At a glance
29 Day stay & expedition voyage on Silver Explorer, Silversea Expeditions - Call for price
Departure 13 January 2021 | Antarctica and the Ross Sea
- At Sea
- Enderby Island and Auckland Island
- At Sea
- Macquarie Island
- At Sea
- Commonwealth Bay and East Antarctica
- Dumont d'Urville Station
- East Antarctica and Ross Sea
- At Sea
- Campbell Island
- At Sea
- Ulva Island
- Stewart Island
Antarctica and the Ross Sea
Discover the wild and untouched beauty of the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. Allow yourself to be transported to seemingly another world where the wildlife is king and we are just its subjects. Start 2021 with a bang and prepare for the unforgettable as you set sail on a voyage that takes in 10 different species of penguin, six species of whale and countless seabirds.
Join Silversea Expeditions for an exciting journey towards East Antarctica, the Ross Sea and the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. This voyage will permit access to some of the most rarely visited places of the subantarctic islands and East Antarctica. Combining a visit to islands that hold special endemic plant and bird life (most of them UNESCO World Heritage sites) with a visit to pioneering sites of the Antarctic history of exploration and science you will gain an insight that few can claim to have.
Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team.
Your expedition will lead to one discovery after another. A complimentary programme of unique, small-group shore experiences, led by team of expert guides and lectures, allows you to fully experience the lands you'll visit.
- See Mawson’s base at Cape Denison and learn about the scientific work going on at Dumont D’Urville
Wildlife Watch List:
- Penguins (Yellow-eyed, Rockhopper, and Adelie, Royal, King and Gentoo Penguins)
- New Zealand sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, Southern elephant seals
- Whales (Southern right whales, humpback whales, Minke whales, sei whales, fin whales, orcas)
- Birds of note: New Zealand Bellbirds, Red-crowned Parakeets, Auckland and Campbell Shags, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels
- Seabirds: Wandering, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Southern Royal Albatross, Gibson’s Albatross and White-capped Mollymawks, Sooty Shearwaters, Wilson’s Storm Petrels
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.
Day by day itinerary
Fly from the UK in Economy Class to Wellington, New Zealand via Singapore, arriving 2 days later.
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred by private car to the Intercontinental Hotel for a 3 night stay on a room only basis in a standard room.
Afternoon at leisure.
Get your bearings and discover the city with our private food tour. Explore Wellington's quirky less-travelled quarters as well as favourite food places in this compact city. Visit a boutique coffee roastery and café (week days only). Talk to owners and meet local, passionate food producers. Enjoy tastings at Wellington's best specialist food stores before enjoying a delicious lunch expertly matched with New Zealand wines or local craft beer at a top Wellington restaurant, with more time to learn about Wellington and New Zealand over lunch with your delightful guide.
In the afternoon, enjoy a private tour of the national museum. The Taonga Maori Tour at Te Papa takes you to the heart of New Zealand's national museum where you will experience Te Papa like never before. This hosted cultural tour will weave you through the Maori exhibition spaces at Te Papa to experience the unique history through stories and objects. It will then take you behind the scenes to experience Maori taonga (treasures) close up and provide you with an opportunity to engage with collections staff. The tour ends with some light refreshments and a short time to reflect with your hosts.
Enjoy the morning at leisure, and in the afternoon enjoy a Weta Cave Workshop Tour.
Step inside the walls of WETA, the multi Academy Award winning company whose artists and crafts people helped bring to life The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, District 9, King Kong and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Join your guide in the newly opened Window into Workshop exhibition space. Filled with props, models and weaponry, as well as explanations of some of the processes used to create these amazing items, this guided tour offers a behind the scenes glimpse into Weta Workshop and the impressive work created within.
Check out of your hotel and take your included private transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Dunedin, where you will be transferred by private vehicle to the port to embark Silver Explorer.
Silversea’s purpose-built luxury Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship has been designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions. A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables Silver Explorer to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of 12 Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.
Enderby Island and Auckland Island are composed of eroding volcanic remains. Under New Zealand’s ecological management, which included the removal of all introduced mammals, the rata forests are regenerating and herbaceous plants are resurging.
Enderby Island is home to the rare Yellow-eyed Penguin, New Zealand Bellbirds and Red-crowned Parakeets, as well as Southern Royal Albatross.
Auckland Island has an abundance and diversity of seabirds, including Gibson’s Albatross and White-capped Mollymawks. It is also the primary breeding ground for the most rare and endangered sea lions in the world, the New Zealand (Hooker) sea lion, and the breeding ground for 30% of the world’s population of the Yellow-eyed Penguin
Macquarie Island is known as Australia’s Sub-Antarctic jewel and is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of elephant, leopard and fur seals and millions of penguins. The island has been designated a World Heritage site. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, which usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year. Weather and tides will play heavily on the decisions made by the Captain and Expedition Leader to make the most of the two days visiting the island. Macquarie holds a King Penguin colony of more than 200,000 pairs, as well as colonies of Rockhopper, Royal and Gentoo Penguins. In addition one might see some of the 72 species of birds including the Wandering, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross.
In 1912 Douglas Mawson established the headquarters of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) in Commonwealth Bay. Known now as one of the windiest regions in the world –Mawson’s book and Hurley’s film “Home of the Blizzard” aptly describe the situation- the winds and weather have taken their toll on the wooden buildings of the Cape Denison party. Adelie Penguins, South Polar Skuas, Snow Petrels and Wilson’s Storm Petrels use the shoreline, cliffs and valleys of the four rocky ridges at Cape Denison. The largest of the valleys has the four huts erected by Mawson’s expedition. Based on weather and ice conditions the coastline will be explored by ship and Zodiacs.
Almost adjacent to Commonwealth Bay is Adelie Land, claimed by France. The year-round Dumont D’Urville station further west has up to 100 staff and scientists working there. Conditions and permits pending a visit will be attempted.
The Ross Sea has its name in honour of the British explorer James Clark Ross who came in 1841 trying to reach the south magnetic pole commanding HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. As the Ross Sea is relatively ice-free, several attempts to reach the South Pole were made via the Ross Sea by Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. A number of historical huts and modern scientific stations have been set up along Ross Ice Shelf and the shore. At the entrance to the Ross Sea, Cape Adare has the first hut to be built in Antarctica.
Use the Zodiacs to land on Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost sovereign territory, some 700 kilometers southeast of South Island. High and rugged in the south (up to 1,867 feet), it slopes off more gently to the north where smoothed ridges and open valleys suggest considerable recent glaciation. Farmed since 1894, Campbell Island was used for sealing and whaling, wartime coastal defense, and meteorological observation. Becoming a nature reserve in 1954, it is now an uninhabited and World Heritage site administered by the Department of Conservation
Ulva Island is a world renowned open bird sanctuary looked after by the Department of Conservation. Small groups of not more than 12 guests will be led by professional local guides to ensure a maximum experience of natural history. As Ulva has no invasive species, the walk through the natural forest will be a wonderful opportunity to see the endemic plants and birdlife.
To gain an insight into New Zealand’s southernmost community one can explore Oban and the surrounding bays at one’s own pace.
Debark the ship and take your included private transfer to the airport for your onward flight in Economy to the UK via Auckland, arriving the following day.
Sailing on Silver Explorer
Silver Explorer formerly known as Prince Albert II has an ice-strengthened hull for expeditions into polar waters and the most remote destinations. Yet onboard guests are treated to an unmatched atmosphere.