seabirds: Heinroth's Shearwater and the critically endangered Beck's Petrel which was only rediscovered in 2007, both of which we have seen on almost all our previous expeditions in this region.

Next stop is Truk Island (Federated States of Micronesia) for some more intensive birding. We will then set a course for the Bonin Islands south of Japan; our route will take us to Chichi-jima, the largest island in the archipelago. We will then continue north to Torishima Island (where we hope to get great views of the Short-tailed Albatross) before we arrive at to our last island destination of the voyage, Hachijō-jima, where we will look for the last specialities of the expedition.

Our voyage will then conclude at the Port of Yokohama in Japan. This expedition is accompanied by some of the best pelagic birding guides in the world who have extensive experience of the seabirds of the West Pacific and have visited the islands we will be landing on multiple times. Birding starts at dawn and finishes at sundown. Our guides are there throughout the day to assist you and the 'reading of the bird list' each evening is legendary for its detail and discussion. This is one expedition you can't afford to miss.

This expedition is accompanied by some of the best pelagic birding guides in the world who have extensive experience of the seabirds of the West Pacific and have visited the islands we will be landing on multiple times before. Birding starts at dawn and finishes at sundown. Our guides are there throughout the day to assist you and the ‘reading of the bird list' each evening is legendary for its detail and discussion.

A message for the keen birders and cetacean watchers reading this. Space doesn't allow us to list all species on a day-by-day basis in this itinerary. Please ask for an expedition dossier or a bird and mammal list from previous expeditions.

The Complete WESTERN PACIFIC ODYSSEY RETURNS - Including Bonin Islands!!

Known in birding circles simply as the 'WPO', this expedition incorporates many of the key birding areas in the South West Pacific. First offered in 2007, it is now considered one of the 'must do' expeditions for any birder because of its opportunities to see some of the rarest pelagic seabirds in the world, plus many island endemics. But it is not just for 'birders'. The cetacean list can only be described as outstanding. And if you ever tire of birding or cetacean watching then there are options for snorkelling, swimming and relaxing.

After departing the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand, we sail for the rich waters of the Hauraki Gulf where there are numerous speciality seabirds, including the recently discovered New Zealand Storm-petrel. From there it's northward to Norfolk Island. Next stop is New Caledonia where we search for the amazing Kagu and other endemic bird species in the Parc Provincial de la Rivière Bleue.

We then spend six exciting days in the Solomon Islands birding on Nendö, Santa Ana, Makira, Guadalcanal (Mt Austin), Tetepare and Kolombangara, before cruising across the New Britain Trench, an area known to be extremely rich in cetaceans. As we sail along the coasts of Bougainville and New Ireland, we will look for two rarely seen seabirds: Heinroth's Shearwater and the critically endangered Beck's Petrel which was only rediscovered in 2007, both of which we have seen on almost all our previous expeditions in this region.

Next stop is Truk Island (Federated States of Micronesia) for some more intensive birding. We will then set a course for the Bonin Islands south of Japan; our route will take us to Chichi-jima, the largest island in the archipelago. We will then continue north to Torishima Island (where we hope to get great views of the Short-tailed Albatross) before we arrive at to our last island destination of the voyage, Hachijō-jima, where we will look for the last specialities of the expedition.

Our voyage will then conclude at the Port of Yokohama in Japan. This expedition is accompanied by some of the best pelagic birding guides in the world who have extensive experience of the seabirds of the West Pacific and have visited the islands we will be landing on multiple times. Birding starts at dawn and finishes at sundown. Our guides are there throughout the day to assist you and the 'reading of the bird list' each evening is legendary for its detail and discussion. This is one expedition you can't afford to miss.

This expedition is accompanied by some of the best pelagic birding guides in the world who have extensive experience of the seabirds of the West Pacific and have visited the islands we will be landing on multiple times before. Birding starts at dawn and finishes at sundown. Our guides are there throughout the day to assist you and the ‘reading of the bird list' each evening is legendary for its detail and discussion.

A message for the keen birders and cetacean watchers reading this. Space doesn't allow us to list all species on a day-by-day basis in this itinerary. Please ask for an expedition dossier or a bird and mammal list from previous expeditions.

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2019 ITINERARY
Western Pacific Odyssey: New Zealand to Japan
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Day 1: Tauranga, New Zealand
Arrive in Tauranga and transfer to the ship. Settle into your cabin and join your expedition team and captain for a welcome on board.

Day 2: Hauraki Gulf
Our seabirding will start in the Hauraki Gulf where we will look for the critically endangered New Zealand Storm-Petrel as well as Little Penguin, Grey Ternlet, Buller’s, Fluttering and Little Shearwaters and Grey-faced and Black Petrels.

Days 3 to 4: At Sea
En route to Norfolk Island, we have a good chance of finding Gould’s, Black-winged, Kermadec, White-necked and Grey-faced Petrels, plus Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed Shearwaters.

Day 5: Norfolk Island
After clearing Australian Customs, we plan to visit Norfolk Island’s remnant forest, home to four endemics – the Norfolk Island Parakeet, Norfolk Gerygone, Norfolk Robin and Slender-billed White-eye.

Day 6: At Sea
At sea on a northward course, we cross a large underwater seamount, a productive area for seabirds including Tahiti, Collared, White-necked, Providence and Kermadec Petrels.

Day 7: New Caledonia
We visit the Parc de la Rivière Bleue National Park where we will search for the endemics including the incomparable Kagu and highly range-restricted Crow Honeyeater. Other birds could include New Caledonian Goshawk, Horned and New Caledonian Parakeets, New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon, Southern Melanesian and New Caledonian Cuckoo-shrikes, Yellow-bellied Robin and Red-throated Parrotfinch.

Day 8: New Caledonia and At Sea
We plan to visit waters where we have previously seen the ‘New Caledonian Storm-Petrel’. This bird was first found on the WPO expedition in 2008 and has been seen several times since. Although seemingly closely related to New Zealand Storm-Petrel, there are a number of important differences and it is now believed this is a long lost species which was collected in Samoa 200 years ago and not seen since !! Other possibilities include Tahiti, Providence, Gould’s and Collared Petrels.

Days 9 to 10: At Sea
Enjoy leisurely days at sea and a chance to relax, catch up on notes, reading and sleep. Seabird possibilities include Tropical Shearwater and Polynesian Storm-Petrel.

Day 11: Nendö – Temotu Province
This morning we will go ashore at Rennell Island where we hope to see Rennell Parrot, Rennell Shrikebill, Rennell Gerygone, Bare-eyed White-eye, Rennell White-eye, Rennell Fantail and Rennell Starling. Other species could include Silver-capped Fruit Dove, Finsch’s Pygmy Parrot, Melanesian Flycatcher and Cardinal Myzomela.

Day 12: Santa Ana, Solomon Islands
Makira Island holds its own treasures, including the endemic San Cristobal Melidectes, White-headed Fruit Dove, Makira Flycatcher, Makira Cicadabird, White-collared Monarch, Sooty Myzomela and Mottled Flowerpecker. Other species could include Chestnut-bellied, Red-knobbed and Island Imperial Pigeons as well as Pied Goshawk, Pacific Baza and Solomon Islands Sea-eagle.

Day 13: Anuta Island in the Makira Group
We will anchor off Honiara and depart before dawn for Mount Austin. The birding here is exceptional and the specialities we could see include Ultramarine Kingfisher, Yellow-bibbed Lory, Ducorps’ Cockatoo, Solomons Cuckoo-shrike, Brown-winged Starling, Chestnut-bellied Monarch, Steel-Blue Flycatcher, Black-faced Myzomela and Midget Flowerpecker.

Day 14: Honiara, Guadalcanal
Enjoy a day on Santa Isabel and its surrounding islands as we explore the inlets and reef systems of the spectacular Poru Channel. We plan to land on Vakao Island and visit its verdant rainforest where we hope to find the highly localised Yellow-throated White-eye and Red-capped Myzomela plus Ultramarine Kingfisher. After lunch, snorkel and relax on a white sandy beach or return to the forest to look for Melanesian Megapode and Black-and-white Monarch.

Day 15: Tetepare Island
We intend to head into the hills to visit the Imbu Rano Conservation Area to explore dense upland forest. We hope to see the spectacular Solomon Islands Sea Eagle, Cardinal, Duchess and Meek’s Lorikeets, White-capped Monarch, Crimson-rumped Myzomela, Ducorps’ Cockatoo and Metallic and Singing Starlings. We may also look for the elusive Roviana Rail as we leave the reserve. After we depart we will be scanning the seas for whales and dolphins as this is a good area for cetaceans. Birders will also want to keep a lookout for Heinroth’s Shearwater which can be found here too.

Day 16: Kolombangara Island
Today we are at sea off Bougainville and hope to see Heinroth’s Shearwater. These waters are also great for cetaceans including Sperm Whale, False Killer Whale and Fraser’s Dolphin.

Day 17: Off the coast of Bougainville
Today we cruise along the coast of New Ireland, where our target is the recently rediscovered Beck’s Petrel with another chance for Heinroth’s Shearwater. This is another area where a number of different species of cetaceans have been seen previously including Melon-headed Whale, Dwarf and Pygmy Sperm Whales and Orca.

Day 18: Off the coast of New Ireland
We will cross the Equator and the species we will be on the lookout for include Bulwer’s Petrel, Tropical Shearwater, White-tailed Tropicbird and Sooty Tern.

Days 19 to 20: At Sea
On Weno Island we hope to find Caroline Islands White-eye, Micronesian Myzomela, Micronesian Starling, Oceanic Flycatcher, Caroline Reed Warbler, Caroline Ground-Dove, Caroline Islands Swiftlet and Purple-capped Fruit-Dove. There may also be an optional excursion to Tol South to look for Faichuuk White-eye and Chuuk Monarch.

Days 21 to 22: Caroline Islands
The birding can be quiet but as we head northwards new species could include Matsudaira’s Storm-Petrel, Bonin Petrel as well as Bannerman’s and Christmas Shearwaters. As we approach the Bonin Islands, we stand a good chance of finding Humpback Whales which can occur here in reasonable numbers.

Days 23 to 26: At Sea
After clearing into Japan at Chichi-jima, we will explore the settlement looking for Japanese White-eye, Brown-eared Bulbul and Japanese Bush Warbler.

Day 27: Chichi-jima Island
We plan to spend the morning on Haha-jima, the only place in the world where the stunning Bonin Honeyeater can be found. In the late afternoon, we will look for the recently described and very rare Bryan’s Shearwater off the east coast of Chichi-jima

Day 28: At Sea
Relax at sea as we sail north. Seabird possibilities include Tristram’s Storm-Petrel, Bonin Petrel and Bannerman’s Shearwater.

Day 28: Torishima Island
Landings are not permitted but we cruise offshore and hope to find Short-tailed Albatross. Other species could include Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses, Streaked Shearwater, Tristram’s and Matsudaira’s Storm-Petrels.

Day 30: Hachijō-jima Island
We plan to land on Miyake-jima and visit the Tsubota Nature Centre where the forest trails provide an opportunity to see endemics such as Izu Thrush, Ijima’s Leaf-warbler and Owston’s Tit. In the afternoon, we plan to cruise close to an islet where Japanese Murrelets breed before continuing north to Yokohama.

Day 31: Yokohama, Japan
After breakfast and Japanese arrival formalities, you disembark the ship and board a complimentary transfer to Yokohama railway station. Enquire for a full itinerary.

Our ship: Spirit of Enderby

The Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) is a fully ice-strengthened expedition vessel, built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research and is perfect for Expedition Travel. She carries just 50 passengers and was refurbished in May 2019 to provide comfortable accommodation in twin share cabins approximately half of which have private facilities. All cabins have outside windows o...

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Pricing

Western Pacific Odyssey - 13 Mar 2020 to 12 Apr 2020 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck $9,600 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Waitlisted
Superior $10,500 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Limited
Superior Plus $11,100 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Waitlisted
Mini Suite $13,300 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Available
Additional fees

Discovery fund (Payable on board)(All prices are per person in USD): $600.00pp

Includes:

Pre cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions, transfer from ship to Yokohama railway station.

Excludes:

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

Western Pacific Odyssey - 1 Apr 2021 to 1 May 2021 - Spirit of Enderby

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck $10,080 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private washbasin. Shared shower and toilet facilities nearby with other Main Deck cabins. These cabins have a porthole. Available
Superior $11,030 One bunk (one upper and one lower berth), writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Superior Plus $11,660 Two lower berths, writing desk, wardrobe, and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows. Available
Heritage Suite $13,970 Waitlisted
Mini Suite $13,970 Separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or sofa in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe and drawers. Private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Mini Suites have windows. Available
Additional fees

Discovery fund (Payable on board)(All prices are per person in USD): $600.00pp

Includes:

Pre cruise transfers, all on board ship accommodation with meals and all expedition shore excursions, transfer from ship to Yokohama railway station.

Excludes:

All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, gratuities. 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.

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What out travelers are saying:

We both had a wonderful time and really enjoyed the staff, crew, ship and its operations. In particular, we though the Zodiac operation simple, safe and effective. READ MORE
PETER
I'm back home in the cold and wet with 6.5 hrs. of daylight and a lot of really good memories from the trip. I would like to thank you all for making it such a wonderful trip filled with so many different things to see, the cetaceans were especially good for me. READ MORE
GRAHAM
Thanks for your message and a big thank you for a great trip and organisation! The rest of the trip was also great (and hot…), including our days in New Ireland. It was truly fantastic. READ MORE
LAURENS STEIJN
16 Aug 2019
Christchurch-based small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions' latest discovery the 'Heritage Lava Petrel' has made the outside ba...READ MORE
24 Apr 2019
The recent 'Western Pacific Odyssey' #1976 expedition aboard 'Spirit of Enderby' has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now available t...READ MORE
17 Apr 2019
Pioneering Christchurch-based expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is ruffling feathers within the birding fraternity following its dis...READ MORE
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