The Ross Sea Region: In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton
Ross Sea, Historic Huts, Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo Station,
Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell Islands
| Departure: 01/11/17 |
Trip Highlights: Macquarie Island and Campbell Island, Ross Ice Shelf and Cape Adare, Emperor Penguins, Shackleton and Scott's Hut.
Invercargill - New Zealand
Disembark: Invercargill - New Zealand
Rates: $22,300 - $30,200
Single Rate: on request
Landing fees: $880
Ship - Spirit of Enderby -
The ultimate Antarctic voyage, this expedition includes the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, as well as Macquarie Island, McMurdo Sound, and the Ross Ice Shelf. You will spend 10 days in the Ross Sea, with plenty of time ashore to soak up the scenery, wildlife-including the famed Emperor Penguin - and the history. Explore the seldom visited Possession Islands and Ross Island, and examine the eerily preserved artifacts of Scott's Discovery hut. Please note, the January departures will likely encounter quite a bit more ice, giving greater opportunity for spotting Emperor Penguins; whereas less sea ice in February will allow greater chance of visiting the historical huts.
Day 1: Invercargill
Travel to the city of Invercargill, New Zealand's most hospitable cities. On arrival, please transfer to the Kelvin Hotel (dinner, bed, and breakfast are included). During dinner at the hotel tonight, you will meet other expedition members.
Day 2: Port of Bluff / Embark
Enjoy a visit to the museum to view the Sub Antarctic display before transferring to the Port of Bluff, where you will board the Spirit of Enderby. Settle into your cabin and join your Expedition Staff and the Captain for a welcome on board.
Day 3: Snares Island
The Snares is the first of the Sub Antarctic Islands that you will be visiting. It is an amazing island rich with seabirds around coast. You will arrive early morning; landings are not permitted so you will zodiac to the sheltered eastern side. The birds you'll be seeing while cruising the sheltered bays: Snares Crested Penguins, Tomtits, Fernbirds, Cape Pigeons, Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns and Red-billed Gulls. There is an estimated 6 million Sooty Shearwaters nesting on the Snares Islands. Bullers Albatross breed here from early January onwards.
Days 4-5: Auckland Islands
The Auckland Islands is one of the largest Sub Antarctic Islands. During your stay, you will visit Carnley Harbour and spend a day ashore on beautiful Enderby Island. Forested by gnarled and windswept rata, it has a low plateau of scrubland and cushion bog, and is home to the rare Hookers sea lion. In the forest behind the beach you find Bellbirds, Red-crowned parakeets and the friendly Tomtits. Beyond the Rata forest you will find Royal albatross nesting and the endemic Auckland Island dotterel. There is a good chance that you will see the endemic Flightless Teal at Derrycastle Reef. In Carnley Harbor if conditions are suitable, you have the opportunity to climb up to the SW Cape Shy Mollymawk or Albatross Colony, which provide spectacular views for great photo opportunities. For those who don't climb, there will be a zodiac excursion to explore parts of this magnificent harbor.
Day 6: At Sea
At sea you will have a series of lectures of the biology and history of the Sub Antarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean. The closer you get to Macquarie Island, the more abundant the birds will become. You will be at sea all day, another opportunity to see pelagic species, including Wandering Albatross Species, Royal Albatross, Shy and White-capped Albatross, and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, among others.
Days 7-8: Macquarie Island
Macquarie Island, Australia's prized Sub Antarctic possession, is a small but impressive sliver of land supporting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the southern hemisphere. Millions of penguins of four different species (King, Rockhopper, Gentoo and the endemic Royal) breed here. Spend about two days observing the best wildlife areas on the island and visit the Australian scientific base. The King penguin rookery at Lusitania Bay is spectacular. Porpoises surround the zodiacs as a quarter of a million King penguins stand at attention on shore. Large groups of Elephant seals slumber on the sandy beaches and in the tussock grass further inland. Other wildlife includes Fur seals, four species of nesting albatross - Wandering, Black browed, Grey headed and Light mantled sooty, among other birds. Macquarie Island is certainly the richest wildlife area on your voyage -- a superb experience!
Days 9-12: At Sea
Soaring Albatrosses and Petrels circle the vessel as you move through the Southern Ocean. Your lecture program will continue. Drifting icebergs are sighted, which are unique examples of natural sculpture. The captain will maneuver the ship close in for your first ice photography. There will be special celebrations as you pass the Antarctic Circle and into Antarctica's realm of 24-hour daylight!
Day 13 -22 - 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 you take advantage of every opportunity to make landings. Your program emphasizes wildlife viewing, key scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular scenery.
You may visit the following areas:
Views of the Admiralty Range herald your arrival (subject to local ice conditions) at Cape Adare, at the tip of the Ross Sea, the site of the largest Adelie penguin rookery in Antarctica. Blanketing the large flat spit that forms the cape is the huge rookery - an absolutely staggering sight. Surrounded by a sea of penguins, you will find Borchgrevink's Hut, built during the first expedition to winter over on the Antarctic continent in 1899. It is a fascinating relic of the "Heroic Age" of Antarctic exploration.
The enormous Admiralty Range heralds your arrival at Cape Hallett, near the head of the Ross Sea. The scenery here is wild and spectacular. Giant glaciers course their way down from the interior to discharge their icy load.
Terra Nova Bay
Surrounded by the spectacular Society Ranges is Baia Terr Nova, one of the most modern and attractive Italian summer research stations in Antarctica. The Italians conduct many streams of scientific research and also claim to have the best 'cafe espresso' in Antarctica!
This rugged island is gouged by numerous glaciers and is home to a large Adelie penguin population.
Ross Island - McMurdo Sound - McMurdo Station / Discovery Hut / Scott Base
The U.S. Antarctic Base, McMurdo Station is located at the foot of Ross Island in McMurdo Sound, nearly within 780 miles of the South Pole! McMurdo is the largest research center in Antarctica, and the site of Scott's Discovery Expedition hut. At Scott Base, the friendly New Zealanders take you on a tour including Discovery Hut to show some of their scientific work and a souvenir shop. A hike up to the memorial cross to Scott at the peak of Observation Hill offers magnificent views over the sound and the vast Ross Ice Shelf.
Ross Island -Mt. Erebus / Cape Bird / Shackleton's Hut / Scott's Hut
At the base of the Ross Sea you arrive at Ross Island, dominated by the 13,000-foot high volcano, Mt Erebus. At Cape Bird, the New Zealand Antarctica program maintains a field station where scientists study the Natural History of the region. At Cape Royds, you visit Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut; built during the Nimrod polar attempt. Though the legendary explorers are long gone, the hut is far from deserted. Reclaimed by the original inhabitants of the area, Adelie penguins, it is the world's southern most penguin rookery. Also on Ross Island is Cape Evans, the historic site of Captain Scott's second hut erected in 1911 and preserved by the staff at New Zealand's Scott Base.
Ross Ice Shelf
This is the largest ice shelf in Antarctica, and the world's largest body of floating ice. This daunting spectacle prevented many early Antarctic explorers from venturing toward the South Pole. A natural ice barrier, it creates hazardous weather conditions. From Ross Island, you cruise eastward along the shelf front, with its 30-meter high ice cliffs continuing to the horizon. Imposing tabular icebergs sometimes calve from the ice shelf.
These small, rugged islands lay offshore Cape Hallett and have only been rarely visited. An Adelie penguin rookery, numbering tens of thousands of birds, blankets Foyn Island. Here are further enjoyable opportunities to observe their busy activities, with the superb backdrop of the Admiralty Mountains across the water. Using zodiacs you can explore the unusual rock formations and caves around the coast.
Day 23-26 - At sea en-route to Campbell Island
Taking time to rest and enjoy shipboard life in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, enjoy time for lectures on your final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.
Day 27-28 - Campbell Island
You arrive at Campbell Island, a place of rugged scenery, unique flora and abundant wildlife. At Perseverance Harbour, an occasional refuge for Southern Right Whales who come here to calve, there is a now abandoned New Zealand meteorological station. The highlight of your visit is a walk to the hilltop breeding sites of Royal albatross. These magnificent birds have the largest wingspan in the world and are very approachable, making superb photographic subjects. The wildflowers, which have made a dramatic recovery since the removal of sheep, should also be in full flower.
Day 29 - At Sea
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey, join your experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.
Day 30: Port of Bluff / Invercargill
Finding final harbor once more in the Port of Bluff, disembark and your adventure ends with a transfer to historic Invercargill city or to the airport. Fond farewells and memories will be long treasured.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Landings at the Sub-Antarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the governments of New Zealand and Australia. No landings are permitted at Snares Island. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. We are not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation in this program, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance for the specific areas they will be visiting. The minimum coverage requirement is $100,000 for program. The policy provider, policy number and contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. We can assist you with this.
Cabin accommodations; all onboard lectures and access to public areas; all meals on board the ship; shore excursions as described; one nights accommodation including dinner and continental breakfast; accommodation based on twin share occupancy (single supplement applies for guaranteed single); group transfers to embark the ship and transfer from the ship to city hotels and/or airport on disembarkation.
International / domestic airfare; passport, visa and vaccination fees; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, communications, medical supplies, etc.; landing fees; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
Antarctica Ross Sea Region - Sample Cruises - 2016 / 2017
|The Ross Sea Region - In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton||Auckland Islands, Macquarie and Campbell Islands, Explore the Ross Sea, Historic Huts, Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo base.||$22,300 -
|East Antarctica - In the Wake of Mawson||Antarctic Peninsula to Ross Sea, Historic Huts, remote East Antarctica, Emperor penguins, sub-Antarctic islands, helicopter excursions||$16,000 -
* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.
Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.