This is without doubt one of the most inspiring and informative journeys into the Southern Ocean ecosystem that one can make. Long recognised for their rich biodiversity, the Subantarctic islands lying to the south of New Zealand are World Heritage sites, afforded the highest conservation status and protection by both the Australian and New Zealand governments.
The name of this expedition conveys a sense of the astounding natural biodiversity and the importance of these islands as wildlife refuges. They lie in the cool temperate or Subantarctic zone and are home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife on the planet. These islands not only play an important role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem – they also have a rich human history. Our journey takes us as far south as Macquarie Island, described as ‘one of the wonder spots of the globe’ as well as Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands and the Snares. It is a journey that will forever change your appreciation of the Southern Ocean and its wildlife.
Galapagos of Antarctica itinerary:
Day 1: Dunedin
Meet your fellow voyagers and Expedition Staff for an informal get-together over dinner at the hotel, where you will stay overnight.
Day 2: Depart Port of Otago
The Captain welcomes you aboard the Spirit of Enderby and as you settle into your cabin, our adventure begins
Day 3: The Snares Islands
North East Island is the largest of the Snares and, staggeringly, this one island is home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. Zodiac cruising the rugged coastline we learn how the islands got their name and encounter Snares Crested Penguins, Cape Petrel and Buller’s Albatross on the imposing cliffs. We are also likely to encounter Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, Red-billed Gulls, Tomtits and Fernbirds.
Day 4: Auckland Islands - Enderby Island
Named for the same distinguished shipping family as our own vessel and one of the most beautiful islands in the group, this is a great birding location and a chance to see everything from the famous Southern Royal Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel to parakeets, bellbirds and the endemic shag, teal and snipe. Sandy Bay is one of three breeding grounds on the Auckland Islands for the rare Hooker’s Sea Lion.
Day 5: Auckland Islands- Carnley Harbour
These islands have witnessed many a shipwreck in days gone by; loaded in human history, they harbour tales of castaways, bullion and coastwatchers through to today’s scientific visitors. We land in Carnley Harbour to visit the Shy Mollymawk colony and perhaps spot the beautiful Wandering Albatross spreading its huge wingspan above the cliffs. With an island named Disappointment and a mountain called the Tower of Babel this unique archipelago has to be seen to be believed.
Days 6 and 7: Campbell Island
We spend two days exploring the island by foot and take in the panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks; once the lonely preserve of settlers and seal hunters and now returned to nature. Enjoy an easy walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross at Col Lyall or walk across the hills to Northwest Bay and see the strange and beautiful ‘mega herbs’ growing on the hills – huge pink and yellow wildflowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and, on the beaches beyond, young male Sea Lions testing their strength.
Day 8: At Sea
Take in informal lectures with our experts on the Subantarctic Islands and the tumultuous Southern Ocean; relax in the ship’s bar or catch up on your reading in the library. Crossing the confluence of warmer and cooler waters at the Subantarctic Convergence we can expect the birdlife to be abundant including five or six kinds of albatross and petrel. Join us on the bridge, where we keep a keen lookout for them and for whales.
Days 9 and 10: Macquarie Island
The only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds, this remote outpost in the middle of the roaring westerly winds supports a breathtaking concentration of wildlife. You will never forget your first experience of a noisy ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you will be immersed in a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays. We meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here and also seek out the thousands of Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes.
Days 11 - 13: At Sea
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey, join our experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner on the final night.
Day 14: Port of Hobart
Making safe harbour at last in historic Hobart, our adventure ends with fond farewells and memories that will last long beyond flights home.
After breakfast and customs formalities have been completed, we will disembark. Transfer by coach to the central city of Hobart or to Hobart 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)