Sub-Antarctic Islands (reverse)

Silver Discoverer
120 Passengers
Sub-Antarctic Islands

Expedition Highlights:

• Take an exciting journey in Akaroa, as you off-road to the foothills of the majestic Southern Alps
• Immerse yourself in the rich history of the Māori culture
• Let the striking beauty of the peaks and waterfalls of Milford Sound and Dusky Sound take your breath away
• Celebrate a myriad of rare animals, such as the smallest dolphin in the world, the Fiordland Penguins, and endangered sea lions
• Spend two days discovering Macquarie Island, Australia’s Sub-Antarctic jewel
• Visit the New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands, described by the United Nations Environment Program as “the most diverse and extensive of all Sub-Antarctic archipelagos”; all five-island groups were honored with World Heritage status in 1998.
• Look for some of the 126 bird species found in the Sub-Antarctic islands, of which, five breeds nowhere else in the world; see the Southern Royal Albatross, the Yellow-Eyed Penguin and the New Zealand (Hooker) Sea Lion

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1Dunedin, New Zealand
Day 2Akaroa, New Zealand
Day 3Kaikoura, New Zealand
Day 4Nelson, New Zealand
Day 5At Sea
Days 6 & 7New Zealand Fiordland National Park
Day 8The Snares, New Zealand
Day 9Enderby Island & Auckland Island, New Zealand, Sub-Antarctic Islands
Day 10At Sea
Days 11 & 12Maquarie Island, Australia, Sub-Antarctic Islands
Day 13At Sea
Day 14Campbell Island, New Zealand, Sub-Antarctic Islands
Day 15At Sea
Day 16Ulva Island, Stewart Island, New Zealand
Day 17Dunedin, New Zealand

This is a special Photo Expedition Cruise featuring professional photographer and expeditions specialist David Wright.

With more than 25 years of professional experience that have won him Emmy, BAFTA and Chris Awards, David has worked with the BBC, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. He's covered a wide range of stories spanning natural history, adventure, and history, on BBC/Discovery's Frozen Planet, National Geographic's Untamed Americas and the BBC's Natural World.

David will provide you with tips that will help you compose the most visually striking photographs, and how to get the most of your camera's settings to create an extraordinary image.

Day 1 — Dunedin, New Zealand

Embark Silver Discoverer and depart on your exciting 17-day Expedition – “Sub-Antarctic Islands.” After settling in and setting sail, you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a safety briefing. Tonight we invite you to familiarize yourself with your new home away from home, meet some of your fellow travelers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in the restaurant.

Day 2 — Akaroa, New Zealand

This morning we arrive in Akaroa, a drowned volcanic crater that is surrounded by hills and rugged cliffs. Akaroa Harbor is a designated mammal sanctuary and home to the most rare and smallest dolphin in the world – the Hectors Dolphin.

Embrace your spirit of adventure during this exclusive full-day, off-road journey to the high country of the Southern Alps.

This exhilarating tour will take you off the beaten path by three different modes of transportation: coach, tussock buggy, and jet boat. Throughout, you’ll get an in-depth look at sites that even New Zealanders seldom see, namely the rugged Canterbury High Country at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, a visit to the spectacular Waimakkariri Gorge, and the vast 35,000 acre Flock Hill Station.

Alternatively join your onboard marine biologist on a sailing adventure along Akaroa’s pristine coastline. Sail with dolphins, see wildlife and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery of Banks Peninsula. Here is your chance for an up-close and personal encounter with wildlife on New Zealand’s oldest ketch, Fox II. Learn about local history and even help crew if you want; with six sails, there is always a halyard to hoist or a sheet to be pulled.

Day 3 — Kaikoura, New Zealand

Step into the rich culture of the Māori as you learn their history in the Kaikoura area from the Tangata Whenua, the people of the land. You’ll have the opportunity to experience the uniqueness of being Māori in their modern day world, while discovering how their past has helped them cultivate a fundamental relationship with the environment.

Visit the fortified villages of pre-European days known as the Pa sites. Hear how they were settled by our ancestors - often in battle - and see the stories the land still tells today.

Be guided into one of the indigenous forest walkways to learn about the trees and plants, and their traditional uses as food and medicine.

Participate in customs while learning Māori Protocol and key values. Learn a waiata - a song that holds within its words the key philosophy of Māori Tours Kaikoura.

During this tour guests will partake in light refreshments and receive a small memento to remember this wonderful cultural experience by.

Day 4 — Nelson, New Zealand

Our expedition continues to New Zealand’s sunshine capital, Nelson, located at the top of the South Island. Nelson is home to three national parks and a smorgasbord of activities to suit all walks of life, and today we discover one of New Zealand’s best products: New Zealand Wine.

The Nelson area is one of New Zealand's sunniest regions and clear skies allow for very cool nights, which result in an expressive flavor development in the fruit and a solid structure of fruit acid. We travel to Neudorf Winery situated in the Upper Moutere Valley of Nelson; Neudorf Winery was established by Tim and Judy Finn in 1978 and is credited with producing one of New Zealand's best Chardonnays. It also has an international reputation for the quality of its other Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris wines. We also visit the historic Upper Moutere village situated amongst picturesque hills, and this is where we find the small family owned boutique vineyard of Moutere Hills. Your wine experience continues with a visit to Seifried Estate. Seifried Wines is the biggest and one of the oldest established wine producers in the Nelson region. Hermann and Agnes Seifried established their first vineyard in 1973 in the Moutere Valley. The original winery has since been outgrown, and Seifried is now located in the district of Redwood. Main varieties grown include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

We return to the Silver Discoverer at the end of a relaxing day full of memories of New Zealand’s wine country.

Day 5 — At Sea

A leisurely day at sea is yours to enjoy. Begin perhaps with a late breakfast and another cup of coffee or tea during the first of the day’s lectures. Join the lectures and hear fascinating tales of adventure. Learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields.

Day 6 & 7 — New Zealand Fiordland National Park

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Fiordland National Park is a World Heritage Site and includes Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, which will take two days to explore. Tucked away in the Fiordland National Park, you’ll immerse yourself in the breath-taking views of Milford Sound (Piopiotahi in Māori). The majestic carved peaks and dramatic waterfalls will leave you in awe as you marvel at the striking figure that is Mitre Peak. Using Zodiacs and the ship to explore, the journey there is just the beginning as your Captain and Expeditions Leader work together to create the perfect schedule for your day.

Doubtful Sound, New Zealand
A jaunt away is the subdued, Doubtful Sound. The rounded hills put up a greater resistance to glaciation, making its appearance seem softer and less dramatic. However, the sight is still inspiring as wildlife is slightly more abundant. Here you have a greater chance of seeing the resident pod of dolphins, penguins and seals.

Dusky Sound, New Zealand
Another day at the Fiordland National Park awaits your arrival. Today you will explore Dusky Sound. While seals and dolphins are often sighted in these waters, you may be witness to the occasional visiting whale. However, keep your eye on land as well, this is a prime-breeding site for the Fiordland Penguins.

Day 8 — The Snares, New Zealand

The Snares is a small island group at approximately 200 kilometers south of New Zealand's South Island and covers a total of approximately 3.5 square kilometers.

Unlike other Sub-Antarctic islands that were greatly affected by the whaling and sealing industry in the nineteenth-century, The Snares remains one of the last near pristine areas in New Zealand. Using the fleet of zodiacs on board the Silver Discoverer we go in search of some endemic bird species such as the Snares Crested Penguin, the Snares Island Snipe, the Snares Fernbird and the Snares Black Tomtit, as well as several endemic invertebrates.

Day 9 — Enderby Island & Auckland Island, New Zealand, Sub-Antarctic Islands

Enderby Island is perched on the Campbell Plateau and is composed of eroding volcanic remains, much like the main Auckland Island whose volcanic remains are thought to have come from eruptions that occurred between 25 and 10 million years ago. Under New Zealand’s ecological management, which included the removal of all introduced mammals, the rata forests are regenerating and there is a resurgence of herbaceous plants. Enderby Island is also home to the rare Yellow-Eyed Penguin, New Zealand Bellbirds and Red-Crowned Parakeets, as well as Southern Royal Albatross that nest on the plateau.

Auckland Island has an abundance and diversity of seabirds namely, 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.

Day 10 — At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea. Perhaps you’ll join a lecture, reflect on your travels thus far or meet with new friends and share your stories. Whatever you find on your personal agenda, know that our personable staff is at the ready to serve you.

Day 11 & 12 — Maquarie Island, Australia, Sub-Antarctic Islands

Accidentally discovered by the Australian/Briton Frederick Hasselborough on 11 July 1810, Macquarie Island lies in the southwest corner of the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica Macquarie Island, known as Australia’s Sub-Antarctic jewel, is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins, and has been designated a World Heritage site. Since 1948 the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has maintained a permanent base, the Macquarie Island Station, on the isthmus at the northern end of the island at the foot of Wireless Hill. The population of the base, the island's only human inhabitants, usually varies from 20 to 40 people over the year.

The island has an approximate length of 34 km (21 mi) and a width of 5 km (3 mi), with an area of 128 km2 (49 sq. mi). Weather and tides will play heavily on the decisions made by the Captain and Expedition Leader to make the most of our two days visiting the island. We hope to visit a King Penguin colony of more than 200,000 pairs, and see colonies of rock hopper, royal and Gentoo penguins. In addition we hope to see some of the 72 species of birds including the wandering, black-browed, grey-headed and light-mantled sooty albatross. Not forgetting the several types of seals such as the elephant, leopard and fur seals that can be founds on the island. Two days might just not be enough.

Day 13 — At Sea

The days at sea are yours to enjoy. Visit our spa and relax with a well-deserved treatment or soak. Once done, you might find yourself sipping on afternoon tea or taking in a little shopping.

Day 14 — Campbell Island, New Zealand, Sub-Antarctic Islands

Campbell Island is about 700 kilometers southeast of the South Island, and is New Zealand’s southernmost sovereign territory. 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.

Day 15 — At Sea

Your last full day at Sea is yours for the taking. Enjoy everything the ship has to offer to your hearts content.

Day 16 — Ulva Island, Stewart Island, New Zealand

Ulva Island delivers a wonderful natural history encounter free of any invasive species. You’ll enjoy a spectacular walk while marveling at the endemic plants and birdlife. Today, our natural history walks will go in search of endemic plants and birdlife in this world-renowned open bird sanctuary.

Day 17 — Dunedin, New Zealand

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Discoverer.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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