22 Nights Ross Sea Expedition

22 Nights Ross Sea Expedition

$28,440.00Price

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.

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    DAY1 Dunedin (South Island), New Zealand

    With so much to explore and so much to adore, Dunedin is discovery galore! As New Zealand’s South Island’s second biggest city, Dunedin is both manageable on foot and crammed full of sights. This is a city that thrives on the best of all worlds: well preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture, grandiose, Lord of the Rings landscape from sea to sky and a youthful demographic that makes the city a creative hub. Set on the rugged east coast of the South Island, the first thing you notice about Dunedin is how breathtakingly beautiful it is. This naturally comes with plentiful wildlife, with penguins, kiwis and fur seals calling the areas surrounding the city their home. The beaches are long and generous, and offer almost every outdoor activity under the sun. Closer inland, and much of the city’s quirkiness can be found on the amazing Street Art Trail, where local artists show off their talents. For those who really feel brave, a walk up Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street, will reward you with fantastic views of the city and beyond. However, perhaps the quirkiest thing about Dunedin is its innate love of all things Scottish. The city was founded in 1848 by the Free Church of Scotland, a splinter group of the Scottish Presbyterian Church (Dunedin is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh). A statue of Robert Burns stands in the town centre, haggis is often offered as a local delicacy and there is nowhere better in the southern hemisphere to buy a kilt, sporran or bottle of whiskey!

     

    Day 2 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 3-4 Enderby & Auckland Islands, New Zealand

    465 kilometers south of Bluff, the Auckland Islands are the remains of two volcanoes. The group has a total of 56,816 ha. With a length of 40 km and 12 km at its widest, Auckland Island is the largest with 45,889 ha, while Enderby Island, the northernmost and one of the three pest-free islands, is the third largest with 695 ha. Archaeological evidence shows that Maori did visit in the thirteenth century and the Ngai Tahu claim customary rights based on their oral tradition of expeditions to the islands and surrounding waters. In 1840, three scientific expeditions to Antarctica visited Auckland Island: the American Ringgold, the French Dumont d’Urville and the British James Clark Ross. All of them visited what today is Port Ross, the northeasternmost bay. So did a German scientific expedition to observe the transit of Venus in 1874.

     

    Sheltered areas on the northern and eastern side of Auckland show rata forests and even though cattle, sheep, pigs and goats had been introduced in the nineteenth century playing havoc with the islands’ ecology, the group still has 196 native species of plants. Since Enderby Island and Auckland Island have a an abundance of albatross and petrels, and Sandy Bay on Enderby being one of the primary breeding grounds for New Zealand fur seals, the group was declared Auckland Islands Marine Sanctuary in 1993, UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, and Auckland Island – Motu Maha Marine Reserve in 2003 (stretching 12 nautical miles around the group, totaling 484,000 ha), protecting Southern right whale breeding grounds as well. 12 of the 44 bird species breeding on the islands are natives.

     

    Day 5 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 6-7 Macquarie Island, Australia

    Almost 1,500 km southeast of Tasmania and within the ‘Furious Fifties’, Macquarie Island was officially discovered in 1810 and named after the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. The amount of fur seals seen at that time led to extensive sealing in the early 19th century. When the Russian southern polar expedition under Bellingshausen went ashore in November 1820, the sealers had already depleted the fur seal colonies and started turning their attention to elephant seals. Eventually even penguins were hunted for oil. As the island is about half-way between Tasmania and Australia, several expeditions to Antarctica have stopped there and either set up bases or collected specimens. Douglas Mawson had a wireless station set up acting as relay at what today is known as Wireless Hill.

     

    After Macquarie changed from NSW to Tasmanian jurisdiction, it was made a wildlife sanctuary (1933), a conservation area (1971), a state reserve (1972) and finally in 1978 became the Macquarie Island Nature Reserve. Since 1947 a continuously operating research station (Macca Station) exists in Buckles Bay. Although Macquarie is home to up to 100,000 seals and close to 4 million seabirds, including Rockhopper, Gentoo, King and Royal Penguins, as well as Wandering, Grey-headed, Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross breeding there, the island was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 for its geological importance as it is an uplifted portion of seabed at the edge of two tectonic plates.

     

    Day 8-10  At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 11-16 Ross Sea, Antarctica

    Named 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, the Ross Sea is a relatively ice-free part of the Southern Ocean. Since the Ross Sea allows an easier access to the South Pole than the Weddell Sea, most attempts to reach the pole were made via the Ross Sea and Ross Ice Shelf. A number of historical huts and modern scientific stations have been set up along the Ross Ice Shelf and the shore. At the entrance to the Ross Sea, Cape Adare has the first hut built in Antarctica.

     

    Day 17-19 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 20 Campbell Island, New Zealand

    Steep and rugged Campbell Island has had a varied history. It has been used for sealing, whaling, and farming, for wartime defense and as a meteorological station. 700 km south of South Island, the Campbell Island group is New Zealand’s southernmost sovereign territory. With its 11,300 hectares of land, Campbell Island has been a nature reserve since 1954 and is managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands” created in 1998. Although farming introduced new plants, Campbell still has close to 130 native vascular plants and is famous for its perennial wildflowers which adapted to the harsh climatic conditions becoming megaherbs.

     

    After eradication programs freed Campbell of sheep and rats, plant and birdlife has recovered and today the island is home to six species of albatross, including the Southern Royal Albatross, which in New Zealand is considered the largest albatross, as well as Black-browed, Grey-headed, and Light-mantled (Sooty) Albatross. More than 100 species of birds have been recorded, including a number of endemics.

     

    Day 21 At Sea

    Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 22 Ulva Island, New Zealand

    South of New Zealand’s South Island and part of Rakiura, New Zealand’s southernmost national park, Ulva Island has a special place in New Zealand’s effort to protect local wildlife. Already in 1899 Ulva Island was chosen as one of the earliest reserves to protect New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. Since no logging has been done on this, the largest of several islands in Stewart Island’s Patterson Inlet, it is considered that on Ulva one can see what New Zealand must have looked like before humans settled. A small portion of Ulva’s 269 hectares is privately owned, but the island is uninhabited except for the native fauna. The only “hotels” on the island were set up in 2017 to permit an increase in the Weta population –Weta are cricket-like insects endemic to New Zealand- and to observe them.

     

    A program to eradicate rats has led Ulva to be one of New Zealand’s few predator-free islands and has given the endangered South Island Saddleback, Stewart Island Robin, and Stewart Island Kiwi as well as other birds an environment in which they can thrive. Research is being conducted on the island and birds have been released. Both the Department of Conservation and Ulva Island Charitable Trust are looking after this forested open island sanctuary and 4.5 kilometers of well-maintained tracks lead through the forest and along beaches, permitting to enjoy the local flora and fauna.

     

    Day 22 Stewart Island, New Zealand

    Within touching distance of the South Island's southern tip, the majority of New Zealand's third-largest island is handed over to a beautiful sprawl of National Park. Taking its name from the Māori word 'Rakiura' which means ‘land of the glowing skies’ this is an island sanctuary of radiant beauty. Sunsets and sunrise are magical, but it’s the swirling patterns of lights that dance across the heavens above that enchant above all else - as the southern hemisphere’s version of the northern lights dazzles overhead. Slow the pace, on this island of leisurely fishing villages and swirling Maori legend. The majority of Stewart Island has been claimed by dense forests, which conceal wonderful wildlife watching opportunities, and reveal isolated coves and dramatic cliffs. Bring your hiking boots, as with only 15 miles of road, the best way to see the rugged beauty is by crunching along seaside trails.

     

    Coastal hikes along sweeping bays lead to viewpoints like Ackers Point, or you can take to the sea's waves to undulate gently offshore, admiring the island’s coastline from the turquoise waters. Pleasure cruises along the scenic Paterson Inlet will take you out to islands teeming with life and animal activity. Stewart Island, and its scattered skerries, provide the perfect sanctuary for crowds of brilliant birdlife. Encounter everything from blue penguins to albatross and New Zealand's national icon - wild kiwis.

     

    Day 23 Dunedin (South Island), New Zealand

    With so much to explore and so much to adore, Dunedin is discovery galore! As New Zealand’s South Island’s second biggest city, Dunedin is both manageable on foot and crammed full of sights. This is a city that thrives on the best of all worlds: well preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture, grandiose, Lord of the Rings landscape from sea to sky and a youthful demographic that makes the city a creative hub. Set on the rugged east coast of the South Island, the first thing you notice about Dunedin is how breathtakingly beautiful it is. This naturally comes with plentiful wildlife, with penguins, kiwis and fur seals calling the areas surrounding the city their home. The beaches are long and generous, and offer almost every outdoor activity under the sun. Closer inland, and much of the city’s quirkiness can be found on the amazing Street Art Trail, where local artists show off their talents. For those who really feel brave, a walk up Baldwin Street, the world's steepest residential street, will reward you with fantastic views of the city and beyond. However, perhaps the quirkiest thing about Dunedin is its innate love of all things Scottish. The city was founded in 1848 by the Free Church of Scotland, a splinter group of the Scottish Presbyterian Church (Dunedin is the Gaelic name for Edinburgh). A statue of Robert Burns stands in the town centre, haggis is often offered as a local delicacy and there is nowhere better in the southern hemisphere to buy a kilt, sporran or bottle of whiskey!

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