In the Wake of Scott Shackleton aboard Heritage Adventurer

In the Wake of Scott Shackleton aboard Heritage Adventurer

From USD $27,950


The Ross Sea region of Antarctica is one of the most remote places on Planet Earth and one of the most fascinating places in the continent’s human history. With shipping restricted by impenetrable pack ice to just two brief months each austral summer, few people have ever visited this strange and beautiful territory, with opportunities for non-scientific personnel limited to a handful of tourist expedition ships.

Heritage Expeditions offers such a voyage on its own fully equipped and ice-strengthened ship Heritage Adventurer, crewed by some of the most experienced officers and sailors in the world and staffed by a passionate and knowledgeable expedition team. This is a unique opportunity to experience nature on a scale so grand there are no words to describe it.

The Ross Sea takes its name from Sir James Clark Ross who discovered it in 1841. The British Royal Geographical Society chose the Ross Sea for the now famous British National Antarctic Expedition in 1901-04 led by Robert Falcon Scott. That one expedition spawned what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Race to the Pole’.

Ernest Shackleton almost succeeded in 1907-09 and the Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase tried in 1910-12. Scott thought it was his, but was beaten by his rival, Norwegian Roald Amundsen in the summer of 1911. Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expedition in 1914-17 marked the end of this ‘heroic’ or ‘golden age’ of exploration, but many of the relics of this era, including some huts, remain. The dramatic landscape described by these early explorers is unchanged.

Mt Erebus, Mt Discovery and the Transantarctic Mountains are as inspiring today as they were 100 years ago. The penguin rookeries described by the early biologists fluctuate in numbers from year to year, but they still occupy the same sites. The seals, which are no longer hunted for food lie around on ice floes seemingly unperturbed.

The whales, which were hunted so ruthlessly here in the 1920s, are now returning. Snow Petrels, Wilson’s Storm-petrels, Antarctic Prions and South Polar Skuas all breed in this seemingly
inhospitable environment.

There is so much to do and so much to see here, from exploring historic huts and sites to visiting penguin rookeries, marvelling at the glacial ice tongues and ice shelves, and understanding the icebergs and sea ice. Then there are all the seabirds, seals and whales to observe and photograph, modern scientific bases and field camps to visit and simply the opportunity to spend time drinking in the marvellous landscape that has always enthralled visitors.

Lying like stepping stones to the Antarctic continent are the little known Subantarctic Islands. Our journey also includes The Snares, Auckland, Macquarie and Campbell Islands. They break our long journey, but more importantly, they help prepare us for what lies ahead, for these islands are part of the amazing and dynamic Southern Ocean ecosystem of which Antarctica is at the very heart. It is the powerhouse which drives this ecosystem upon which the world depends.

Trip Name
In the Wake of Scott Shackleton 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
Arrive at Queenstown, NewZealand’s world famous alpineresort town. Guests should maketheir way to the designatedhotel where we will spend thefirst night of the expedition. Thisevening there will be an informalget-together at the hotel fordinner; an excellent opportunityto meet fellow adventurers onyour voyage and some of ourexpedition 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 The Snaresand our adventure begins.
Day 3 - Day 3: The Snares – North East Island
The closest Subantarctic Islandsto New Zealand, they wereappropriately called The Snaresbecause they were probablyconsidered a hazard by theirdiscoverer Lieutenant Broughtonin 1795. Comprising of two mainislands and a smattering of rockyislets, they are uninhabited andhighly protected.North East Island is the largest ofThe Snares and it is claimed thatthis one island is home to morenesting seabirds than all of theBritish Isles together. We will arriveearly in the morning and cruisealong the sheltered eastern side of the rugged coastline by Zodiacif weather and sea conditionsare suitable (landings are notpermitted). In the sheltered bays,we should see the endemicSnares Crested Penguins, SnaresIsland Tomtit and Fernbirds. CapePigeons and Antarctic Terns arealso present in good numbers.There are hundreds of thousandsof Sooty Shearwaters nesting onThe Snares; the actual number ismuch debated. Around Christmastime each year the Buller’sAlbatross return here to nest.
Day 4 - Day 4: Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
The Auckland Islands groupwas formed by two volcanoeswhich erupted some 10-25million years ago. They havesubsequently been eroded anddissected by glaciation creatingthe archipelago as we knowit today. Enderby Island is oneof the most beautiful islands inthis group and is named for thedistinguished shipping family.This northern most island in thearchipelago is an outstandingwildlife and birding location andis relatively easy to land on andwalk around. The island wascleared of all introduced animals(pests) in 1994 and both birdsand the vegetation, especiallythe herbaceous plants, arerecovering both in numbers anddiversity. Our plan is to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breedingareas in the Auckland Islands forthe Hooker’s or New Zealand SeaLion, a rare member of the sealfamily. Beachmaster bulls gatheron the beach defending theirharems and mating with the cowsshortly after they have given birthof a single pup.On shore there will be severaloptions, some longer walks, someshorter walks and time to spendjust sitting and enjoying thewildlife. The walking is relativelyeasy, a board walk traverses theisland to the dramatic westerncliffs from there we follow thecoast on the circumnavigationof the island. Birds that we arelikely to encounter include thefollowing species: Southern RoyalAlbatross, Northern Giant Petrel,Auckland Island Shag, AucklandIsland Flightless Teal, AucklandIsland Banded Dotterel, AucklandIsland Tomtit, Bellbird, Pipit, Red-crowned Parakeet, Yellow-eyedPenguin and Light-mantledSooty Albatross. There is also avery good chance of seeing theSubantarctic Snipe.
Day 5 - Day 5: At Sea
At sea, learn more about thebiology and history of theSubantarctic Islands and theSouthern Ocean through a seriesof lectures and presentations.We will be at sea all day, so it is another opportunity to spotpelagic species including (butnot limited to) the WanderingAlbatross, Royal Albatross, Shyand White-capped Albatross,Light-mantled Sooty Albatross,Grey-headed Albatross andBlack-browed Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, Mottled Petrel,White-headed Petrel, CapePetrel, diving-petrel, Grey-backedand Black-bellied Storm-petrels.This is potentially some of thebest pelagic ‘birding’ on theexpedition.
Day 6 - Days 6 to 7: Macquarie Island
Australia’s prized Subantarcticpossession, it supports one of thehighest concentrations of wildlifein the Southern Ocean. Millions ofpenguins of four different species– King, Rockhopper, Gentooand the endemic Royal – breedhere. We plan to spend ourtime divided between the twoapproved landing sites, SandyBay and Buckles Bay as well as aZodiac cruise at Lusitania Bay ifweather conditions permit.At Sandy Bay a Royal Penguinrookery teems with feisty little birdstrotting back and forth, goldenhead plumes bobbing as theymarch to and from the shore. Allthree million of the world’s Royal Penguins breed on MacquarieIsland. There is also a substantialKing Penguin Colony. Some ofthe best observations will be hadby quietly sitting and letting thebirds come to you. They are bothunafraid and inquisitive – thecombination is unique.At Buckles Bay we plan to havea guided tour of the AustralianAntarctic Division Base whichwas established in the late1940s and has been mannedcontinuously since then. Largegroups of Southern ElephantSeals slumber on the beachesand in the tussock at both ofour landing sites. These giant,blubbery creatures will barelyacknowledge our presence, lyingin groups of intertwined bodies,undergoing their annual moult.Younger bulls spar in the shallowwater, preparing for their matureyears when they will look aftertheir own harems.The King Penguin rookeryat Lusitania Bay is noisy andspectacular. A welcomingcommittee will likely porpoisearound our Zodiacs as a quarter of a million King Penguins stand atattention on shore. In the centreof the rookery, rusting digestersare grim reminders of a timewhen scores of penguins wereslaughtered for their oil. Now theiroffspring have reclaimed thisterritory.The Tasmanian National Parks andWildlife Service, who administerthe island, embarked on a veryambitious 7-year eradicationprogramme resulting in the islandearning pest-free status in 2014.Both the birds and plants haveresponded and it is amazing towitness the regeneration and theincrease in the number of birds. Itis an amazing island, in additionto the penguins and elephantseals, there are three speciesof fur seals to be found thereand four species of albatross,Wandering, Black-browed, Grey-headed and Light-mantled Sooty.
Day 7 - Days 8 to 10: At Sea
Soaring albatross and petrelscircle the vessel as we steamever southward through theSouthern Ocean. Lectures nowconcentrate on Antarctica andthe Ross Sea region. We will payattention to water temperaturesso that we know when we crossthe Antarctic Convergence intothe cold but extremely productiveAntarctic waters. Drifting icebergs carry vivid coloursand come in extraordinaryshapes. Each is a unique, naturalsculpture. The captain willmanoeuvre the ship in close foryour first ice photograph andwe will celebrate as we passthe Antarctic Circle and intoAntarctica’s realm of 24-hourdaylight! Relax in the ship’s barand catch up with some readingin the library. If you have broughtyour laptop with you there willbe time to download and editphotos while they are fresh inyour mind.
Day 8 - Days 11 to 22: Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region
During our time in the Ross Searegion, we will visit the highlights ofAntarctica’s most historic region.Due to the unpredictable natureof ice and weather conditions, aday-by-day itinerary is not possible.The Captain and Expedition Leaderwill assess daily conditions and takeadvantage of every opportunityto make landings or send you outin the Zodiacs. Our programmeemphasises wildlife viewing, keyscientific bases and historic sites,as well as the spectacular sceneryof the coastal terrain, the glaciersand icebergs of the Ross Sea.Whilst specific landings cannot beguaranteed, we hope to visit thefollowing: Cape AdareCape Adare’s bold headland andthe Downshire Cliffs greet us aswe approach Cape Adare – iceconditions permitting – at the tipof the Ross Sea, the site of thelargest Adelie Penguin rookery inAntarctica. Blanketing the large,flat spit which forms the cape is thehuge rookery which now, at theheight of summer, numbers overone million birds – an absolutelystaggering sight. You will neverforget your first experiences ina ceaselessly active and noisy‘penguin city’, where the dapperinhabitants show no fear of theirstrange visitors. Our naturalistswill point out various aspects oftheir lifestyle and, by sitting down quietly, one may observe the oftencomical behaviour of the penguins,courtship displays, feeding ever-hungry chicks, territorial disputesand the pilfering of nest material.Surrounded by a sea of penguinswe will find Borchgrevink’s Hut,the oldest in Antarctica, anoverwintering shelter for the firstexpedition to the continent in 1899.It is a fascinating relic of the ‘HeroicAge’ of Antarctic exploration andwe are able to inspect the interior,which still contains artefacts of theearly explorers. One thousand feetup in the hills behind Cape Adareis the oldest grave in Antarctica,that of 22-year-old Nicolai Hansen,a member of Borchgrevink’sexpedition. Cape HallettThe enormous Admiralty Rangeheralds our arrival at CapeHallett, near the head of theRoss Sea. The scenery here iswild and spectacular; mountainsrear up towering out of the seato over 4,000-metres high andgiant glaciers course down fromthe interior to the water’s edge.We land next to the site of theabandoned American/NewZealand base, home to largenumbers of Adelie Penguins andWeddell Seals.Franklin IslandThis rugged island, deep in theRoss Sea, is home to a largeAdelie Penguin colony and othernesting seabirds. We will attempta Zodiac landing near the rookeryas well as exploring the coastline.If a landing is achieved andweather conditions are suitablethere will be an opportunity toexplore this remarkable island.Possession IslandsThese small, rugged and rarelyvisited islands lie off the shore ofCape Hallett. An Adelie Penguinrookery, numbering tens ofthousands of birds, blankets FoynIsland. Observe their busy andsometimes humorous activities, withthe Admiralty Mountains forming asuperb backdrop across the water.Ross Ice ShelfThe largest ice shelf in Antarctica,the Ross Ice Shelf is also theworld’s largest body of floatingice. A natural ice barrier, at timesit creates hazardous weatherconditions, with sheets of snowblown at gale force by thekatabatic winds coming off thepolar ice cap. Just 1,287 kilometresfrom the South Pole, this dauntingspectacle prevented many earlyAntarctic explorers from venturingfurther south. From the Ross IceShelf we cruise eastward along the shelf front, with its spectacular30-metre high ice cliffs, whichsometimes calve tabular icebergs.Ross Island – Mount Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton’s Hut/Scott’s HutAt the base of the Ross Sea wearrive at Ross Island, dominatedby the 3,794-metre high volcano,Mt Erebus. The New ZealandAntarctica programme maintainsa field station at Cape Bird, wherescientists study many aspects of theregion’s natural history, includingthe large Adelie Penguin colony.At Cape Royds we visit Sir ErnestShackleton’s hut, built duringthe Nimrod polar expedition of1907-1909. Lectures explain manyfacets of Shackleton’s amazingexpeditions. He was possibly oneof the greatest, and certainly oneof the most heroic of the Antarcticexplorers. Though the legendaryexplorers are long gone, the areaaround the hut is far from deserted,having been reclaimed by theoriginal inhabitants of the area –thousands of Adelie Penguins inthe world’s southernmost penguinrookery.Also found on Ross Island is CapeEvans, the historic site of CaptainScott’s second hut, erected in1911 and beautifully preservedby the Antarctic Heritage Trust. Itstands as testimony to the rigoursfaced by pioneering explorers.Inside the hut we will witness theliving conditions almost exactly asthey were when Scott, Wilson andPonting occupied these quarters.Behind the hut, Mt Erebus loomsabove with its plume of whitesmoke spiralling up from the still-active inferno in its bowels.McMurdo and Scott Base(including Scott’s Discovery Hut)These are always on our wishlist but ice, weather andoperational requirements for the National Programs icebreakeractivities sometimes prevent usfrom visiting, especially on theJanuary expedition. Our Februaryexpedition is generally moresuccessful but not guaranteed.Terra Nova BayStatzione Mario Zucchelli, anItalian summer research station, isan interesting shipping containerconstruction. The friendlyscientists and support staff hereare always most hospitable andenjoy showing us around theirlonely but beautiful home. TheItalians conduct many streams ofscientific research and also claimto have the best ‘espresso’ inAntarctica! Nearby is the Germanbase, Gondwana Station, which isused occasionally and the SouthKorean station, Jang Bogo andon Inexpressible Island, China isbuilding its fifth Antarctic base.
Day 9 - Days 23 to 25: At Sea
En route to Campbell Island,take part in a series of lecturesdesigned to prepare you for ourvisit tomorrow. Pelagic speciesabound here as they did en routeto Macquarie Island earlier in ourvoyage. Above all, take the time torest and enjoy shipboard life afterthe excitement of the Antarctic.
Day 10 - Day 26: Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour
New Zealand’s southernmostSubantarctic territory, the CampbellIsland group lies approximately660-kilometres south of Bluff. Wevisit Campbell Island, the mainisland in the group, and spend theday exploring the island on footfrom Perseverance Harbour, a longinlet cutting into the undulatinglandscape. Campbell Islandis a truly magnificent place ofrugged scenery, unique flora andabundant wildlife. Perseverance Harbour where we drop anchor isan occasional refuge for SouthernRight Whales who come hereto calve. Here we will find anow abandoned New Zealandmeteorological station as well asCampbell Island Shags, penguins,fur seals and rare Hooker’s SeaLions.The highlight of our visit is a walkto the hilltop breeding sites ofSouthern Royal Albatross, oversix thousand pairs of whichbreed on Campbell Island. Thesemagnificent birds, close relationsto, and the same size as, theWandering Albatross, have thelargest wingspan in the world andare very approachable, makingsuperb photographic subjects.
Day 11 - Day 27: At Sea
At sea en route to the Port ofBluff, take the opportunity torelax and reflect on an amazingexperience. This is a goodopportunity to download andedit any remaining photos whilethey are fresh in your mind andyou have the experience ofour expedition team on boardfor questions. We will recap the highlights of our expedition andenjoy a farewell dinner tonight aswe sail to our final port.
Day 12 - Day 28: Invercargill/ Queenstown
Early this morning we will arrivein the Port of Bluff. After a finalbreakfast and completingCustom formalities we bidfarewell to our fellow voyagersand take a complimentarycoach transfer to eitherInvercargill or QueenstownAirports. In case of unexpecteddelays due to weather and/orport operations we ask you not tobook any onward travel until aftermidday from Invercargill andafter 3pm from Queenstown.
Day 13 - 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
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $27,950MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $28,950SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $30,950SUPERIOR CABINS. From
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $37,950MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $38,950SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $38,950WORSLEY SUITES
07-01-202303-02-2023USD $56,000HERITAGE SUITES
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $37,950MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $38,950SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $38,950WORSLEY SUITES
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $56,000HERITAGE SUITES
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $27,950MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $28,950SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
02-02-202301-03-2023USD $30,950SUPERIOR CABINS. From


    • Visit Auckland Islands & Macquarie Island
    • Explore Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region
    • Enjoy Campbell Island