Bay of Islands Explorer: Expedition Cruising the Bay of Islands

Bay of Islands Explorer: Expedition Cruising the Bay of Islands

From NZD $1,995


Explore the famed islands, crystal clear waters and intriguing coastlines of the Bay of Islands as we delve into the region’s early New Zealand history and island conservation efforts on this incredible, 4-day island-hopping expedition.

Once a raucous seafaring centre with a wild past, this now low-key subtropical stretch of paradise is widely regarded as the birth place of the nation and aptly named with some 144 islands ranging from rugged outcrops through to impressive oases.

Rightly famous for its golden sand beaches and impossibly clear water, the Bay of Islands offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in New Zealand which you can explore by ship, Zodiac, kayak, foot as well as slipping into the azure water for a swim or snorkel. A renowned fishing area you will have the opportunity to try your luck at catching dinner, it is also the location of a number of world famous sites and locations including Piercy Island’s impressive and much-photographed Hole in the Rock.

The Bay of Islands is also rich in culture and early New Zealand history and heritage, with a variety of historic sites and places of interest to be discovered including New Zealand’s first capital city, Russell, and Waitangi, location of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document.

As one of New Zealand’s premier aquatic playgrounds, the opportunities to get in and on the water are endless as are the islands to explore. Urupukapuka is the largest, and is one of the seven main islands in Project Island Song, a more than decade-long project restoring the islands to a pest-free state and natural eco-systems. Other islands of interest include Waewaetorea in the outer reaches of the Bay, Roberton Island with its stunning twin lagoons and the island paradise of Moturua.

An epic adventure awaits on Bay of Islands Explorer as we visit island conservation success stories, iconic sites of cultural and historic importance, and explore subtropical island paradises from the comfort of our luxurious expedition yacht Heritage Explorer.

Trip Name
Bay of Islands Explorer: Expedition Cruising the Bay of Islands
Vessel Type: Expedition Yacht Length: 30 metres Passenger Capacity: 18 Built: 2004 New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board.Heritage Explorer is a 30-metre, 4-deck New Zealand flagged vessel built in 2004 by the renowned wooden boat building family Carey's Boatyard in Picton. It features a contemporary wood-finished interior, 10 well-appointed cabins across three decks, dining room boasting spectacular 180-degree panoramas and theatre capabilities; lounge and bar featuring a flight of inclusive regional New Zealand wines, beers and spirits; and a well-stocked local library. Outside, guests can enjoy plenty of covered space on the Bridge Deck, or ajourn to the Sun Deck perfect for wildlife spotting, sunrises and sunsets, or simply enjoying watch your voyage unfold. Kayaks and fishing equipment are available for use during the voyage, while two tenders allow for deeper exploration and the unforgettable wildlife encounters synonymous with all Heritage Expeditions adventures. As with as with our other vessels, Heritage Explorer will have an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen helmed by a talented chef focused on highlighting local produce and any guest catches of the day, as well as an enthusiastic and passionate expedition team, and will be shipped by a New Zealand captain and crew. The expedition yacht features state-of-the-art technology to provide a comfortable expedition with high performance dual Scania 653 horsepower engines, bow thrusters, fin stabilisers, full air-conditioning, sound attenuated twin generators and a hydraulic aft ramp, while a comprehensive navigation package ensures the ultimate Kiwi adventure awaits all guests. Accommodation Details Royal: Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck.Salvin's: Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin's cabins have the option of either a double bed or two lower berths. Both feature ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole. Wandering: Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole. Buller's: Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller's cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.


Day 1 - Day 1: Paihia
Join Heritage Explorer, your home away from home, in Paihia this afternoon where your Captain and Expedition Leader will be waiting to welcome you on board (times will be confirmed with your voyage documents). When all are aboard, we will set sail for one of the many sheltered coves in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Enjoy an evening of wining and dining under the stars and moonlight as we acquaint ourselves with our Captain, Expedition Leader, and other guests in preparation for our adventure.
Day 2 - Day 2 & 3: Bay of Islands
We have two days set aside to explore and enjoy the Bay of Islands. Opportunities include exploring predator free Urupukapuka Island fringed by Pohutukawa forest, where Project Island Song has successfully released North Island Robin, Saddleback and Whitehead, and the dramatic, unrestrained beauty of Moturua Island which is also rich in New Zealand history. Later in the day there is an opportunity to explore historic Russell, a town of New Zealand firsts including first seaport, European settlement, capital and licensed hotel. Perhaps enjoy a drink at the iconic The Duke of Marlborough and brace yourself for one of Russell’s famed sunsets. Take in the breath-catching scenery on Zodiac and ship cruises, explore the quiet coves and beaches at your own pace in our kayaks, snorkel crystal clear waters and walk remote white sand beaches and pristine native bush on uninhabited islands as we embrace this magical Kiwi paradise.
Day 3 - Day 4: Paihia
After breakfast and final farewells we head ashore at Paihia where we conclude our adventure. We recommend not booking any onwards travel until 12 noon this afternoon. Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.
Day 4 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
09-03-202312-03-2023NZD $1,995Buller's
09-03-202312-03-2023NZD $2,495Salvin's
09-03-202312-03-2023NZD $2,595Wandering
09-03-202312-03-2023NZD $2,995Royal


    • Enjoy two days exploring and enjoying the Bay of Islands