Journey into the wilds of New Zealand’s Southern Ocean from the deep and quiet fiords of Murihiku (Southland) to the mysterious and protected wildlife reserves and still remote landscapes of the subantarctic Campbell and Auckland Islands. Hike through colourful fields of mega herbs, visit the ‘world’s loneliest tree’, learn the histories of the land and meet with locals to encounter vibrant cultures along the way. See diverse and rare endemic wildlife up close including albatross, penguins, seabirds and the New Zealand sea lion. A small ship expedition to these islands is an education in pristine isolated environments and a glimpse into an unspoiled natural world.

Highlights


• Explore the stillness of rarely visited Dusky and Doubtful Sounds in southern Fiordland, and encounter many species of wildlife, include the Fiordland crested penguin and New Zealand fur seal

• Stroll through the quiet forests of Ulva Island to spot New Zealand’s iconic birds, including the Stewart Island Weka, South Island Saddleback, Yellow-and Red-crowned Parakeet (Kakariki) and Rifleman (New Zealand’s smallest bird).

• Discover New Zealand’s Subantarctic UNESCO World Heritage islands, including the Snares, Auckland Islands, Campbell Islands, Antipodes and Bounty Islands

• Spot incredibly rare birdlife, including the yellow-eyed, rockhopper, and erect-crested penguins, northern giant petrel, Red-crowned parakeet, and 10 species of albatross, in some of the most precious and wild habitats in the world

• Climb through the red-flowering rata forest and ethereal megaherb pastures on the Auckland Islands to a viewpoint, from where you can gaze over the misty seascape of the Southern Ocean

• Learn about the brutal history of the sealers and whalers who frequented these islands in the 19th century, and visit the ‘world’s loneliest tree’, a Sitka Spruce planted in 1907 on Campbell Island

• Spend time on Chatham Islands, meeting the locals and learning of the remarkable history of the Moriori people, surrounded by one of the most remote communities on earth

Enjoy a complimentary transfer by coach from Queenstown to board Coral Geographer at Milford Sound at 2:00pm for a 3:00pm departure. Cruise towards the Doubtful & Dusky Sounds while you settle into your stateroom and relax. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard before meeting your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.
Fiordland National Park, a World Heritage site once described as the Eighth Wonder of the World, is characterised by 14 fiords carving through just 215km of coastline. These fiords were carved by glaciers over thousands of years, and you will see waterfalls cascading down the sheer cliffs, rainforest cloaking the steep ridges, and granite peaks reflected in the deep shimmering waters. These mostly inaccessible and awe-inspiring landscapes were the mysterious source of powerful pounamu (New Zealand Jade), gathered by Maori from the riverbeds and boulders of the South Island – the only place it occurs. While some European settlers took shelter here, the deep isolation and rugged terrain thwarted all except the toughest from staying. Many of the flora and fauna species have developed in relative isolation, so many of the diverse plants and animals are unique to the area. Doubtful Sound / Patea is the deepest and widest fiord, flanked by towering cliffs and adorned by cascading waterfalls. The stillness and silence of this Fiord is compelling and unforgettable, especially in the dawn light as we cruise through Te Awa-o-Tū / Thomson Sound and Blanket Bay into Doubtful Sound / Patea, through ‘the Gut’ and past the outer Seal Islands, Nee Islets and. You may spot fur seals lounging on the rocks, pods of dolphins, and the Fiordland penguin. We trace Acheron Passage to Te Puaitaha / Breaksea Sound, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes on all sides as we retrace Cook’s journey. It is easy to imagine the small wooden Endeavour being dwarfed by the steep-sided fiords and encircled by the blanketing silence of the fog-cloaked peaks. This afternoon, enter dramatic Tamatea / Dusky Sound. Cruise among the towering cliffs and sheer granite walls of Facile Harbour, cascading waterfalls, past some of the 365 small islands and explore the depths of the inlets in the zodiacs. Inaccessible by road, Tamatea / Dusky Sound is the largest and most complex of the Fiordland Sounds. It is also a designated Important Bird Area for the Fiordland Penguins that breed here. We will encounter the fur seals of Luncheon Cove.
Known in Maori mythology as Te Punga o Te Waka – The Anchor Stone of Maui’s Canoe’ – Stewart Island (Rakiura) is New Zealand’s little known ‘third island’. Apart from the communities on the island, many people never venture to remote Stewart Island. Nearby Ulva Island is also found within the Rakiura National Park, offering a predator-free environment for rare and endangered birds including South Island Saddleback, Kakapo, Weka, Yellowhead, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, and the iconic Kiwi; the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi birds are known to venture out in daylight. On Ulva Island, a guided walk will provide the opportunity to spot a vast array of birdlife and hopefully a few fur seals lazing on the shore during the tour. There will be free time to explore the village of Oban, and a guided Xplorer cruise to Prices Point Whaling Station will unveil the history of the region.
This morning, we sail into our first subantarctic anchorage at the Snares Islands. This small group of islands, also known as Tini Heke, are the most northern of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands and are mostly bordered by steep cliffs except on the eastern side. They are one of the most pristine places in New Zealand, as they were unaffected by whaling and sealing in the 19th century. These islands are protected as part of the Subantarctic Island World Heritage Site and landing ashore is prohibited. If weather permits, we will cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the island to observe the seabirds that breed on the forested North East Island. The island is forested by mega herbs, some of which are rare and unique, such as the large tree daisy and stilbocarpa, and is home to many endemic bird species, including the Snares Penguin, which has more than 100 colonies on the islands. The sooty shearwater nests here in enormous numbers and are joined by Buller’s Albatross, the mottled petrel and the brown skua. The exposed coastlines also provide breeding and resting area for New Zealand fur seals and New Zealand sea lions.
Lying 360 kilometres south of Stewart Island, the Auckland Islands is a group of around eight rugged islands, positioned close to each other and separated by narrow sea channels. Dominated by the remains of two 12-million-year old volcanoes, the islands are known for their steep cliffs and towering mountains. Making our way here means crossing an often-tempestuous sea, but when we reach the Auckland Islands, we can drop anchor in the lee of the islands. The weather here is usually damp and overcast, without being very cold. Evidence exists of Polynesian voyagers having settled here as early as the 13th century. During the sealing era, many ships were wrecked in this region and relics of this period remain, including the ruins of huts and gravestones. These islands are beautiful and striking, with cliffs rising from the sea and slopes blooming with southern rata and mega herbs. These unusual forests are home to many unique birds and shelter fascinating stories of shipwrecked seamen and wartime Coastwatchers. Here, we will go ashore at Enderby Island – to spend time birdwatching – you will spot many of the unique birds that nest here, including the Southern Royal Albatross, northern giant petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Red-crowned parakeet, and yellow-eyed penguin. At Sandy Bay, you may also spot the Hooker’s sea lion. On Auckland Island, we explore the remains of Hardwicke Settlement at Port Ross which was abandoned after 3 years in the early 1800s. If weather permits, there may be an opportunity to climb the slopes to observe the shy albatross colony nesting in the tussock grass. Later, we may cruise by zodiac or Xplorer through the sheltered inlets of Carnley Harbour, climbing through rata forest to take in the views from a vantage point, or visiting a historic site on the islands.
Discovered in 1810 by the Australian sealer Frederick Hasselborough, Macquarie Island is a natural wonder. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997, it is the only location where rocks from the earth’s mantle are exposed above sea level. The island is home to the entire royal penguin population during breeding season, as well as numerous other species including king penguins. Seal species include fur seals and elephant seals. Cruise Lusitania Bay to take in the awe-inspiring site of thousands of penguins, go ashore to visit the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition, and marvel at the diverse wildlife.
600 km south of Stewart Island, windswept Campbell Island is one of the main islands within the Subantarctic Islands World Heritage Site, and New Zealand’s most southern island. Over many years it was the location for sealing, whaling, and farming endeavours, but was declared a nature reserve in 1954. Since that time, introduced animals have been eradicated, including cattle, sheep, cats and rats. This has allowed the native wildlife, birdlife, and vegetation to recover and be reintroduced. The rugged island is mostly surrounded by cliffs, which rise to 300 metres on the south and west sides. Three distinct harbours are carved into the eastern side of the island, and at the end of the long Perseverance Harbour is the location for a meteorological station, now automated. The island is in the weather path and plays a key role in measurements and monitoring. The steep hills and slopes of Campbell Island are covered with mega herbs – characterised by their huge leaves and colourful flowers. These unusual plants include the Campbell Island Daisy, the Silver Leaf Daisy and the Campbell Island Carrot. These plants create a colourful display in summer, leading English botanist Joseph Hooker to describe it as a ‘flora display second to none outside the tropics’. Sharing the space with these remarkable plants are the equally remarkable albatrosses. Six types of albatross breed on the island, including the enormous Southern Royal Albatross. It is also possible to spot many other species include petrels, shearwaters, terns, and shags. The rare yellow-eyed and eastern rockhopper penguins are also found on the island. Here, we will anchor in Perseverance Harbour and go ashore at Beeman Base, where a hike along a marked trail enables us to get a close view of the flora and fauna of the island. You may have the opportunity to visit the ‘world’s loneliest tree’, a Sitka Spruce over 100 years old, which is over 200 km from the next closest tree on Auckland Island. We may also cruise the harbours by tender to view the basalt columns, kelp forests fur seals, and sea lions.
The Antipodes Island group, volcanic and uninhabited, are part of the New Zealand Subantarctic World Heritage site. The steep and rocky islands, referenced by the Maori name as ‘forgotten’, are now protected but were once the location of violent fur-sealing operations until the early 1800s. Now, the island is recognised as an Important Bird Area, with several species of seabird breeding here. These include the southern rockhopper and erect-crested penguins, albatrosses, petrels, and the Antipodes snipe, pipit and parakeet. In 2018, all mice and rats were eradicated from the island. The islands are surrounded by basalt cliffs emerging from the sea, hollowed by sea caves, and blanketed by mist. This gives it a mysterious presence as it emerges from the wild sea. Landings are not permitted on these isolated islands, so if weather conditions permit, we will cruise the coastline to spot birds and admire the landscape of tussock grass, shield fern and mega herbs.
The Chatham Islands, a territory of New Zealand, is made up of 10 islands over a 40-kilometre radius. Located on the Chatham Rise, an undersea formation of the sunken Zealandia continent, the islands have sustained human settlement for almost 1000 years. The Moriori set off from what is believed to be New Zealand’s South Island around 1400 AD and arrived on the islands, which they named Rekohu (misty skies), to establish a settlement. For over 400 years, they were isolated from the outside world and developed a unique and distinct culture of hunter-gathering, living from what the island provided, with strong religious beliefs and a ban on war and bloodshed. The islands were discovered when an English ship, Chatham, was blown off course in 1790, and in 1835 Maori from the mainland arrived and killed and enslaved the Moriori. Today, two of the islands are inhabited. Waitangi is the main town on the islands and farming and fishing are the major economic activities. The main island features an enormous lagoon, separated from the ocean by sand dunes. The island has striking geographical contrasts, from towering cliffs to lagoons and peat bogs, wide beaches to dense forest. This morning, we will go ashore at the main island and settlement of Waitangi. This village will be our base for a busy day of discovering this unique island and provides an opportunity to meet the people who call it home. We may visit a reserve to spot endemic Chatham Island pigeons, Chatham Island warbler and tui. With 2 days at the Chatham Islands, we will have time to observe the many unique plants, including the Chatham Island forget-me-not. We will also spot the island’s endemic birds, including the Chatham Island shag, and the black robin. Look for the rare Forbe’s Parakeet at Mangere Island, and take zodiac cruises to spot the Chatham Island Albatross, the New Zealand shore plover, and the Pitt Island Shag. Tender cruises around Pyramid Rock and South East Island will reveal an abundance of species. If we are lucky, we may spot the critically endangered Taiko petrel.
This morning, we arrive at Wellington to disembark at 8:00am.
Itineraries are subject to change.

Coral Deck Stateroom

$13,360 AUD pp
Coral Deck	Stateroom
Coral Deck Staterooms are located below the Promenade Deck and are identically furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A porthole window gives you views of the world outside. Coral Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

Promenade Deck Stateroom

$15,990 AUD pp
Promenade Deck Stateroom
Promenade Deck Staterooms are located below the Explorer deck and furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside. Promenade Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

Coral Deck Stateroom Solo

$20,040 AUD pp
Coral Deck	Stateroom Solo
Coral Deck Staterooms are located below the Promenade Deck and are identically furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A porthole window gives you views of the world outside. Coral Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom

$21,390 AUD pp
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom
Our Explorer Deck staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck. Explorer Deck Balcony Staterooms are 21.4 square metres

Promenade Deck Stateroom Solo

$23,985 AUD pp
Promenade Deck Stateroom Solo
Promenade Deck Staterooms are located below the Explorer deck and furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. A large picture window gives you wide views of the world outside. Promenade Deck Staterooms are 17 square metres

Bridge Deck Balcony Suite

$28,720 AUD pp
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite
There will be 6 spacious and elegant suites featured on the Coral Geographer. They will be equipped with a lounge area, minibar and personal coffee machine. Along with special King sized beds which can be separated into two singles. An 3.5 square metre private balcony has an outdoor daybed and lounge chair for two. The unique outside-facing bathroom with floor to ceiling windows will be the feature of the suites, with an infinity bathtub with sky views. A complimentary minibar is replenished daily. Bridge Deck Balcony Suites are 37.5 square metres.

Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom Solo

$32,085 AUD pp
Explorer Deck Balcony Stateroom Solo
Our Explorer Deck staterooms are comfortably furnished with a junior King size bed which can be separated into two singles. A wardrobe, desk and armchair are included. A compact en-suite has a toilet, shower and ample storage. Your private balcony has seating for two from which to view the passing coastal vistas. These staterooms are located on the Explorer deck. Explorer Deck Balcony Staterooms are 21.4 square metres

Coral Geographer

Vessel Type: Expedition

Passenger Capacity: 120

Built: 2020

Expedition capabilities

> Two trademark Xplorer tenders seat all passengers and facilitate comfortable shore excursions

> Six zodiacs for more intrepid exploration

> Lecture lounge for daily expedition briefings and expert presentations

> Small onboard library featuring books on destinations and wildlife

> Shallow draft and advanced navigation and propulsion systems allowing access to locations closed to large cruise ships

Marine immersion

> Navigator lounge in the bridge

> Over 1000 square metres of open deck space including a wrap-around promenade deck with panoramic views

> Engine room tours and a high level of crew interaction with guests

Food and wine features

> Single seating dining with communal table serves buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners

> Showcase galley with viewing window creating fresh small-batch cuisine featuring Australian and local produce

> Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the sundeck for sunset drinks

> Curated wine cellar featuring boutique wines and exceptional vintage Australian reds

Guest comfort

> All outside-facing guest cabins with en-suite bathrooms; the majority have a private balcony

> Active stabilisers to dampen sea motion

> Well-equipped gym

> Passenger elevator

> Wi-Fi available in all guest areas

Cabin layout for Coral Geographer

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• Expert expedition leader and team
• All meals while on board
• Coffee and Tea while on board
• All daily guided excursions
• Selected wine and beer with lunch and dinner
• Port charges/taxes

Exclusions


• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Travel Insurance
• Passport and visa costs where applicable
• Alcoholic drinks outside of those stated in inclusions
• Transfers unless otherwise stated
• Internet on board (Available at cost)
• Any items of a personal nature
Coral Geographer
New Zealand ExpeditionExpedition
17 Days from
$13,360 AUD pp

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0800 945 3327

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1800 107 715

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