One of the few operators allowed to travel the far-flung isles of the Southern Ocean, join us on a journey through the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, as well as Macquarie Island.
• Visit the sub-Antarctic islands of Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland, and The Snares—we are among a small, exclusive number of operators that hold permits to travel to these far-flung isles.
• Observe several albatross species—wandering, black-browed, gray-headed, light-mantled sooty, and northern and southern royal—as well as colonies of king, royal, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins.
• Search the elfin forests for yellow-eyed penguins, bellbirds, tomtits, and red-crowned parakeets.
• Cruise through Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful sounds, a supremely scenic land of soaring cliffs and plunging waterfalls.
Arrive in Dunedin and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today, choose one of two local discovery options: Take a drive to Taiaroa Head to visit the world-famous northern royal albatross colony; then, observe and photograph yellow-eyed penguins at close range. Or, enjoy a scenic train ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway, then join a local historian for a walk through the heart of enchanting Dunedin, viewing the distinct Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles of First Church and St. Paul Cathedral. Board the Caledonian Sky this afternoon.
Join naturalists for lectures and on deck to look for royal, shy, and Buller’s albatross, plus a host of southern ocean petrels as we cruise to Enderby Island.
Today nature walks lead you through lush vegetation and rata forests to visit nesting southern royal albatross. Station yourself near a beach covered with Hooker’s sea lions to watch yellow-eyed penguins, one of the rarest penguins in the world, as they return to their nesting sites. In the elfin forest, search for bellbirds, tomtits, and red-crowned parakeets.
Our lecture series continues with recaps on Enderby and briefings on our next sub-Antarctic landings.
Spend two days exploring Macquarie Island. Though tides and weather will determine our landings, we hope to visit a king penguin colony as well as colonies of royal and gentoo penguins. A variety of birds, as well as elephant and fur seals, can be found set against a background of mountains and tussock-covered headlands. Several species of albatross breed here, as well as Macquarie Island cormorants, and northern and southern giant petrels.
Spend a relaxing and educational day at sea as our lecture series continues.
Campbell Island is home to a multitude of seabirds, marine mammals, and unique sub-Antarctic megaherbs. Photographic opportunities include frame-filling encounters with southern royal albatross, as well as Hooker’s sea lions. Birders search for the endemic Campbell teal and Campbell snipe; both species were previously believed to be extinct.
Board Zodiacs for a cruise around The Snares Islands. This nature reserve is home to millions of breeding sooty shearwaters, as well as Buller’s albatross, Cape petrels, and endemic Snares crested penguins.
Peaceful Stewart Island is home to fewer than 500 inhabitants. Explore the coastline before anchoring near Oban. Local guides lend insight into the island’s unique environment and Maori history. Nearby Ulva Island is a predator-free sanctuary with lush temperate rainforest. It is a wonderful place to view the South Island robin, South Island saddleback, yellowhead, and the curious weka, a flightless rail.
Today is devoted to Fiordland National Park, a nearly uninhabited wilderness with breathtakingly beautiful fjords filled with wildlife. Part of Te Wahipounamu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park is famed for spectacular glacier-carved waterways and unique flora and fauna. In Dusky Sound explore by Zodiacs to discover rainforest luxuriant with tree ferns, mosses, and lichens and visit Astronomer’s Point, the site of a temporary observatory established during Captain Cook’s 1773 voyage. The forests and waterways are home to many birds—bellbirds, tuis, fantails, and the kereru, a large native wood pigeon.
Keep your binoculars ready as the ship slowly cruises Doubtful Sound, inspecting the coves where rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes found.
Be on deck this morning to watch the panorama of Milford’s sheer cliff faces, which rise thousands of feet almost vertically from the water’s edge, as well as the crashing waters of Bowen and Stirling Falls and the stunning mile-high Mitre Peak. Disembark for a short drive to the picturesque town of Te Anau for lunch. Continue to Queenstown, with dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Today choose one of two excursion options, designed to highlight Queenstown’s natural and cultural attributes. Journey through the dramatic Lord of the Rings landscapes of Central Otago and meet the winemakers of the world’s southernmost wine-producing region. Or, take a thrilling jet boat ride amongst stunning scenery, then ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. Alternatively, you may choose to explore Queenstown on your own, browsing the private studios, gardens, and galleries of internationally renowned artists. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight.
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
Category 1 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Standard Suite - 244 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and portholes; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
Superior Suite - 232 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
Category 2 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Premium Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
Premium Deck Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
Category 4 Special Single Rate (Limited)
Corner Deck Suite - 243 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one doubl
Deluxe Balcony Suite - 217 sq feet plus 60 sq feet balcony, ocean-view with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)
Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.
Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.
For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.