Ocean Cruise Expeditions

Fiordland and the Sub Antarctic Islands

  • Duration 14 Days | Round-trip Dunedin
  • From $17,290 AUD
Call 1800 889 088

Trip Overview

On this cruise aboard Le Lapérouse, PONANT invites you to discover the wild and untouched beauty of the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand. Set sail on a 14-day Expedition cruise with an exceptional itinerary and allow yourself to be transported to another world where the wildlife rules and we are but visitors.

Often described as the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand are among some of the best preserved and protected environments on the planet where you will experience scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on earth.

After sailing through the spectacular Fiords of south-west New Zealand, Le Lapérouse will plot a course South towards the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and Australia’s very own Macquarie Island. These remote island outposts are collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a myriad of wildlife with many species endemic to the region and even to individual islands.

You will be captivated by the breathtaking scenery, meadows of megaherbs forming a colourful tapestry and towering cliffs buffeted by the power of the waves and wind- the playground of the Royal Albatross. With a myriad of penguins patrolling the black sandy beaches it is truly a nature-lover’s dream come true.

The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.

Trip Highlights

  • This PONANT cruise will allow you to be one of the few to explore the Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand & Australia, one of the least visited regions in the world.
  • Zodiac® outings & shore visits with your expedition team.
  • Sail in the breath-taking Fiordlands in the south-west of New Zealand and discover the famous Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound.
  • Opportunities for guided walks on the Auckland Islands, Campbell Island and Macquarie Island, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Wildlife: colonies of fur seals, elephant seals along with King, Royal & Yellow-eyed penguins. A wide variety of birds including Gibson’s albatross, Giant petrels, Auckland shag & Campbell Island Teals.
  • Landscapes: beaches of black sand, rugged mountains, hidden inlets and undulating meadows.

Itinerary - 14 Days

Day 1 DUNEDIN

Embarkation 02/02/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 02/02/2020 at 18H00.

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.

Day 2 AT SEA

Arrival 03/02/2020. Departure 03/02/2020.

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 PONANT 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3 SAILING DUSKY SOUND

Arrival 04/02/2020. Departure 04/02/2020.

Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your visit, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.

Day 4 SAILING DOUBTFUL SOUND

Arrival 04/02/2020. Departure 04/02/2020.

Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

Day 5 MILFORD SOUND

Arrival 05/02/2020. Departure 05/02/2020.

Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

Day 6 SNARES ISLANDS

Arrival 06/02/2020. Departure 06/02/2020.

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 7 AT SEA

Arrival 07/02/2020. Departure 07/02/2020.

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 PONANT 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 8 ANARE STATION, MACQUARIE ISLAND

Arrival 08/02/2020. Departure 08/02/2020.

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 9 SANDY BAY, MACQUARIE ISLAND

Arrival 09/02/2020. Departure 09/02/2020.

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 10 AT SEA

Arrival 10/02/2020. Departure 10/02/2020.

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 PONANT 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 11 CAMPBELL ISLAND

Arrival 11/02/2020. Departure 11/02/2020.

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 12 MUSGRAVE INLET, AUCKLAND ISLANDS

Arrival 12/02/2020. Departure 12/02/2020.

The Auckland Islands are the largest, highest and biologically richest of the five groups of Subantarctic Islands. They have been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International as they hold important seabird breeding colonies. The flora of the Auckland Islands is fascinatingly diverse with over 233 species of vascular plant. Musgrave Inlet is a picturesque bay on the eastern side of Auckland Island. Its sheer cliffs have protected the endemic flora from the introduced species, providing one of the best floral displays in the entire Island group. Landing in Musgrave Inlet is prohibited. If time and weather permits, you will have the opportunity to view the spectacular flora and fauna from our fleet of zodiacs.

Day 13 ENDERBY ISLAND, AUCKLAND ISLANDS

Arrival 13/02/2020. Departure 13/02/2020.

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 14 AT SEA

Arrival 14/02/2020. Departure 14/02/2020.

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 PONANT 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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 15 DUNEDIN

Disembarkation 15/02/2020 at 08H00.

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.

 

EXTRAORDINARY PARTNERSHIPS

National Geographic Expeditions has carefully chosen world-leading travel partners to create extraordinary travel experiences. Each expedition offers guests our unique access, knowledge and the ability to give back by supporting the National Geographic Society.

Our Ocean Cruise Expeditions are offered in partnership with PONANT. To learn more about the itinerary, explore the PONANT ship or secure your spot, click here.

Fiordland and the Sub Antarctic Islands

From AUD $17,290 Call 1800 889 088

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