Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
January 17, 2017

Overview:

Join an incredible 18-day expedition to explore the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand. Visit the sub-Antarctic islands of Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland, and the Snares. Observe several albatross species—wandering, black-browed, gray-headed, light-mantled sooty, and southern royal—as well as colonies of king, royal, rockhopper, and gentoo penguins. Search the elfin forests for handsome yellow-eyed penguins, melodious bellbirds, diminutive tomtits, and colorful red-crowned parakeets. Cruise through Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful sounds, a supremely scenic land of soaring cliffs and plunging waterfalls. Step ashore on Ulva Island to view the South Island robin, South Island saddleback, yellowhead, and weka, a flightless rail. Aboard the 100-guest Caledonian Sky.

Brief Itinerary:
Day 1-2: Depart USA
Day 3: Queenstown, New Zealand
Day 4: Queenstown
Day 5: Queenstown / Embark Caledonian Sky / Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park
Day 6: Stewart Island / Ulva Island
Day 7: Dunedin
Day 8: At Sea
Day 9: Campbell Island
Day 10: At Sea
Day 11-12: Macquarie Island, Australia
Day 13: At Sea
Day 14: Enderby, Auckland Islands
Day 15: Snares Islands
Day 16: Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, Fiordland National Park
Day 17: Milford Sound / Disembark / Queenstown
Day 18: Queenstown / USA

Interested in more information? Please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
January 17, 2017

Day-By-Day Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Depart USA
Board your independent flight to New Zealand. Lose a day crossing the International Date Line.

Day 3: Queenstown, New Zealand
Arrive in Queenstown and transfer to the Millennium Hotel in time for lunch. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before gathering for an orientation and dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Queenstown
Today choose one of two 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, ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, then take a thrilling jet boat ride on the famed Shotover Jet. Enjoy free time this afternoon to browse the private studios, gardens, and galleries of internationally renowned artists. Return to the hotel for dinner, or choose to dine on your own in Queenstown.

Day 5: Queenstown / Embark Caledonian Sky / Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park
Depart Queenstown this morning for a scenic drive to Milford Sound where you are welcomed aboard the Caledonian Sky. 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. Set sail this afternoon and cruise the length of Milford Sound past soaring cliff faces and powerful cascades.

Day 6: Stewart Island / Ulva Island
Peaceful Stewart Island is home to fewer than 500 inhabitants. Explore the coastline and seal-populated bays before anchoring near Oban. Local guides lend insight into the island’s unique environment and Maori history. 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.

Day 7: Dunedin
Arrive in port this morning after cruising scenic Otago Harbor and choose one of two local discovery options. Take a drive to Orokonui Ecosanctuary to discover native birds and reptiles, followed by a visit to the world-famous northern royal albatross colony at Taiaroa Head. Or, enjoy a scenic train ride on the Taieri Gorge Railway, 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, St. Paul Cathedral, and the Dunedin Railway Station.

Day 8: At Sea
Join naturalists for lectures and on deck to look for royal, shy, and Buller’s albatross, plus a host of southern ocean petrels as we cruise to Campbell Island.

Day 9: Campbell Island
Campbell Island is home to a multitude of seabirds, marine mammals, and unique sub-Antarctic mega herbs. Photographic opportunities include frame-filling encounters with 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.

Day 10: At Sea
Our lecture series continues with recaps on Campbell and briefings on our next sub-Antarctic landings.

Day 11-12: Macquarie Island, Australia
Spend two days exploring Macquarie Island. Though tides and weather will determine our landings, we hope to visit a king penguin colony as well as colonies of royal and gentoo penguins. A variety of birds, as well as elephant and fur seals can be found set against a background of mountains and tussock-covered headlands. Several species of albatross breed here—wandering, black-browed, gray-headed, and light-mantled sooty.

Day 13: At Sea
Spend a relaxing and educational day at sea as our lecture series continues

Day 14: Enderby, Auckland Islands
Today nature walks lead you through lush vegetation and rata forests to visit nesting royal albatross. 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, among other endemics.

Day 15: Snares Islands
Board Zodiacs for a cruise around the Snares Islands. This nature reserve is home to millions of breeding sooty shearwaters, as well as Buller’s albatross, fairy prions, and Snares crested penguins.

Day 16: Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, Fiordland National Park
Today is devoted to Fiordland National Park, a nearly uninhabited wilderness with breathtakingly beautiful fjords filled with wildlife. 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, tuis, fantails, and the kereru, a large native wood pigeon. Later, as the ship slowly cruises Doubtful Sound, keep your binoculars ready to inspect the coves where rare Fiordland crested penguins are sometimes found.

Day 17: 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 the Caledonian Sky for a scenic drive to the picturesque town of Te Anau for lunch. Continue to Queenstown, with dinner and overnight at the Millennium Hotel.

Day 18: Queenstown / USA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your independent flight home, arriving in the USA the same day.

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. In the spirit of expedition travel, plans may change slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.

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Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
January 17, 2017

Rates:

January 17, 2017
Category 1: $14,980 per person
Category 2: $15,880 per person
Category 3: $16,680 per person
Category 4: $18,380 per person
Category 5: $20,880 per person
Category 6: $23,380 per person

*Above rates are per person, based on double occupancy.
*Single Supplement: There is no single supplement on this expedition.

Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.

Included:

All gratuities; accommodations in our hotels and on board the Caledonian Sky as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals; all group meals on land; soft drinks, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; and medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance.

Not Included:

You will need to purchase air fare from your home city/Queenstown and Queenstown/home city as well as excess baggage charges, airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages except as listed, email/internet/fax/telephone charges. Please contact Expedition Easy for details.

Deposit & Payments

This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Expedition Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.

Reservations

To reserve space on a trip on the Expedition Easy website, please contact Expedition Easy by telephone at 1-800-617-2319 or e-mail info@expeditioneasy.com.

January 17, 2017