15 DAYS MACQUARIE & THE NEW ZEALAND SUB ANTARCTIC ISLANDS

Auckland - Bounty Islands - Antipodes Islands - Campbell Island - Enderby Island - Macquarie Island - Snares Islands - Dunedin

During this cruise you will spend an unforgettable New Year's Eve in one of the least visited regions of the world. Explore the untouched and remote Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. To visit these UNESCO World Heritage sites is every nature-lover's dream. During your 15 day expedition you will not only be spoiled with exceptional scenery and wildlife but also with fantastic service, gourmet food and comfort on board the Le Bellot.

Highlights:

* Zodiac explorations
* Guided walks and hikes with experienced naturalist guide
* Photography opportunities - Amazing bird and wildlife, untouched, rugged islands
* Bird watching - Shearwaters, Albatrosses, Mollymawk, Petrels and many more endemic birds.
* Penguin spotting - King, Royal, Snares-crested, Yellow Eyed Penguin, Erect-crested penguins!
* Opportunities for guided walks on: Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Macquarie Island
* Wildlife viewing: colonies of fur seals, elephant seals

The worlds largest New Zealand fur seal colony can be found on Bounty Island. Almost every rock is covered by either seals, birds or penguins. Antipodes Island is home to many sea and land bird species, even parakeets can be seen there. Enjoy the pristine nature of these spectacular islands by zodiac, your naturalist guide will help you search for penguins, albatrosses, seals and sea lions.

Step on land on Campbell Island and enjoy the stunning herbaceous, perennial wildflowers - a flora display second to none! Sea lions, fur seals, southern elephant seals, King, Royal, Southern Rock-hopper and Gentoo penguins and four different species of albatrosses - all this wildlife and more can be observed on Macquaire Island. Truly a wildlife paradise! Enjoy an easy walk on Enderby Island in search of the world's rarest penguin - the yellow eyed penguin. The Snares crested penguin is endemic to Snares Island, they look spectacular with their plumes of yellow feathers that run above each eye.

During your 15 day expedition you will not only be spoiled with exceptional scenery and wildlife but also with fantastic service, gourmet food and comfort on board the Le Bellot.

Inclusions:

* 14 nights onboard Le Bellot in your selected cabin
* Cabin upgrades available
* All meals while on board the cruise
* Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
* All tours mentioned with professional English speaking guide (subject to weather conditions)
* Parker to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
* Onboard spa, gym, swimming pool and dedicated space for photographers
* Any airfares, visa, gratuities, laundry and personal expenses

Itinerary:

Day 1 - Depart Auckland

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the city of sails when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.

Embarkation begins this afternoon. We recommend arriving a day or two before for those who live outside of Auckland, to allow time to explore Auckland. Please talk to your travel adviser for more details

Day 2-3 - At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 4 - Bounty Islands

The Bounty Islands are a scattering of 20 igneous islets and rocks lying 700 km east-south-east of New Zealand. They were discovered by Captain William Bligh in 1788, just months before the mutiny on the Bounty. The Bounty Islands can be smelt and heard from far away, as every available rock is covered in New Zealand fur seals and seabirds. The islands have the world’s largest breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals. There are breeding populations of Salvin’s mollymawks, erect-crested penguins and the endemic Bounty Island shag. Landing on the Bounty Islands is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.

Day 5 - Antipodes Islands

The volcanic islands of the Antipodes Island group lie 860 km to the southeast of New. The group consists of one main island, Antipodes Island, Bollons Island to the north, and numerous small islets and stacks. The islands are home to a wide variety of sea and land bird species including two species of parakeet. The seabirds range from the tiny storm petrel to the Antipodean wandering albatross, one of the largest flying birds in the world. There are also significant populations of erect-crested and rock hopper penguins. Landing on the Antipodes is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.

Day 6 - At Sea

Day at sea. Indulge in one of the services or activities on board. Look out for a variety of wildlife from the deck. Take part in one of the lectures on board. Or sit back and relax with a book

Day 7 -Campbell Island

Campbell Island is the most southerly of the five New Zealand subantarctic groups. Described by the English botanist Joseph Hooker as having a "flora display second to none outside the tropics." It is known for its megaherbs, herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, with huge leaves and very colourful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Campbell Island is also home to six species of albatross, and several critically endangered endemic birds including the Campbell Island teal and snipe. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Col Lyell Saddle boardwalk as well as undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Perseverance Harbour.

Day 8 - Enderby Island

Enderby Island is situated off the North Eastern tip of Auckland Island and is the second largest Island in the group. The eradication of introduced species in 1994 has seen a significant increase in the abundance of the native flora and fauna compared to the main Auckland Island. It has become a stronghold for the rare yellow-eyed penguin and the primary breeding location of the New Zealand Sea Lion. You will head ashore and have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Northern Cliffs track as well as spend time viewing the New Zealand Sea Lion colony. There is also the opportunity to undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Enderby Island in search of the Auckland Island Teal and other endemic species.

Day 9 - At Sea

Day at sea. Indulge in one of the services or activities on board. Look out for a variety of wildlife from the deck. Take part in one of the lectures on board. Or sit back and relax with a book

Day 10 - Macquarie Island

Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, the Macquarie Island is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for more than 3.5 million seabirds, most of which are penguins. There are four species breeding on Macquarie Island; Royals, Kings, Gentoos and Rock Hoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and one seventh of the world's population of elephant seals breeding on the Island. In 1948 The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on Macquarie Island. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk around the ANARE Station to view the facility and the prolific wildlife that resides here.

Day 11 - Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island, or “Macca” as it is colloquially known, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 as a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only island in the world composed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks from the mantle. It is an island of unique natural diversity and one of the truly remarkable places on earth. Sandy Bay is located on the East Coast of the Island and is home to significant Royal and King Penguin rookeries as well as a breeding colony of Southern Elephant Seals. You will have the opportunity to land ashore in Sandy Bay to view both the King and Royal colonies as well as the other prolific wildlife in the Bay.

Day 12 - At Sea

Day at sea. Indulge in one of the services or activities on board. Look out for a variety of wildlife from the deck. Take part in one of the lectures on board. Or sit back and relax with a book.

Day 13 - Snares Islands

Amongst the islands of the Southern Ocean, The Snares have the distinction of being the only forested group without introduced mammals, not even mice. Consequently, it is a remarkable haven for wildlife. The Island boasts more nesting seabirds than the entire realm of the British Isles. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months. Four species of Albatross are listed as breeding on the Snares along with 35,000 endemic Snares Crested Penguins. There are also approximately 1,000 New Zealand fur seals and 500 New Zealand Sea Lions. Landing on the Snares is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.

Day 14 - At Sea

Day at sea. Indulge in one of the services or activities on board. Look out for a variety of wildlife from the deck. Take part in one of the lectures on board. Or sit back and relax with a book.

Day 15 - Disembarkation Dunedin , New Zealand

Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.

Departures:

29 Dec 2020 - Auckland to Dunedin
8 Feb 2021 - Auckland to Lyttleton

Price:
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From $15,380 NZD per person, sharing - based on lowest cabin

15 DAYS MACQUARIE & THE NEW ZEALAND SUB ANTARCTIC ISLANDS
15 DAYS MACQUARIE & THE NEW ZEALAND SUB ANTARCTIC ISLANDS
15 DAYS MACQUARIE & THE NEW ZEALAND SUB ANTARCTIC ISLANDS