Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific:

Subantarctic Islands

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific: Subantarctic Islands

DAYS 8 / SHIP Heritage Adventurer

DEPARTURES 28 Dec 2022 / 20 Dec 2023

PLACES VISITED Auckland Islands / Campbell Island / The Snares

PRICES FROM $4,875 USD (More Rates)

You won't find them mentioned in a travel brochure on your high street; you won't find them in most guidebooks, you probably don't know anyone that has ever been there and they don't even appear on some maps of New Zealand's South Pacific - these are the ‘forgotten islands'. Despite their low profile, they are among the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the Southern Ocean, designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and afforded the highest protection of any nature reserves in New Zealand. Remote, uninhabited and on no regular shipping route, access is further restricted by a strict Management Plan which limits the number of people allowed ashore each year.

Departing the Port of Bluff, Invercargill, the first of these islands we visit are The Snares. No landings are permitted because the islands are honey-combed with seabird burrows. Of particular interest are the Snares Crested Penguin, Fernbird and Tomtit - all of which are endemic. We should see them all as we enjoy the dramatic coastline and tree daisy forest from our Zodiac cruise.

In the Auckland Islands, the largest of the island groups, we will have the chance to spend the day ashore on Enderby Island, arguably the most amazing Subantarctic Island. Here you can hike through the windswept Rata forests, and along the exposed coastal cliffs. The wildlife is never far away and its lack of fear means close encounters, great for photography and observations. In Carnley Harbour in the south of the Auckland Islands there are a number of fascinating sites, including a Shy Albatross colony, abandoned Coastwatcher's huts, a shipwreck and castaway depots that we can visit. The weather will dictate what we do.

Campbell Island, the southernmost island of this expedition, is an example of what can be achieved in restoring islands. In recent years sheep, cattle, cats and rats have all been eliminated and the island is rapidly recovering. The great English botanist Sir Joseph Hooker, a friend of Charles Darwin, visited Campbell Island in the 1840s and described the flowering fields of ‘megaherbs' to be "second to none outside of the tropics". We can say the same now, because of the removal of these introduced animals. This island is also the home of the majestic Southern Royal Albatross, the endemic Campbell Island Flightless Teal and Snipe.

These islands represent a priceless ecosystem. Joining this expedition redefines natural history travel and will leave you wishing you could have spent more time there.

 

 

You won't find them mentioned in a travel brochure on your high street; you won't find them in most guidebooks, you probably don't know anyone that has ever been there and they don't even appear on some maps of New Zealand's South Pacific - these are the ‘forgotten islands'. Despite their low profile, they are among the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the Southern Ocean, designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and afforded the highest protection of any nature reserves in New Zealand. Remote, uninhabited and on no regular shipping route, access is further restricted by a strict Management Plan which limits the number of people allowed ashore each year.

Departing the Port of Bluff, Invercargill, the first of these islands we visit are The Snares. No landings are permitted because the islands are honey-combed with seabird burrows. Of particular interest are the Snares Crested Penguin, Fernbird and Tomtit - all of which are endemic. We should see them all as we enjoy the dramatic coastline and tree daisy forest from our Zodiac cruise.

In the Auckland Islands, the largest of the island groups, we will have the chance to spend the day ashore on Enderby Island, arguably the most amazing Subantarctic Island. Here you can hike through the windswept Rata forests, and along the exposed coastal cliffs. The wildlife is never far away and its lack of fear means close encounters, great for photography and observations. In Carnley Harbour in the south of the Auckland Islands there are a number of fascinating sites, including a Shy Albatross colony, abandoned Coastwatcher's huts, a shipwreck and castaway depots that we can visit. The weather will dictate what we do.

Campbell Island, the southernmost island of this expedition, is an example of what can be achieved in restoring islands. In recent years sheep, cattle, cats and rats have all been eliminated and the island is rapidly recovering. The great English botanist Sir Joseph Hooker, a friend of Charles Darwin, visited Campbell Island in the 1840s and described the flowering fields of ‘megaherbs' to be "second to none outside of the tropics". We can say the same now, because of the removal of these introduced animals. This island is also the home of the majestic Southern Royal Albatross, the endemic Campbell Island Flightless Teal and Snipe.

These islands represent a priceless ecosystem. Joining this expedition redefines natural history travel and will leave you wishing you could have spent more time there.

 

 

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ITINERARY
Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific: Subantarctic Islands
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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
Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and have the morning free to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and departing for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to conduct a number of safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as we set our course to Campbell Island and our adventure begins. We will sail past Ruapuke Island, formerly a local Maori stronghold supporting a population of over 200 people. We will also be able to see Stewart Island. Despite appearing quite small on most maps it is really quite large and has a 700 kilometre coastline. Seabirds that we may encounter at this early point in the voyage include: albatross, petrels, cormorants, gulls and Little Blue Penguins.

Day 3: At Sea
As we make our way through the Southern Ocean we take the opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna as we prepare for our arrival at Campbell Island. En route there are great birding opportunities which may include the Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Campbell Island Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel, Sooty Shearwater and Little Shearwater. There should be plenty of petrels and again the hard to identify prion species. We can expect some of the best pelagic birding on this leg of the journey from Bluff to Campbell Island with great views during the crossing.

Day 4: Campbell Island
We have a full day to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory. Its history is as rich and varied as the other islands we visit. Discovered in 1810, it was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats. Farming followed from 1895 to 1934 when it was abandoned. Coastwatchers were stationed on the island during the war and at the end of the war the station was taken over by the New Zealand Metrological service. They maintained a manned weather/ research station there until 1995. In the early 1970s the removal of farm animals commenced and all were eventually removed by 1990. The vegetation recovered quickly and the cats died out naturally. In a very ambitious (and never before attempted on such a large scale) eradication programme the New Zealand Department of Conservation successfully removed the rats. With the island declared predator free, the way was clear to reintroduce the endangered Campbell Island Flightless Teal, which had been rediscovered on an offshore island in 1975. Snipe, which were formerly unknown from the island but were discovered on another offshore island, recolonised the islands themselves. The vegetation which the great English botanist Sir Joseph Hooker described in 1841 as having a “Flora display second to none outside the tropics” is flourishing and is nothing short of spectacular. We will offer a number of options which will enable you to explore the island including an extended walk to Northwest Bay. There will also be an easier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle. All of these options will allow you the opportunity and time to enjoy the Southern Royal Albatross which nest here in large numbers. We also visit areas of the island which contain outstanding examples of the megaherbs for which the island is renowned.

Day 5: Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour
In the south of the archipelago there is a very large sheltered harbour rich in human history including shipwrecks, treasure hunters, Coastwatchers and, of course, scientific parties. We plan to arrive mid-morning entering the harbour through the eastern entrance which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and climb there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island, Western Harbour and Victoria Passage. Other options include the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout which was occupied during the Second World War. We could visit Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864. All five men aboard survived and lived here for 18 months before sailing their modified dinghy to New Zealand to get help. Two of the survivors wrote books about their ordeal, their first-hand accounts tell us a lot about their time here. Later this evening we will sail up the eastern coast, making our way to Port Ross in preparation for our landing at Enderby Island.

Day 6: Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
The Auckland Islands group was formed by two volcanoes which erupted some 10-25 million years ago. They have subsequently been eroded and dissected by glaciation creating the archipelago as we know it today. Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group and is named after the same distinguished shipping family as one of our own vessels. This northern most island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. The island was cleared of all introduced animals (pests) in 1994 and both birds and the vegetation, especially the herbaceous plants, are recovering both in numbers and diversity. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion, a rare member of the seal family. Beachmaster bulls gather on the beach, defending their harems from younger (ambitious) males, to mate with the cows shortly after they have given birth to a single pup. Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion numbers are in a slow decline, for reasons which are not obvious but most probably connected with a nearby squid fishery. During our day ashore there will be several options, some longer walks, some shorter walks and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. The walking is relatively easy. A boardwalk traverses the island to the dramatic western cliffs, from there we follow the coast and circumnavigate the island. Birds that we are likely to encounter include the following species: Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Banded Dotterel, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. There is also a very good chance of seeing the Subantarctic Snipe. Other more common species we will see include the Goldfinch, Song Thrush, Blackbird, European Starling, Red-billed Gull and Redpoll. On Derry Castle Reef we will look for migratory waders which could include Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and possibly vagrants.

Day 7: The Snares – North East Island
The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, they were appropriately called The Snares as they were once considered a hazard for sailing ships. Comprising of two main islands and a group of five islands called the Western Chain; they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. It is claimed by some that these islands are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. We plan to arrive in the morning, and as landings are not permitted, we will Zodiac cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the main island if the weather and sea conditions are suitable. In the sheltered bays, we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit and Fernbirds. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting on The Snares; the actual number is much debated. Buller’s Albatross breed here from early January onwards. There will be opportunities to view the forests of large tree daisy Olearia lyallii which forms a canopy over much of the island group. Tonight we enjoy a farewell and celebratory dinner with newfound friends with time to reflect on a wealth of new experiences and recap on what amazing wildlife, plant life, landscapes and history we have enjoyed.

Day 8: Stewart Island/ Invercargill/Queenstown
Spend the morning exploring Stewart and Ulva Islands. Rich in history and wildlife, Ulva Island has been predator-free since 1997 and its bird song and wildlife is some of the best in New Zealand. Say your farewells be transferred to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airport. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Invercargill before 3pm or before 6pm 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. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

Our ship: Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the 'Grande Dame of Polar Exploration' due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purposebuilt 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 (f...

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Pricing

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific - 28 Dec 2022 to 4 Jan 2023 - Heritage Adventurer

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $4,875 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. Waitlisted
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $5,195 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. Waitlisted
Deck 4 Superior image Deck 4 Superior $5,850 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 $6,150 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 $7,175 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
Superior Single image Superior Single $7,575 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
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $7,595 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. Available
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $11,575 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. Available
Additional fees

Landing Fees (per person in USD): $400.00pp

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.. Pricing per person in US$.

Excludes:

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

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific - 20 Dec 2023 to 27 Dec 2023 - Heritage Adventurer

Cabin Category Price USD Description Availablity
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $5,075 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 $5,450 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 $6,095 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 $6,495 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 $7,575 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
Superior Single image Superior Single $7,895 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
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $7,895 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. Available
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $12,250 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. Available
Additional fees

Landing Fees (per person in USD): $400.00pp

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.. Pricing per person in US$.

Excludes:

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

Thank you for a wonderful voyage on board Spirit of Enderby. The scenery, the birds, the animals, and the flora of the Forgotten Islands were outstanding. The experience was one not to be missed. READ MORE
GEORGE
I learned so much about the history, fauna and flora of the islands. READ MORE
MARGARET, NEW ZEALAND (PAST EXPEDITIONER)
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Subantarctic Islands. We were so lucky with the weather on Campbell Island particularly and the Albatross certainly put on a breathtaking show for us all! So memorable! I would like to say that I was so impressed with the very capable and professional leaders, plus excellent food from the superb chefs. the lectures were inspiring and very informative. Thanks ... READ MORE
SANDRA
Had a terrific trip to the southern islands and will certainly consider other expeditions with your company in future. READ MORE
SELWYN
I was especially delighted at the freedom you gave us on shore to do our “own thing”. Each day was such a treat. READ MORE
MARY
“we have soared with the albatross, gamboled with the dolphins and felt what it takes to live in the Southern Ocean”. READ MORE
STEVE, USA (PAST EXPEDITIONER)
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. READ MORE
LIONEL
Was a dream come true to be so close to the wild life and feel free with them, Money could not buy this experience of a lifetime. Now for a trip to the south pole. Check my site for photos of my trip, they are in sets marked, Campbell, Auckland and Snare Islands. READ MORE
LIONEL BENJAMIN
EXCERPTS FROM DIARY - FORGOTTEN ISLANDS EXPEDITION CHRISTMAS 2013 CHRISTMAS DAY We managed 3 landings on the Auckland Islands today due to astonishingly clear weather. We are anchored in Port Ross and take the zodiacs first into Erebus Cove where we wander through the Rata forests. The Rata were milled by a ship in the war days for emergency fuel and have now coppiced creating an eerie ... READ MORE
STEPHANIE
CAMPBELL ISLAND We arrived at Campbell Island to a sunny day (although we had been warned that Campbell Island can and does have 4 seasons in one day). Luckily for us, this wasn't one of them and we enjoyed beautiful sunshine for our walk up Coll Lyall. This is where the MegaHerbs are situated and I had orders to photograph as many as I could. One quickly learns about all of these from the va... READ MORE
DOT
I am just writing to you to say “Thank You” to Heritage Expeditions & The Press for running the “Nature’s Great Photography Competition”. I had an amazing time exploring the sub Antarctic islands with Heritage Expeditions. What was unknown to me at the time of winning this competition was that my wife’s Great grandfather was 1 of 16 survivors from the Dundonald shipwreck on the Auckland Is... READ MORE
CHRIS
I have been meaning to email you for ages to tell you how much I enjoyed the Forgotten islands expedition 15- 22 December. The whole trip was fantastic, I thoroughly enjoyed it......meals were amazing, great cabin and room mates, lectures superb and the zodiac trips and land content were something I will not forget (great displays of megaherbs) If you can please pass on my thanks to the expe... READ MORE
DIANA
Dear Lorna I wish you to pass on my thanks to Rodney and all the staff who made my week in the Southern Ocean an experience of a lifetime. I think I might have been the oldest member of our party but it was all within my ability and I am so pleased I was able to fit the adventure into this summer. It has given me a renewed vision and confidence. I was delighted to meet such great people who sh... READ MORE
JILL
Evening Cally, Just a quick note to thank you and the team for a wonderful voyage to the Snares, Enderby, Auckland & Campbell Islands early January. Trevor and I both enjoyed the voyage and consider our adventure to be one of the highlights of our travelling portfolio. The Heritage Team were undoubtedly experts in their fields; from Don/Rodney and guides who brought the islands alive; the ... READ MORE
DIANNA & TREVOR
Hello Lorna, I am just checking in to say -- my trip to the subantartic Islands was just amazing!! and I just loved the fields of mega herbs and the wildlife. There were times when there were no words to describe it all.One highlight was the day I got to the top of the board walk on Campbell.--magnificant.!! The meals were great" fresh and healthy food,- your staff sure did look after us.... READ MORE
THELMA
Met Tech.. Thanks very much for the support I needed to get my work done. It was brilliant. Alan. READ MORE
ALAN LORKING
Firstly I would like to thank Heritage for another memorable trip. This time we made it to the Snares and what mysterious and memorable islands they are. My last visit to Enderby Island 2 years ago (en route to the Ross Sea) was a very wet and windy affair, this time it was blue skies and light winds, Light Mantled Sooty Albatross with a chick on the wild Northern cliffs, a NZ Falcon at arms ... READ MORE
MICHAEL POTTS
Thank you, Heritage team and Russian Captain and crew - I really loved this trip, every minute. The islands, the birds, the sealions, the megaherbs, the lectures, the people I met - the whole experience occupies a special place in my memory. Thank you also for slideshow, the log and the list of birds. You did a great job - your enthusiasm for the islands and the wildlife was catchy and your car... READ MORE
JANE BATTERSBY
To travel to the southern ocean and experience the power of the sea and the wilderness, birds, flowers, seals, penguins and landscapes of the subantartic islands was an experience I will never forget. Only 50 passengers is a rarity, and Heritage Expeditions' organisation was brilliant. READ MORE
JACKIE KNOTTS
Forgotten or not, my voyage south was quite simply the highlight of my life. I may be back on dry land, but the waves continue to rock me. READ MORE
ANNE-SOPHIE PAGE
After a dreadful year of disruption, this was a much anticipated trip away and I was not disappointed. The experience both on and off the boat was very memorable, and I enjoyed the fellow travellers almost as much as the flora and fauna. Being able to get so close to the Royal Albatrosses on Campbell Island was a real highlight for me, and the Anisotome latifolia and Bulbinella rossii were spec... READ MORE
L TYLER
07 Mar 2022
The recent 'Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific: Subantarctic Islands' #220110 expedition aboard Spirit of Enderby has concluded. The Speci...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 ...READ MORE
01 Jun 2021
Pioneering New Zealand-based expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is proud to announce it will be operating the world-renowned Polar ex...READ MORE
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