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Galapagos of the Southern Ocean ex Hobart | Heritage Adventurer

13 Days
From USD 10,725

STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise 

Trip Code: NZHEHBG

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Hobart, Australia

Finish: Queenstown, New Zealand

SHIP: Heritage Adventurer


Australia & Subantarctic Islands of Australia & New Zealand

DestinationDeparture Date



All Meals Onboard the Ship


Group transfers from Bluff port to Invercargill or Queenstown airport 


Cabin on board ship & Hotel

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Included SightseeingIncluded Sightseeing

Daily Excursions, Zodiac Cruising, Onboard Expert Lectures & Briefings by the Experienced Expedition Team


NOTE: Itinerary is subject to change depending on government regulations, weather & ice conditions 


Undertake one of the most inspirational and unforgettable journeys to the unique sites of the Southern Ocean leaving from Hobart, Tasmania. The Subantarctic Islands are dubbed the 'Galapagos of the Southern Ocean' due to their incredibly rich biodiversity. This expedition experience will have you encountering vast colonies of penguins, fur and elephant seals. You will also spot unique seabirds including albatross, petrels, shearwaters and prions. Discover four of the Subantarctic Islands on this incredible adventure as you immerse yourself in some of the most remote and isolated islands of the world, each unique and filled with incredible vistas and varied ecosystems. From rocky shores to open plains of incredible 'megaherbs'. This is a truly unforgettable and unique expedition experience close to home. 


* Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

Pricing and availability is correct at the time of publishing, but is subject to change. Please contact us for pricing and further information.


Arrive in Hobart

Arrive in Hobart, capital of Australia’s Island state of Tasmania and make your way to the designated hotel where we will spend the first night of the expedition. This bustling port town is rich in culture and colonial history, and features a renowned foodie scene all wrapped in stunning waterfront surrounds. This evening, there will be an informal get-together at the hotel for dinner, providing an excellent opportunity to meet fellow adventurers on your voyage and some members of our expedition team.

Port of Hobart

Today, we will enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant before departing for the Port of Hobart to embark on your ship. Upon arrival, you will have time to settle into your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship. In the early afternoon, we will depart from the Port of Hobart, which was historically the center for the Southern Ocean whaling and sealing trade. Now, it is a bustling seaport and serves as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and on the Observation Deck as we sail across Storm Bay, passing by Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula before setting our course for Macquaire Island.

At Sea - Days 3 to 4

As we journey south through the Roaring Forties towards Macquarie Island, we will prepare for our visit with a series of lectures on the island's biology, history, and the Southern Ocean. Birdwatching enthusiasts will have exciting opportunities to spot various species, including the Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, as well as the Northern and Southern Giant Petrel. Additionally, we may encounter the Sooty Shearwater, Little Shearwater, Soft-plumaged Petrel, Mottled Petrel, White-headed Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Grey-backed Storm-petrel, Wilson’s Storm-petrel, Black-bellied Stormpetrel, and Common Diving-petrel. Keep your eyes peeled for these fascinating seabirds as we continue our journey.

Macquarie Island - Days 5 to 6

Sir Douglas Mawson, the renowned Australian Antarctic Explorer, once described Macquarie Island as 'One of the wonder spots of the world.' During our two-day exploration of this remarkable island, you'll understand why. Recognized as one of the first Subantarctic Islands to achieve World Heritage Status, its unique geology sets it apart. Macquarie Island boasts exposed midocean crustal rocks, a rare phenomenon resulting from the collision of the Australian and Pacific Plates.

Affectionately known as 'Macca' by its resident ranger population, the island was discovered in 1810 and quickly faced devastation from sealers who introduced invasive species like rats, mice, cats, and rabbits. This led to the near-elimination of native bird populations and widespread destruction of vegetation. However, a determined 7-year eradication program by the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service restored the island to a pest-free status in 2014. Since then, both birds and plants have rebounded, showcasing remarkable regeneration and increased numbers.

Macquarie Island is a sanctuary for four penguin species: Kings, Royals, Gentoo, and Rockhopper, including the exclusive Royal Penguin found nowhere else in the world. Weather permitting, our visit will allow us to land at two sites, offering opportunities to observe and photograph all four species. Additionally, the island hosts a thriving population of Southern Elephant Seals, with pups born in October and weaned in November as breeding adults return to the sea. Visitors may witness these weaners and sub-adults lounging on the beaches, later braving the seas in January while navigating past offshore predators like Orcas or Killer Whales.

Home to the Australian Antarctic Research Base at Buckles Bay, Macquarie Island has maintained one of the longest continuously occupied bases in the Subantarctic. Established in 1947, the base has remained staffed ever since.

At Sea

Sailing east through the Furious Fifties, also known as the Albatross latitudes, we will host a series of informal lectures on the biology and history of the Subantarctic Islands in preparation for our visit to Campbell Island. Species we may encounter include the Wandering Albatross, Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrel. Additionally, we anticipate sightings of numerous prions, such as Fairy, Fulmar, and Antarctic, although identifying them can pose a challenge, we are sure to enjoy some spectacular views.

Campbell Island - Days 8 to 9

We have two days to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory, boasting a rich and varied history akin to the other islands we've visited.

Discovered in 1810 by the same sealing captain who found Macquarie Island, it was soon occupied by sealers who introduced rats and cats. In 1895, the New Zealand government offered the island as a pastoral lease, taken up by an entrepreneurial sheep farmer who stocked it with sheep and cattle. Farming practices, including scrub burning, significantly altered the island until abandonment in 1934. During the war, Coastwatchers were stationed on the island, later succeeded by the New Zealand Meteorological Service, which maintained a manned weather/research station until 1995.

In the early 1970s, the island was halved by fencing, with stock removed from the northern half. Monitoring and removal of remaining animals culminated in a predator-free declaration in 2003, facilitating the reintroduction of the endangered Campbell Island Flightless Teal. Snipe, previously unknown on the island but discovered on an offshore counterpart, recolonized naturally. The island's vegetation, once lauded by Sir Joseph Hooker, is now flourishing and spectacular.

We will offer several exploration options, including extended walks to Northwest Bay and an easier stroll to the Col Lyall Saddle. Each option provides ample opportunity to observe the Southern Royal Albatross nesting in abundance. Additionally, we will visit areas showcasing the island's renowned megaherbs.

Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour

The Auckland Islands group was formed by two volcanoes which erupted some 10-25 million years ago. They have subsequently been eroded and dissected by glaciation, creating the archipelago as we know it today. In the south of the archipelago, there is a very large sheltered harbor rich in human history, including shipwrecks, treasure hunters, Coastwatchers, and, of course, scientific parties. We enter the harbor through the eastern entrance, which is guarded on both sides by dramatic cliffs and rugged, tussock-covered hills.

The more energetic expeditioners may climb to the South West Cape and visit the Shy Albatross colony. This climb provides magnificent views in all directions, especially over the western entrance to Carnley Harbour, Adams Island, and Western Harbour. For those not climbing, there will be an opportunity to Zodiac cruise along the coast of Adams Island and Western Harbour, with landings at the latter.

Other options include the Tagua Bay Coastwatcher’s hut and lookout which was occupied during the Second World War. We could visit Epigwatt and the remains of the ‘Grafton’ which was wrecked here in 1864. All five men aboard survived and lived here for 18 months before sailing their modified dinghy to New Zealand to get help.

Auckland Islands – Enderby Island

Enderby Island is one of the most beautiful islands in this group and is named after the same distinguished shipping family as one of our former vessels. This northernmost island in the archipelago is an outstanding wildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walk around. The island was cleared of all introduced animals (pests) in 1994, and both birds and vegetation, especially the herbaceous plants, are recovering in both numbers and diversity. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion, a rare member of the seal family. Beachmaster bulls gather on the beach, defending their harems.

Hooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion numbers are in slow decline, for reasons which are not obvious but most probably connected with a nearby squid fishery. During our day ashore, there will be several options, some longer walks, some shorter walks, and time to spend just sitting and enjoying the wildlife. The walking is relatively easy; a boardwalk traverses the island to the dramatic western cliffs, from where we follow the coast and circumnavigate the island. Birds that we are likely to encounter include the following species: Southern Royal Albatross, Northern Giant Petrel, Auckland Island Shag, Auckland Island Flightless Teal, Auckland Island Banded Dotterel, Auckland Island Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguin, and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross. There is also a very good chance of observing the Subantarctic Snipe.

The Snares - North East Island

The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, they were appropriately called The Snares as they were once considered a hazard for sailing ships. Comprising two main islands and a group of five islands called the Western Chain, they are uninhabited and enjoy the highest protection as Nature Reserves. It is claimed by some that these islands are home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together.

We plan to arrive early in the morning and, as landings are not permitted, we will Zodiac cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the main island if the weather and sea conditions are suitable. In the sheltered bays, we should see the endemic Snares Crested Penguin, Snares Island Tomtit, and Fernbirds. Cape Pigeons, Antarctic Terns, White-fronted Terns, and Red-billed Gulls are also present in good numbers. There are hundreds of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters nesting on The Snares; the actual number is much debated. This afternoon en route to the Port of Bluff, take the opportunity to relax and reflect on an amazing experience. We will recap the highlights of our expedition and enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as we complete the last few miles of our journey.

Invercargill / Queenstown

Early this morning, we will arrive at the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast, we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations, we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3 pm from Queenstown.

Note: During our voyage, circumstances may necessitate or make it desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.



  • This expedition experience is incredibly rich and insightful allowing you to discover a unique pocket of islands to which few travellers ever visit. 

  • The Subantarctic islands are perfect for travellers from Australia and New Zealand, offering a serene and isolated small ship expedition experience close to home. 

  • Encounter an incredibly rich array of wildlife from large seabirds including petrels, prions, albatross and shearwaters to large sea mammals including sea lions, fur and elephant seals.

Heritage Adventurer

Heritage Adventurer

The Heritage Adventurer is a true expedition vessel of exception quality and design. Built in 1991, this 140 guest expedition vessel was purpose built for polar expeditions. Combining a high passenger ship icelass rating (1A Super) and a rich expedition history including most of the northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic, the Adventurer superimposes the notion of a truly tried and tested expedition vessel. 

Holding just 140 guests means the Adventurer perfectly utilises its space to create spacious and stylish voyages. A fleet of 14 zodiacs ensures that every guest can maximise their expedition experience once on board. Complete with stylish accommodations, two restaurants and a bar and lounge area guests will find a number of avenues for relaxation. Furthermore, the ships Open Bridge policy means that guests will be able to first-hand experience the expedition experience from the eyes and shared experiences of the captain and crew. A host of guest lectures from botanists, naturalists, historians and experts will be shown in the ships Presentation Theatre or guests may simply choose to unwind in the library, heated salt water pool, sauna room, gym or enclosed hot tub.

Each voyage on board the Adventurer is entirely unique. As your team of on board experts and well travelled crew meticulously plan and design each exploration in true expedition style. 

Ice Class: Length: 124m
Breadth: 18mMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 15 Knots
Electricity: Passenger

View Ship Details


We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.


Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.


Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.


Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean ex Hobart | Heritage Adventurer from USD 10,725
Departing Ending Duration
22 Nov 2024 04 Dec 2024 13

Important Information


    Cabin accommodation on board ship
    One Night accommodation in Hobart in Twin share on Day 1
    All meals whilst on board
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition crew
    All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
    All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
    Group transfers to/from the ship 

    * Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.



    International flights
    Airport transfers, taxes and excess baggage charges unless specified
    Meals other than those specified in the pre-departure information
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses
    Any optional activities not mentioned in itinerary
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance
    All items of a personal nature
    Laundry and drinks
    Customary gratuities for staff and expedition crew

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Subject to availability. Please contact us for more information.

  • Prices are based on per person, twin share* (unless otherwise stated for triple/quad cabins) 

    Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. 

    Itinerary is subject to change depending on government regulations, weather and ice conditions


    * Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.

  • Departure date,  fuel surcharges, cabin category, currency fluctuations, seasonality and availability.


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