Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific:

Subantarctic Islands

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific: Subantarctic Islands
20% off selected departures

DAYS 8 / SHIP Heritage Adventurer

DEPARTURES 28 Dec 2024 / 21 Dec 2025

PLACES VISITED The Snares / Auckland Islands / Campbell Island

PRICES FROM $5,850 $4,750 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. Our 28 December 2024 departure gives guests the opportunity to travel with iconic UK wildlife television presenter, producer, author, zoologist and naturalist Nigel Marven.

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 a flora display "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. Our December 2024 voyage includes the option to join a sea kayaking excursion with an expert guide. Kayaking around the Subantarctic Islands offers a wide array of habitats to explore beyond the reach of our Zodiacs.

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. Our 28 December 2024 departure gives guests the opportunity to travel with iconic UK wildlife television presenter, producer, author, zoologist and naturalist Nigel Marven.

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 a flora display "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. Our December 2024 voyage includes the option to join a sea kayaking excursion with an expert guide. Kayaking around the Subantarctic Islands offers a wide array of habitats to explore beyond the reach of our Zodiacs.

READ LESS

Send a message to an
Expedition Specialist:

ITINERARY
Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific: Subantarctic Islands
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
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 former 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 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 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

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific - 28 Dec 2024 to 4 Jan 2025 - Heritage Adventurer

Subantarctic Islands

Queenstown → Queenstown

Cabin Category Price Per Person Description Availability
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $5,850 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. Waitlisted
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $6,450 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. Waitlisted
Deck 4 Superior image Deck 4 Superior $6,995 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 $7,500 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 $8,650 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 $8,950 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 $8,950 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. Waitlisted
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $14,000 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 Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific 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:

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

Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific - 21 Dec 2025 to 28 Dec 2025 - Heritage Adventurer

Subantarctic Islands

Queenstown → Queenstown

20% off selected departures

Cabin Category Price Per Person Description Availability
Main Deck Triple image Main Deck Triple $5,850 $4,750 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. Limited
Superior Triple image Superior Triple $6,450 $5,230 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 $6,995 $5,666 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 $7,500 $6,070 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 $8,650 $6,990 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
Superior Single image Superior Single $8,950 $7,230 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
Worsley Suite image Worsley Suite $8,950 $7,230 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
Heritage Suite image Heritage Suite $14,000 $11,270 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 Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific 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:

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

02 Jul 2024
Pioneering small-ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is delighted to announce iconic wildlife television presenter, producer, author,…READ MORE
20 Dec 2023
The recent "Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific" expedition aboard Heritage Adventurer has concluded. The Species List for this voyage is now avai…READ MORE
24 Aug 2023
True Young Explorer Scholarships Explore. Inspire. Advocate. Applications are open for 2023-24 True Young Explorer ScholarshipsThis is your chanc…READ MORE
Send Message
Call Us
Receive e-News
Request Brochure