Galapagos of the Southern Ocean: Australia & NZ’s Sub-antarctic Islands
DAYS 13 / SHIP Spirit of Enderby
2 departure dates:
|30 November, 2020 to 12 December, 2020|
|11 December, 2020 to 23 December, 2020|
PLACES VISITED The Snares / Macquarie Island / Campbell Island / Auckland Islands
PRICES FROM AUD$11,348 (More Rates)
The Sub-antarctic Islands are tiny havens for some of the most abundant and unique wildlife on the planet. They lie in the cool temperate or Sub-antarctic Zone to the south and east of New Zealand in the great southern ocean that encircles Antarctica. This is a windswept and at times forbidding swath of sea, surprising in its fecundity.
The Sub-antarctic Islands are comprised of six groups: the Bounty Islands, the Antipodes, the Snares, the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Macquarie Island. Flora and fauna are densely concentrated in the Sub-antarctic Islands: the number of indigenous plants and seabirds found in the Sub-antarctic Islands is far greater than that found on similar groups in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
It is little wonder that these islands of the Sub-antarctic are all Nature Reserves and World Heritage sites. As such, the New Zealand and Australian Governments that administer them afford the Sub-antarctic Islands the highest protection. Tourism is allowed, but only under special license, and numbers are restricted to minimise impact and to ensure a world class wilderness and wildlife experience. The Sub-antarctic Islands not only play an important role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem – they also have a rich human history. From their discovery 200 years ago, they were exposed to an era of exploitation. In time we began to understand their true worth and treasure them for their intrinsic value as wild and beautiful places. Visiting them is a pleasure and a privilege. You will not be disappointed.
This is without doubt one of the most inspirational and informative journeys or expeditions into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one can make anywhere in the world. Long recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Sub-antarctic Islands lying to the south of New Zealand are UNESCO World Heritage sites. This places them in a select group of only 180 natural sites that have been designated as ‘the most important and significant natural habitats’ on the planet. They are also afforded the highest conservation status and protection by the Australian and New Zealand governments and access to these islands is by permit only. On this expedition we offer you the unique chance to explore, photograph and understand these wonderful places in the company of some of the most knowledgeable and passionate guides.
As a young biologist, Heritage Expeditions founder Rodney Russ first visited these islands in 1972 with the New Zealand Wildlife Service. He organised New Zealand’s first commercial expedition there in 1989 and it was only natural that his family should travel with him, what wasn’t predicted was that they would join him in the business and be as passionate about the conservation of this region as he is. Now, many years and over 100 expeditions later, Rodney’s sons Aaron and Nathan continue their father’s enthusiasm and legacy for this region with Heritage Expeditions. As the original concessionaire we enjoy good relationships with the conservation departments and some of the access permits we hold are unique to these expeditions.
The name we have given to this voyage ‘Galapagos of the Southern Ocean’ reflects the astounding natural biodiversity and the importance of these islands as a wildlife refuge. (The book Galapagos of the Antarctic written by Rodney Russ and Aleks Terauds and published by Heritage Expeditions describes all of these islands in great detail.) The islands all lie in the cool temperate zone with a unique climate and are home to a vast array of wildlife including albatross, penguins, petrels, prions, shearwaters and marine mammals like sea lions, fur seals and elephant seals. The flora is equally fascinating; the majority of it being like the birds and endemic to these islands.
This renowned expedition includes four of the Sub-antarctic Islands, The Snares, Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell. Each one is different, and each one is unique – just like this expedition.
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 or portholes and ample storage space.
On board there is a recently updated combined bar/library lounge area and a dedicated lecture room. The cuisine is excellent and is prepared by top NZ and Australian chefs.
The real focus and emphasis of every expedition is getting you ashore as often as possible for as long as possible with maximum safety and comfort. Our Expeditions are accompanied by some of the most experienced naturalists and guides, who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that we visit. The ship is crewed by a very enthusiastic and most experienced Russian Captain and crew.
The name Spirit of Enderby honours the work and the vision of the Enderby Brothers of London. The Enderby Captains were at the forefront of Antarctic exploration for almost 40 years in the early 1800s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Sub-antarctic Island in the world.
Classification: Russian register KM ice class
Year built: 1984
Accommodation: 50 berths
Main engines: power 2×1560 bhp (2x 1147 Kw)
Maximum speed: 12 knots (2 engines),
Cruising speed: 10 knots(one engine)
Bunker capacity: 320 tons