Small-ship cruise company, Heritage Expeditions, offers a selection of responsible travel options for travellers wishing to explore the Subantarctic islands, including a special partnership voyage with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation, where tourism is restricted to protect the richness and diversity of the flora and fauna and to ensure a genuine wilderness experience for small groups of visitors.
Located in the great Southern Ocean to the south and east of New Zealand, the six tiny groups of islands – the Bounty Islands, the Antipodes, the Snares, the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Australia’s Icy Outback Macquarie Island – are home to some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on the planet.
Such is the richness and diversity of these rugged, uninhabited islands that every one of them is a Nature Reserve with UNESCO World Heritage status, and is afforded the highest protection by the governments of Australia and New Zealand.
To travel to this remote, isolated region with its priceless ecosystem and endangered species, is a real privilege for conservation-minded passengers. They are rewarded with captivating views across starkly beautiful landscapes, complete with a plethora of unique, indigenous plants, and a multitude of sea birds and native mammals.
Stunning scenes await: lush meadows of megaherbs, with their oversized, colourful flowers; numerous seabird species including albatross, petrel, shag, gull, tern, pipit, shearwater and prion; New Zealand fur seals, Hooker’s sea lions, elephant seals and rowdy penguins, all inhabit this windswept and sometimes forbidding region.
Among the Subantarctic expedition cruises available, Heritage offers:
- the eight-day Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific (Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and the Snares), departing 3rd January 2020 and 23rd December 2020, from US $4,600 pp;
- the 11-day Beyond Fiordland: New Zealand’s Wildest Islands (The Snares, Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands, Stuart and Ulva Islands and Fiordland), departing 13th December 2019, from US $5995pp; and
- Galapagos of the Southern Ocean (Auckland Islands, Campbell Island, Macquarie Island and the Snares) 13 days departing 1st and 3rd December 2019, 30th November and 11th December 2020, from US $7,000pp.
Prices quoted are based on full-board accommodation in a Main Deck Triple cabin, with shared shower and toilet facilities on one of the specialist cruise operator’s own repurposed polar research vessels, Spirit of Enderby or Akademik Shokalskiy. These fully ice-strengthened vessels carry no more than 50 passengers and feature a range of different accommodation including twin berths with porthole, superior cabins with bunkbeds and ensuite facilities, plus suites with separate lounge areas. Pre/post-cruise transfers from Invercargill or Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island to Port of Bluff are also included.
For further information visit https://www.heritage-expeditions.com/destinations/subantarctic-islands-travel/
Heritage Expeditions is donating five per cent of cabin prices on the Beyond Fiordland voyage to the Department of Conservation to help fund important work to protect the Subantarctic Islands.