Unseen Fiordland & Stewart Island with Heritage Expeditions

Unseen Fiordland & Stewart Island with Heritage Expeditions

From USD $3,695


Join Heritage Expeditions, pioneers in authentic small ship expedition cruising, as we explore New Zealand’s remote southern backyard on this special voyage. Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife rich Stewart and Ulva Islands before exploring the primordial majesty of Fiordland where clouds scud ragged peaks of glacier-cleaved mountains only accessible by expedition ship, and the rare opportunity to combine these iconic destinations on one voyage.

Rich in history and wildlife, Stewart and Ulva Islands are home to a unique range of birdlife including Bellbird, Tui, Kaka, Tomtit, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, Saddleback, Mohua and of course, the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi. There will be opportunities to listen to the native bird song and enjoy the golden sandy beaches, before taking the time to take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.

As we expedition cruise up the lower west side of New Zealand’s South Island, we prepare for the grand scale scenery of Fiordland. In the calm waters of Fiordland, and away from the crowds, we can expect to encounter playful New Zealand Fur Seals, curious Dusky Dolphins, elusive birds and enjoy endless stunning vistas.

During our time here we plan to Zodiac cruise glittering waterways amid the podocarp forest- cloaked spines of Anchor and Resolution Islands and the tiny islands of Dusky Sound where orchids, flame-tipped Rata and clusters of alpine tree daisies put on an impressive floral display.

On predator-free Anchor Island, home to half the world’s population of Kakapo as well as Little Spotted Kiwi, we’ll walk around Lake Kirirua, its surface reflecting the surrounding forest, before arriving at historic Luncheon Cove – a location of New Zealand firsts including first sealing gang, first European settlement and the first ship built.

Discover hidden inlets, coves and beaches as we Zodiac cruise Sportsman Cove and explore Cooper Island. Our passion for helping protect and share New Zealand’s special wilderness remains as strong as it was back in 1985. Join us as we discover the real Fiordland and Stewart Island.

Trip Name
Unseen Fiordland & Stewart Island with Heritage Expeditions
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/ Stewart Island
Today we enjoy breakfast in thehotel restaurant before departingfor the Port of Bluff and StewartIsland before embarking yourship.New Zealand’s third islandis well off the usual beaten touristtrack. It is a wonderfully tranquilplace; the scenery of untouchedbushland is stunning. We will enjoyexploring Ulva Island which is richin history and wildlife, being apredator-free island from 1997 thebird song and wildlife is some ofthe 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), Red Crowned 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 repairbase in Prices Inlet where chaserboats were serviced in preparationfor the Antarctic summer. Theremay be an opportunity to explorethequirky town centre of Oban inHalfmoon Bay where a drink with aview can be enjoyed at the iconicSouth Sea Hotel.
Day 3 - Days 3 to 5: Fiordland
We have three days to explore theincredible wilderness of fiords inthe south-west corner of the SouthIsland. This is an area rich in history,majestic scenery and abundant inwildlife. Fiordland was well known tolocal Maori people, with the demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa being saidto have used his adze, Te Hamo,to carve out the region’s fiords.Captain Cook and his crew landedhere onHMSResolutionin 1773,they were the first Europeans to visitFiordland, subsequently spendingfive weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook’srecords of his discovery and mapsattracted sealers and whalers notlong after who then formed thefirst European settlements of NewZealand, 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 of hiddengreenstone or New Zealand jade,and surveyors seeking to understandthis region further.Fiordland’s West Coast is onlyaccessible by sea, making it the mostremote region of New Zealand’smainland. Waterfalls, streams, riversand fiords are enveloped with mistyveils that come and go, revealingsteep gradients of mountain peaksand sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floorsare covered with ferns, lichensand mosses. Bottlenose Dolphins,Fiordland Crested Penguins andLittle Penguins are all residents ofthe fiords; during our time herewe will look out for them. Ourschedule gives us the flexibility tovisit as much as possible, areaswe plan to visit during our time inFiordland include Doubtful andDusky Sounds, Acheron Passage,Astronomer’s Point and PickersgillHarbour. Our final plan will bedetermined by the weather. TheCaptain and Expedition Leader willwork hard to make the best use ofour time in this incredible region ofNew Zealand, including areas thateven few New Zealanders have visited. The isolation of Fiordland hasbeen beneficial because its beautyremains unspoiled and its historic sitesundisturbed.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 4 - Day 6: 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 Queenstown Airports. 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 5 - 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.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $3,695MAIN DECK TRIPLE CABINS
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $3,975SUPERIOR TRIPLE CABINS
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $4,775SUPERIOR CABINS DECK 4
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $4,995SUPERIOR CABINS DECK 5
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $5,775MAIN DECK SINGLE CABINS
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $5,995SUPERIOR SINGLE CABINS
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $6,475WORSLEY SUITES
03-01-202308-01-2023USD $8,975HERITAGE SUITES


    • Enjoy Stewart Island
    • Explore Fiordland