Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand

16 days
from
£14,860
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Trip code: 
ZVN
Way to Travel:
Voyages
Activity:
Multi-Country Wildlife Holidays
Max group size:
100
Min age:
17

A must-visit destination for all nature enthusiasts!

One of the few operators allowed to travel the far-flung isles of the Southern Ocean, join us on a journey through the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, as well as Macquarie Island.

On this epic journey to the remote Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, you’ll discover some of the most rare and intriguing plant and animal species on the planet.

A must-visit destination for all nature enthusiasts, wildlife viewing along the coasts and islands of this region is simply exceptional!

Highlights

  • Visit the sub-Antarctic islands of Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland, and The Snares — We are among a small, exclusive number of operators that hold permits to travel to these far-flung isles.
  • Observe multiple albatross species—wandering, white-capped, Salvin’s, Campbell, gray-headed, Buller’s light-mantled sooty, and northern and southern royal—as well as colonies of king, royal, rockhopper, Snares and gentoo penguins.
  • Search the elfin forests for yellow-eyed penguins, bellbirds, tomtits, and red-crowned parakeets.
  • Cruise through Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful sounds, a supremely scenic land of soaring cliffs and plunging waterfalls.

Key information

  • Small Ship Cruise
  • 16 days land only
  • Maximum 100 Guests
  • 3 nights hotel, 12 nights aboard the Caledonian Sky
  • Countries visited: New Zealand, Australia

What's included

  • Daily activity options including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

What's not included

  • Airfare from your home city/Dunedin and Queenstown/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, (other than listed above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Dunedin, New Zealand
to
Queenstown, New Zealand
  • Day 1

    Arrive Dunedin

    Arrive in Dunedin and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Embark Caledonian Sky

    Today, choose one of two local discovery options: Take a drive to a local sanctuary where introduced predators have been removed and native species flourish, then drive to Taiaroa Head to visit the world-famous northern royal albatross colony. Or, enjoy a scenic drive to Larnach Castle, then join a local historian for a walk through the heart of enchanting Dunedin, viewing the distinct Edwardian and Victorian architectural styles of First Church and St. Paul Cathedral. Board the Caledonian Sky this afternoon.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Sea

    Join naturalists for lectures and on deck to look for royal, white-capped, and Buller’s albatross, plus a host of southern ocean petrels as we cruise towards the Auckland Islands.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Enderby, Auckland Islands

    Today nature walks lead you through lush vegetation and rata forests to explore this incredible island. Station yourself near a beach covered with Hooker’s sea lions to watch yellow-eyed penguins, one of the rarest penguins in the world, as they return to their nesting sites. In the elfin forest, search for bellbirds, tomtits, and red-crowned parakeets.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    At Sea

    Attend lectures during a day at sea, and join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine mammals.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 6-7

    Macquarie Island, Australia

    Spend two days exploring Macquarie Island. Though weather will determine our landings, we hope to visit a king penguin colony as well as colonies of royal and gentoo penguins. Elephant seals, can be found set against a background of mountains and tussock-covered headlands. The endemic Macquarie Island cormorant, northern and southern giant petrels, and brown skuas will also be discovered, in this truly incredible landscape.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    At Sea

    Spend a relaxing and educational day at sea as our lecture series continues.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Campbell Island, New Zealand

    Campbell Island is home to a multitude of seabirds, marine mammals, and unique sub-Antarctic megaherbs. Photographic opportunities include encounters with nesting southern royal albatross, as well as Hooker’s sea lions. Birders search for the endemic Campbell teal and Campbell snipe; both species were previously believed to be extinct. Spectacular views are the reward for a climb to the top of Col Lyall.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    The Snares

    Board Zodiacs for a cruise around The Snares. This nature reserve is home to millions of breeding sooty shearwaters, as well as Buller’s albatross, Cape petrels, and the endemic Snares crested penguin and Snares fernbird.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Stewart Island/Ulva Island

    Peaceful Stewart Island is home to fewer than 500 inhabitants. Explore the coastline before anchoring in Paterson Inlet. Nearby Ulva Island is a predator-free sanctuary with lush temperate rainforest. It is a wonderful place to view the South Island robin, South Island saddleback, yellowhead, and the curious weka, a flightless rail. In the afternoon local guides lend insight into the island’s unique environment and Maori and early European sealing and whaling history.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Dusky & Breaksea Sounds, Fiordland Natrional Park

    Today is devoted to Fiordland National Park, a nearly uninhabited wilderness with breathtakingly beautiful fjords. Part of Te Wahipounamu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fiordland National Park is famed for spectacular glacier-carved waterways and unique flora and fauna. In Dusky Sound explore by Zodiacs to discover rainforest luxuriant with tree ferns, mosses, and lichens and visit Astronomer’s Point, the site of a temporary observatory established during Captain Cook’s 1773 voyage. The forests and waterways are home to many birds—bellbirds, tui, fantails, and the kereru, a large native pigeon.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Doubtful Sound

    Keep your binoculars ready as the ship slowly cruises Doubtful Sound, inspecting the coves where rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes found.

    Accommodation: The Caledonian Sky

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Milford Sound/ Disembark/ Queenstown

    Be on deck this morning to watch the panorama of Milford’s sheer cliff faces, which rise thousands of feet almost vertically from the water’s edge, as well as the crashing waters of Bowen and Stirling Falls and the stunning mile-high Mitre Peak. Disembark for a short drive to the picturesque town of Te Anau for lunch. Continue to Queenstown, with dinner and overnight at our hotel.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Queenstown

    Today choose one of three excursion options, designed to highlight Queenstown’s natural and cultural attributes. Journey through the dramatic Lord of the Rings landscapes of Central Otago and meet the winemakers of the world’s southernmost wine-producing region. Or, take a thrilling jet boat ride amongst stunning scenery, then ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. Or, spend the day looking for the famed black stilt, one of the World’s rarest shorebirds, as well as other birds of interest. Alternatively, you may choose to explore Queenstown on your own, browsing the private studios, gardens, and galleries of internationally renowned artists. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner and overnight.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Queenstown

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight. Tour ends here.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

New Zealand

From 1 October 2019, British nationals (including citizens of the EU, USA, Canada and South Africa) travelling (or transiting) by air or cruise and entering New Zealand without a visa (tourists) will need to hold an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority- NZeTA) before travelling to New Zealand. You will be able to apply for an NZeTA from July 2019. An NZeTA will last up to 2 years (valid for multiple visits) and cost NZD 9 for mobile application requests and NZD 12 for web browser requests.

An International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) will also be introduced alongside the NZeTA and will cost NZD 35 (to be paid at the same time whilst applying for an NZeTA online). Once paid, the IVL will last as long as the NZeTA is valid.

You must request your NZeTA well in advance of your trip to New Zealand. It can take up to 72 hours to approve your NZeTA. If you do not hold an NZeTA when you check in for your flight, you will not be allowed to board.

Please visit the Immigration New Zealand website for further information on the new requirements and to apply for the NZeTA.

TRAVELLING VIA THE USA If you are travelling via the USA (even for transit) and are eligible to transit under the Visa Waiver Programme (most British citizens with a machine-readable passport), you are now required to register in advance for an Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA). There is a USD14 charge for the ESTA, which is only payable online with a credit card. Please see the FCO website for further information. All other non-residents passing through the US must get a visa in advance.

Australia

All nationalities except New Zealand require a visa for Australia. British, most EU passport holders, Canadian and US passport holders can apply for an electronic visa online. For British passport holders this is done through www.australia.org.uk.

Vaccinations

New Zealand

There are no specific health risks.

Australia

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

The main restaurant on board the Caledonian Sky can accommodate all guests at one sitting. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style and dinner is served in the main restaurant with four a la carte courses. When weather permits, meals can also be served on the outdoor deck. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, and coffee and tea are available throughout the day/night.

Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

Know Before You Go
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. Temperatures will range from the low 50sºF to the mid-60sºF in Queenstown, and from 40ºF to 55ºF in the sub-Antarctic islands. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

The Caledonian Sky

The all-suite, 100-guest Caledonian Sky is a spacious, yet intimate, expedition vessel. Refurbished in 2018, her beautifully designed public spaces include a single-seating dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat-screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving.

GENERAL 

  • Five decks of guest facilities.  

- Castle Deck – guest suites, dining room, doctor’s office.   - Caledonian Deck – guest suites, bar, lounge, reception.   - Promenade Deck – guest suites with direct deck access, gym, hair salon.   - Bridge Deck – guest suites with private balconies, bridge, outdoor dining.   - Panorama Deck – sun deck, library, Panorama Lounge, and bar.   

  • Stairs and an elevator service all decks.
  • The bridge is available to visit most times throughout the day, contingent upon weather, security, and navigation conditions.   
  • Smoking is permitted only on outside decks.

 SUITES

  • All suites feature ocean views and have two twin beds that can be reconfigured into one queen, a sitting area, a well-appointed en suite bathroom, large closets, vanity table, small refrigerator, television, personal safe, hair dryer, assorted toiletries, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, and American style outlets (two flat prongs)at 110 volts.   
  • Castle Deck has Category 1 suites that are 244 square feet and have three portholes.   
  • Caledonian Deck has Category 2 suites that are 232 square feet with large picture windows.   
  • Promenade Deck has Category 3 suites that are 217 square feet with a picture window; Category 4 suites that are 217 square feet with direct deck access via a sliding glass door; and Category 5 suites that are 243 square feet and feature two forward-facing portholes and direct deck access via a sliding glass door.
  • Bridge Deck has Category 6 suites that are 217 square feet and have patio doors leading to private balconies that are 60 square feet.

 DINING   

  • The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating.   
  • Most diets can be catered for on board, but special dietary requests must be made in advance.    
  • Breakfast is served buffet-style and a la carte.
  • Dinner is served in the main restaurant. When weather permits, meals can also be served on deck.   
  • Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and coffee and tea are available 24 hours a day.

 SERVICES

  • Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs and is equipped to offer scuba diving.
  • Public spaces include a large lounge for lectures, Panorama lounge and bar, gym, and library with reference books, novels, DVDs, and computers with Internet access.
  • Free onboard Wi-Fi is available for all guests.
  • Laundry services (no dry cleaning), a hair salon, and a small doctor’s office are available on board. Rates are posted.
  • The U.K. pound is the currency used on board. Traveler’s checks, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3859
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]