Beyond Fiordland aboard Heritage Adventurer

Beyond Fiordland aboard Heritage Adventurer

From USD $8,495


Heritage Expeditions pioneered expedition cruising in 1985 by cruising the rugged and unique southern coastline of New Zealand’s South Island, including Fiordland and Stewart Island. From those first days exploring the wilderness from their tiny yacht base with just 5 travellers aboard, the Russ family realised their dream that responsible tourism, enacted in a genuine and responsible way in conjunction with local government, had the ability to assist in the protection of vulnerable areas. From there, Heritage Expeditions grew to escorting 50 conservation-minded passengers per expedition to the world’s most special regions, from Antarctica to the Arctic, but our passion for New Zealand’s wilderness never diminished.

Reinstated in 2018, after a 15 year absence from mainland New Zealand, this expedition returns, in full circle, to where Heritage Expeditions’ legacy began. Exploring the remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords of Fiordland, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired our dream for responsible travel. In the calm waters of Fiordland, and away from the crowds, there are great opportunities to lookout for marine life, elusive birds and stunning vistas. This expedition also includes New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, which has been a popular and essential part of Heritage Expeditions’ programme for many years, and Stewart Island’s Ulva Island that is home to a range of birdlife and free of introduced pests. Tick this once in a lifetime experience off your travel bucket list; explore remote parts of New Zealand’s Southern region, an area known for its range of birdlife and jaw dropping scenery on a grand scale.

The Subantarctic Islands are the wildlife and history rich regions of Southern New Zealand, they are impossible to visit without an expedition like this.

They are not mentioned in a travel brochure on your high street; and rarely will you find them listed in guidebooks, few people have been to them and they don’t even appear on some maps of the South Pacific. Despite their low profile, they are among the most remarkable wildlife reserves in the New Zealand, designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and afforded the highest protection of any nature reserves in New Zealand.

Remote, uninhabited and on no regular shipping route, access is further restricted by a strict Management Plan which limits the number of people allowed ashore each year.

Trip Name
Beyond Fiordland aboard Heritage Adventurer
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Length: 124 metres Passenger Capacity: 140 Built: 1991 Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Polar Exploration’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration. Having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages, makes Heritage Adventurer perfect for pioneering New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions signature experiential expedition travel.Originally designed to accommodate 184 guests, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages, while a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition adventure. Heritage Adventurer proudly continues our traditions of exceptional, personalised expedition experiences as Heritage Expeditions flagship. Observation Lounge – One of the most celebrated and best-known features of Heritage Adventurer is the awe-inducing Observation Lounge, Library and Bar. Located on Deck 7 and perched directly above the Bridge, enjoy sweeping 270-degree views through floor to ceiling windows, perfect for wildlife spotting and quick access to the outer deck. Bring your binoculars to spot wildlife, observe the ever-changing landscape, write in your journal or relax with a book. Observation Deck – Enjoy 360-degree views from the highest point on the ship. The Observation Deck sits above the Observation Lounge and provides exceptional outside viewing options. Stretching the full width of the vessel, this is the perfect spot to take in the surrounding land and seascapes. Perfect on a sunny day, recline in the comfortable sun loungers protected from the wind and elements and watch your voyage unfold.  The Bridge – No expedition is complete without visiting Heritage Adventurer’s busy nerve centre. Located on Deck 6, Heritage Expeditions’ Open Bridge Policy means you are welcome to observe the Captain and crew at work while enjoying some of the ship’s best views. It’s a fascinating place to learn about navigation and vessel operations, however please note the Bridge will be closed when departing or arriving at port. Dining Room  – Indulge in fine international cuisine from our talented chefs in the lavish surrounds of our Dining Room on Deck 4. Sensational 270-degree views provide a stunning backdrop to meals here along with an international wine list featuring many outstanding regional wines. With relaxed seating arrangements, all guests can enjoy dining in a single sitting from hearty breakfasts setting you up for the day’s adventure to sumptuous lunches and multi-course evening dining. Bistro  – Simple fast and delicious meals and snacks are on offer in our relaxed Bistro on Deck 6. Perfect for early risers to enjoy tea, coffee and light breakfast options the Bistro provides great views and opens directly onto a covered and heated teak-deck outdoor dining area. The Bar and Lounge  – The social hub of  Heritage Adventurer, the Bar and Lounge on Deck 5 features seating for all guests. Enjoy a beverage at the bar, sink into an armchair, relax on one of the many spacious loungers and watch the world go by through the panoramic windows or make new friends at the communal seating. This multi-tasking space also doubles as the location of daily briefings and evening recaps with the expedition team. The Gym – Featuring spectacular ocean views, the well-equipped gym is adjacent to the pool, hot tub and sauna in Deck 7’s wellbeing zone. Maintain your routine with an elliptical cross trainer, treadmill, rowing machine, stationary bikes, TRX as well as free weights, yoga mats and fitness balls. Towels are provided with change room and shower amenities nearby. Sauna and Steam Room – True to her Nordic origins, Heritage Adventurer features a dry-heat Finnish sauna and European steam room on Deck 7. Perfect for warming up post Polar plunge or unwinding after a day’s adventures, the sauna and steam room include change room facilities, showers and towels. Swimming Pool and Hot Tub – Surrounded by relaxed teak seating including sun loungers, the open-air saltwater pool can be heated or chilled. Encased in glass the hot tub ensures all-weather use, perfect for those who like to relax with a view following a day of exploring. Lectures and Presentations – Enjoy informative and entertaining lectures on history, biology, wildlife, and ecology in the comfort of the Presentation Theatre. With state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, our world-renowned expedition team will bring your adventure to life through interactive presentations and discussions.


Day 1 - Day 1: Queenstown
Guests should make their way tothe designated hotel where wewill spend the first night of theexpedition. This evening there willbe an informal get-together atthe hotel for dinner; an excellentopportunity to meet fellowadventurers on your voyage andsome of our expedition team.
Day 2 - Day 2: Port of Bluff
Today we enjoy breakfast inthe hotel restaurant and havethe morning free to exploreQueenstown before returning tothe hotel for lunch and departingfor the Port of Bluff to embark yourship. You will have time to settleinto your cabin and familariseyourself with the ship; we will alsotake the opportunity to conducta number of safety briefings. Youare invited to join the expeditionteam in the Observation Loungeand up on the Observation Deckas we set our course to CampbellIsland and our adventure begins.We will sail past Ruapuke Island,formerly a local Maori strongholdsupporting a population of over 200people. We will also be able to seeStewart Island. Despite appearingquite small on most maps it is reallyquite large and has a 700 kilometrecoastline. Seabirds that we mayencounter at this early point in thevoyage include: albatross, petrels,cormorants, gulls, and Little BluePenguins.
Day 3 - Day 3: At Sea
As we make our way throughthe Southern Ocean we take theopportunity to learn more aboutthe flora and fauna as we preparefor our arrival at Campbell Island.En route there are great birdingopportunities which may includethe Wandering Albatross, RoyalAlbatross, Black-browed Albatross,Light-mantled Sooty Albatross,Salvin’s Albatross, Campbell IslandAlbatross, Northern and SouthernGiant Petrel, Sooty Shearwaterand Little Shearwater. There shouldbe plenty of petrels and againthe hard to identify prion species.We can expect some of the bestpelagic birding on this leg of thejourney from Bluff to CampbellIsland with great views during thecrossing.
Day 4 - Day 4: Campbell Island
We have a full day to exploreCampbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory.Its history is as rich and varied as theother islands we visit. Discoveredin 1810, it was soon occupied bysealers who introduced rats andcats. Farming followed from 1895to 1934 when it was abandoned.Coastwatchers were stationedon the island during the war andat the end of the war the stationwas taken over by the NewZealand Metrological service. Theymaintained a manned weather/research station there until 1995.In the early 1970s the removal offarm animals commenced and allwere eventually removed by 1990.The vegetation recovered quicklyand the cats died out naturally. Ina very ambitious (and never beforeattempted on such a large scale)eradication programme the NewZealand Department of Conservationsuccessfully removed the rats. Withthe island declared predator free,the way was clear to reintroducethe endangered Campbell IslandFlightless Teal, which had beenrediscovered on an offshore islandin 1975. Snipe, which were formerlyunknown from the island but werediscovered on another offshoreisland, recolonised the islandsthemselves. The vegetation whichthe great English botanist Sir JosephHooker described in 1841 as having a“Flora display second to none outside the tropics” is flourishing and isnothing short of spectacular. Wewill offer a number of options whichwill enable you to explore the islandincluding an extended walk toNorthwest Bay. There will also be aneasier walk to the Col Lyall Saddle.All of these options will allow youthe opportunity and time to enjoythe Southern Royal Albatross whichnest here in large numbers. Wealso visit areas of the island whichcontain outstanding examples ofthe megaherbs for which the islandis renowned.
Day 5 - Day 5: Auckland Islands – Carnley Harbour
In the south of the archipelagothere is a very large shelteredharbour rich in human historyincluding shipwrecks, treasurehunters, Coastwatchers and, ofcourse, scientific parties. We planto arrive mid-morning enteringthe harbour through the easternentrance which is guarded onboth sides by dramatic cliffs and months before sailing their modifieddinghy to New Zealand to get help.Two of the survivors wrote booksabout their ordeal, their first-handaccounts tell us a lot about their timehere. Later this evening we will sail upthe eastern coast, making our wayto Port Ross in preparation for ourlanding at Enderby Island.rugged, tussock-covered hills. Ouractivities here today are weatherdependent. We have a number ofoptions. If the weather is fine therewill be an opportunity for the moreenergetic expeditioners to climbto the South West Cape and visitthe Shy Mollymawk colony. Thisclimb provides magnificent viewsin all directions, especially overthe western entrance to CarnleyHarbour, Adams Island and WesternHarbour. For those not making theclimb there will be an opportunityto Zodiac cruise along the coast ofAdams Island, Western Harbour andVictoria Passage.Other options include the TaguaBay Coastwatcher’s hut andlookout which was occupied duringthe Second World War. We couldvisit Epigwatt and the remains ofthe‘Grafton’which was wreckedhere in 1864. All five men aboardsurvived and lived here for 18
Day 6 - Day 6: Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
The Auckland Islands group wasformed by two volcanoes whicherupted some 10-25 million yearsago. They have subsequently beeneroded and dissected by glaciationcreating the archipelago as weknow it today. Enderby Island isone of the most beautiful islandsin this group and is named afterthe same distinguished shippingfamily as one of our own vessels.This northern most island in thearchipelago is an outstandingwildlife and birding location and is relatively easy to land on and walkaround. The island was cleared of allintroduced animals (pests) in 1994and both birds and the vegetation,especially the herbaceous plants,are recovering both in numbersand diversity. Our plan is to land atSandy Bay, one of three breedingareas in the Auckland Islands for theHooker’s or New Zealand Sea Lion,a rare member of the seal family.Beachmaster bulls gather on thebeach, defending their harems fromyounger (ambitious) males, to matewith the cows shortly after they havegiven birth to a single pup. Hooker’sor New Zealand Sea Lion numbersare in a slow decline, for reasonswhich are not obvious but mostprobably connected with a nearbysquid fishery. During our day ashorethere will be several options, somelonger walks, some shorter walks andtime to spend just sitting and enjoyingthe wildlife. The walking is relativelyeasy. A boardwalk traverses theisland to the dramatic western cliffs,from there we follow the coast andcircumnavigate the island. Birds thatwe are likely to encounter includethe following species: Southern RoyalAlbatross, Northern Giant Petrel,Auckland Island Shag, AucklandIsland Flightless Teal, Auckland IslandBanded Dotterel, Auckland IslandTomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crownedParakeet, Yellow-eyed Penguinand Light-mantled Sooty Albatross.There is also a very good chanceof seeing the Subantarctic Snipe. Other more common species wewill see include the Goldfinch,Song Thrush, Blackbird, EuropeanStarling, Red-billed Gull andRedpoll. On Derry Castle Reef wewill look for migratory waders whichcould include Bar-tailed Godwit,Turnstone and possibly vagrants.
Day 7 - Day 7: The Snares – North East Island
The closest Subantarctic Islandsto New Zealand, they wereappropriately called The Snaresas they were once considered ahazard for sailing ships. Comprisingof two main islands and a groupof five islands called the WesternChain; they are uninhabited andenjoy the highest protection asNature Reserves. It is claimed bysome that these islands are hometo more nesting seabirds than allof the British Isles together. We planto arrive in the morning, and aslandings are not permitted, we willZodiac cruise along the shelteredeastern side of the main island ifthe weather and sea conditionsare suitable. In the shelteredbays, we should see the endemicSnares Crested Penguin, SnaresIsland Tomtit and Fernbirds. Thereare hundreds of thousands ofSooty Shearwaters nesting on TheSnares; the actual number is muchdebated. Buller’s Albatross breedhere from early January onwards.There will be opportunities to viewthe forests of large tree daisyOlearia lyalliiwhich forms a canopyover much of the island group.
Day 8 - Day 8: Stewart Island – Paterson Inlet/Ulva Island
New Zealand’s third island is welloff the usual beaten tourist track. Itis a wonderfully tranquil place; thescenery of untouched bushland isstunning. We will enjoy a morningexploring Ulva Island which is richin history and wildlife, being apredator-free island from 1997 thebird song and wildlife is some of the best. In Paterson Inlet you willhave time to explore the sandybeaches of Boulder Bay and WestEnd Beach or just enjoy some timearound Post Office Bay and SydneyCove. Some of the wildlife you mayget to see while walking the trackson Ulva Island include StewartIsland Robin, Stewart Island Weka,South Island Kaka, Kereru (woodpigeon), Mohua (yellowhead), RedCrowned Parakeet, Fantail, Bellbirdand Tui. There are many morespecies that may also be seen, ourknowledgeable expedition guideswill be listening for bird calls andkeeping a close watch in overheadcanopies and the surroundingshrubs to identify further species. Inthe afternoon we turn our attentionto other parts of Paterson Inlet andvisit the historic Norwegian whalingstation in Prices Inlet and KaipipiBay, where from 1923 and 1933the Ross Sea Whaling Company ofSandefjord, Norway ran a repair base in Prices Inlet where chaserboats were serviced in preparationfor the Antarctic summer. Theremay be an opportunity to explorequirky town centre Oban inHalfmoon Bay where a drink with aview can be enjoyed at the iconicSouth Sea Hotel.
Day 9 - Days 9 to 11: Fiordland
We have three days to explorethe incredible wilderness of fiordsin the south-west corner of theSouth Island. This is an area richin history, majestic scenery andabundant in wildlife. Fiordland waswell known to local Maori people,with the demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa being said to have usedhis adze, Te Hamo, to carve outthe region’s fiords. Captain Cookand his crew landed here on HMSResolutionin 1773, they were thefirst Europeans to visit Fiordland,subsequently spending five weeksin Dusky Sound. Cook’s records ofhis discovery and maps attractedsealers and whalers not long afterwho then formed the first Europeansettlements of New Zealand,historically this region is veryimportant and shaped the future ofthe country. From the middle of the19thCentury this unexplored interiorFiordland coastline attracted theattention of those in search ofhidden greenstone or New Zealandjade, and surveyors seeking tounderstand this region further.Fiordland’s West Coast is only accessible by sea, making itthe most remote region of NewZealand’s mainland. Waterfalls,streams, rivers and fiords areenveloped with misty veils thatcome and go, revealing steepgradients of mountain peaksand sheltered valleys. A ruggedterrain, the thickly forested floorsare covered with ferns, lichensand mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins,Fiordland Crested Penguins andLittle Penguins are all residents ofthe fiords; during our time here wewill look out for them. Our schedulegives us the flexibility to visit asmuch as possible, areas we planto visit during our time in Fiordlandinclude Doubtful and Dusky Sounds,Acheron Passage, Astronomer’s Point and Pickersgill Harbour. Ourfinal plan will be determined bythe weather. The Captain andExpedition Leader will work hardto make the best use of our timein this incredible region of NewZealand, including areas that evenfew New Zealanders have visited.The isolation of Fiordland has beenbeneficial because its beautyremains unspoiled and its historicsites undisturbed.Tonight we enjoy a farewell andcelebratory dinner with newfoundfriends with time to reflect on awealth of new experiences andrecap on what amazing wildlife,plant life, landscapes and history wehave enjoyed.
Day 10 - Day 12: Invercargill/Queenstown
Early this morning we will arrivein the Port of Bluff. After a finalbreakfast we bid farewell toour fellow voyagers and take acomplimentary coach transfer toeither Invercargill or QueenstownAirports. In case of unexpecteddelays due to weather and/orport operations we ask you not tobook any onward travel until aftermidday from Invercargill and after3pm from Queenstown.
Day 11 - Please Note:
During our voyage,circumstances may make itnecessary or desirable to deviatefrom the proposed itinerary.This can include poor weatherand opportunities for makingunplanned excursions. YourExpedition Leader will keepyou fully informed. Landings atthe Subantarctic Islands of NewZealand are by permit only asadministered by the Governmentof New Zealand. No landings arepermitted at The Snares.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $8,495MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $8,995SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $9,975SUPERIOR CABINS. From
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $11,975MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $12,395SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $12,450WORSLEY SUITES
28-12-202208-01-2023USD $19,500HERITAGE SUITES


    • Visit Campbell Island
    • Enjoy Auckland Island
    • Explore The Snare
    • Discover Fiordland