The ultimate Antarctic Voyage. Voyage to the very heart of Antarctica. The Ross Sea is one of the most remote regions and is only accessible for two months each year when the ice thaws. It is the historic gateway, discovered by Sir James Clark Ross in 1842, it was to the Ross Sea region that many of the most famous explorers and adventurers came. They included Borchgrevink, Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen, Richard Byrd, Sir Edmund Hillary and others.
There are 5 historic huts that we visit. These capture the history of these explorers and their achievements. The Ross Sea region is the breeding ground for millions of Adelie and Emperor penguins and we have regular encounters with both these species. New Zealand, America and Italy maintain scientific bases in the Ross Sea and welcome the few visitors that come each year. Our Ross Sea Expeditions include Subantarctic Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Island where we have permits for landing.
Ross Sea - In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton itinerary:
Day 1: Invercargill or Dunedin
Departs Invercargill or Dunedin depending on departure date. Grab your last-minute luxuries before meeting your fellow expeditioners for an informal get-together over dinner
Day 2: Port of Bluff/Dunedin
Board the Spirit of Enderby and settle into your cabin and join your expedition staff and the Captain for a welcome on aboard
Day 3: The Snares
North East Island is the largest of the Snares and home to more nesting seabirds than in all of the British Isles. Snares Crested Penguins are plentiful, as are the Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross.
Days 4 – 5: Auckland Islands
Forested by windswept Rata, Enderby Island is simply beautiful. Enjoy the Bulbinella rossii fields, regenerating patches of Anisotome latifolia and red and white gentians. View the rare Hooker’s Sea Lion, and in Carnley Harbour climb up to the Southwest Cape White-capped Albatross Colony or take part in a Zodiac excursion
Day 6: At sea
Learn more about the biology and history of the Subantarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean through a series of lectures. Expect the bird life to build as we cross the Subantarctic Convergence Zone.
Days 7 – 8: Macquarie Island
Macquarie Island is a small sliver of land supporting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Millions of penguins breed here. Large groups of Elephant Seals and other wildlife also inhabit the sandy beaches and the tussock grass.
Days 9 – 12: At sea
Lectures now concentrate on our next destination – the Antarctic’s Ross Sea region. Drifting icebergs carry vivid colours and come in extraordinary shapes. The Captain will announce our arrival at the Antarctic Circle.
Days 13 – 21: Antarctica’s Ross Sea region
Due to the unpredictable nature of ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary in the Ross Sea is not possible, but we take advantage of every opportunity to make landings. Our program emphasises wildlife viewing, key scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular scenery.
We hope to visit the following areas:
Cape Adare is the location of Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, built during the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899. It is also the site of the largest Adélie penguin rookery in Antarctica – up to one million birds.
Cape Hallett. The enormous Admiralty Range heralds our arrival at Cape Hallett. The mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000 metres and glaciers course down from the interior.
Terra Nova Bay. At Baia Terra Nova, an Italian research station, many streams of scientific research are conducted – and they also claim to have the best ‘caffe espresso’ in Antarctica!
Franklin Island. This rugged Island, deep in the Ross Sea, is capped in ice and is home to a large Adélie Penguin population.
Ross Ice Shelf
The largest ice shelf in Antarctica, the Ross Ice Shelf is also the world’s largest body of floating ice. A natural barrier, it lies just 800 miles from the South Pole.
Ross Island – Mount Erebus/ Cape Bird/ Shackleton’s Hut/ Scott’s Hut
Cape Evans hut is expected to be completed to celebrate this anniversary. Visits to McMurdo Station and Scott Base provide an insight to modern scientific research in Antarctica.Ross Island is dominated by Mt Erebus, its active volcanic crater towers over Antarctica’s most historic region, McMurdo Sound. Our time within McMurdo Sound is dedicated to visiting and witnessing the natural and historical highlights. Travel back in time, walking in the footsteps of Scott and Shackleton with visits to their huts and Cape Royds, Cape Evans and Hut Point. This is centenary of the Terra Nova Expedition and restoration work on the
Possession Islands. These small, rugged and rarely visited islands lay off the shore of Cape Hallett. An Adélie Penguin rookery, numbering tens of thousands of birds, blankets both islands.
Days 22 – 26: At sea
Enroute to Campbell Island, take part in a series of lectures designed to prepare you for our visit to Campbell Island and view the pelagic species, which abound.
Day 27 – 28: Campbell Island
Campbell Island is a place of rugged scenery and abundant wildlife. The highlights of our visit are the rare Hooker’s Sea Lions and a walk to the hilltop breeding sites of Southern Royal Albatross, over six thousand pairs of which breed here.
Day 29: At sea
Relax and reflect on what will have been an amazing experience. We will enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as we sail the last few miles of our journey.
Day 30:Port Bluff/Invercargill
After breakfast and customs formalities we will disembark at the Port of Bluff, Invercargill. We will then transfer you by coach to central Invercargill hotels or to the Invercargill Airport.
Spirit of Enderby
The Spirit of Enderby 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 November 2004 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 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 1800’s. It also celebrates Enderby Island, arguably the greatest Subantarctic Island in the world.
a) our fleet of RIB’s, (rigid inflatable boats) sometimes referred to as zodiacs. These extremely safe and stable craft will land you at some of the most amazing places.
- Heritage Suite: Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.
- Mini Suites: Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
- Superior Plus cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
- Superior cabins: Have bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
- Main deck cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
- Main deck triple: Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 72 meters
Beam: 13 meters
Speed (average): 10 knots
Built / refurbished: 1984 / 2004
Capacity: 48 (twin & triple cabins)