Join Michael Snedic on this 30 day photographic adventure starting in Invercargill, New Zealand. We travel by small expedition ship, heading south and exploring some of New Zealand’s amazing subantarctic islands, including Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, Aukland Island and the Snare islands. We will then head to the Ross Sea region of Antarctica, which 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, and featured in TV documentary Go Further South.
Photographers of all experience levels are welcome. Michael will be guiding you and supporting your photography during the expedition. Not just in taking photographs in the field, but also in reviewing and refining your photos along the way.
Looking for something shorter?
Your Photography Tour Leader - Michael Snedic
Michael is an experienced (25 years) and widely published wildlife and nature photographer, writer and tutor. His articles and images have featured in many magazines, calendars, diaries, books, brochures, billboards and many other publications. He is the author of two books on Australian wildlife, and is a Nikon School tutor in Australia (although Michael is proficient in all camera makes and models). Michael regularly presents audio-visual presentations at camera clubs and photography conventions, and has been conducting photography workshops and tours across the globe for 18 years.
On this expedition you will have access every day to a professional nature photographer and instructor. Michael is there to help you photograph the stunning scenery and wildlife we will encounter. Michael will be conducting a series of classes throughout the voyage, as well as being on-hand throughout the outings.
Day 1: Queenstown
Day 2: Port of Bluff
Today we enjoy breakfast in the hotel restaurant and have the morning free to explore Queenstown before returning to the hotel for lunch and departing for the Port of Bluff to embark your ship. You will have time to settle into your cabin and familarise yourself with the ship; we will also take the opportunity to conduct a number of safety briefings. You are invited to join the expedition team in the Observation Lounge and up on the Observation Deck as we set our course to The Snares and our adventure begins.
Day 3: The Snares – North East Island
Days 4: Auckland Islands – Enderby Island
Characterised by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. We spend the day ashore on Enderby Island which is, perhaps, the most beautiful of all the Subantarctic Islands. Here we find parakeets flitting above carpets of red, white and yellow wild flowers and on the beaches beyond, the rare Hooker’s, or New Zealand, Sea Lion. We land in Carnley Harbour and if conditions are suitable, climb to a Shy Albatross colony, otherwise we will explore sites within the harbour.
Day 5: At Sea
Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of these islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with our experts. This particular stretch of ocean is very productive and we can expect many seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.
Days 6-7: Macquarie Island
This remote, rocky outpost which endures roaring westerly winds supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Four species of penguin; King, Royal, Rockhopper and Gentoo all breed here. You will never forget your first experience in a ceaselessly active ‘penguin city’, where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors. We will also meet with the Park Rangers, visit the Australian Antarctic Base and observe the hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals along the beaches.
© Katya Ovsyanikova
Day 8 to 10: At sea
Soaring albatross and petrels circle the vessel as we steam south through the Southern Ocean. Lectures now concentrate on the Ross Sea region and beyond the bow of the ship; drifting icebergs of extraordinary shapes begin to appear. Manoeuvring in close for your first ice photographs we pass the Antarctic Circle and into the continent’s realm of 24-hour daylight.
Days 11 to 22: Antarctica’s Ross Sea Region
With unpredictable ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary is not possible, but we assess the conditions daily and take every opportunity to make landings and launch the Zodiacs. You can anticipate wildlife viewing, visits to scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular white and blue scenery.
We hope to visit the following areas:
Cape Adare: A large flat spit of land, teeming with the staggering sight of Antarctica’s largest Adelie Penguin rookery: a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks, territorial disputes, petty pilfering and courtship displays. Curious penguins often come very close, offering superb photographic opportunities. Among the shifting mass of penguins we will find Carsten Borchgrevink’s Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, an overwintering shelter for the first expedition to the continent in 1899.
Cape Hallett: The enormous Admiralty Range heralds our arrival; wild and extraordinary, the mountains rear up towering out of the sea to over 4,000-metres high and are bounded by colossal glaciers. We make our landing at an abandoned base site, now home to large numbers of Adelie Penguins and Weddell Seals.
Franklin Island: Desolately beautiful and rugged, this is home to a large Adelie Penguin population and other nesting seabirds. We attempt a landing and explore the coastline. Possession Islands: Rarely-visited, small and rugged, these rocks support tens of thousands of penguins. Observe the birds’ busy and humorous activity, with the Admiralty Mountains forming a superb backdrop across the water.
Ross Ice Shelf: The world’s largest body of floating ice and a natural barrier, at times creating hazardous weather, with sheets of snow blown at gale force by winds off the polar ice cap. Just 800 miles from the South Pole, this daunting spectacle prevented many early explorers from venturing further south. We cruise along its dizzying 30-metre high ice cliffs, perhaps lucky enough to see icebergs ‘calving’.
Ross Island: Mount Erebus/Cape Bird/Shackleton’s Hut/Scott’s Hut(s) and visits to a scientific field station (Scott and McMurdo Stations are high on our wish list but ice, weather and station operational requirements often make them inaccessible). Ross Island was, and is, the ‘hub of activity’ in the Ross Sea, dominated by Mt Erebus, a monstrous active volcano named after the ancient Greek God of Darkness. The carefully preserved huts of the ‘Heroic Era’ help make the history come alive. If we can reach the bases, we will get a modern perspective on Antarctic Research.
Terra Nova Bay: An Italian research station where the scientists are always hospitable and enjoy showing us around their lonely but beautiful home. They share with us their scientific research and also, perhaps, the best ‘espresso’ in Antarctica!
Days 23 to 25: At Sea
Taking time to rest and enjoy life on board your ship in the bar or library after the excitement and long daylight hours of the Antarctic, we have time for lectures on our final destination and for some pelagic bird spotting.
Days 26: Campbell Island – Perseverance Harbour
We drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour, an occasional refuge for Southern Right Whales who come here to calve. Walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs on the hills. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colourings and weirdly-shaped leaves. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions.
Day 27: At Sea
Relax and reflect on a remarkable journey as you join our experts for a recap of highlights and enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.
Day 28: Invercargill/Queenstown
Early this morning we will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast we bid farewell to our fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either Invercargill or Queenstown Airports. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations we ask you not to book any onward travel until after midday from Invercargill and after 3pm from Queenstown.Please Note: During our voyage, circumstances may make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. This can include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed. Landings at the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are by permit only as administered by the Government of New Zealand. No landings are permitted at The Snares.
Health and Fitness
Anyone in normal good health can join us on this adventure. There are no special fitness requirements, although we will be often climbing into and out of the inflatable Zodiac boats, and walking on shore. Out on the ocean and exposed to the elements it can get quite cold. But it is summer and at times in the sun it can be quite warm.
The ship has a doctor and basic medical facilities on board. If you have specific health concerns or dietary requirements the staff at Heritage will be able to advise you. There’s also a gym on board if you feel the need to get extra workouts.
The 'Heritage Adventurer' is one of Heritage Expedition's latest additions to its fleet. Although we won’t be seeing ice on this voyage, the ship regularly visits both polar regions and is a very capable vessel. She also has plenty of vantage points for scenic and wildlife photography from all around the ship.
- Professional photography tuition throughout the expedition with Michael Snedic.
- One night accommodation (with dinner and breakfast) in Invercargill.
- Shipboard accommodation.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners onboard. Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock.
- All zodiac and land excursions.
- Pre- and post-departure materials.
- Airfares and other travel expenses to/from Invercargill.
- Meals in Invercargill (other than one breakfast).
- Passport/visa expenses.
- Personal/travel insurance coverage. Heritage will discuss with you the required insurance coverage (due to the remoteness of our destination).
- Onboard bar, laundry, and telecommunications charges. Internet access is not available onboard.
Berth Types and Pricing
|Main deck triple:||US$ TBA||Deck 3, spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Superior triple:||US$ TBA||Deck 5, spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, two single beds and one Pullman bed which folds down from the wall, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Superior - Deck 4:||US$ TBA||Deck 4, spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Superior - Deck 5:||US$ TBA||Deck 5, spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Main Deck Single:||US$ TBA||Deck 3, spacious 22m2 and feature two porthole windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Superior Single:||US$ TBA||Deck 5, spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king bed, comfortable lounge, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Worsley Suite:||US$ TBA||Deck 6, Worsley Suites are a spacious 22m2 and feature large panoramic windows, king or two single beds, comfortable chaise-style lounge suite, writing desk, private en-suite with shower, ample storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
|Heritage Suite:||US$ TBA||Deck 6, Heritage Suites are an expansive 44m2 and feature large double panoramic windows, king bed, large living area with a sofa, coffee table and chairs and grand marble bathroom with a double basin, bathtub and shower, large writing desk, floor to ceiling cabinetry for storage and a flat screen entertainment system.|
A 25% deposit is required to secure your place.
NB: PRICE LISTED ABOVE INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHY TUITION FEE BY MICHAEL SNEDIC, WHICH WILL BE INVOICED SEPARATELY
The trip is being put together with our partners at Heritage Expeditions in Christchurch, and they take care of the bookings and travel arrangements for us, while Michael runs the photography program.
There are a variety of cabin classes: several three-berth cabins and a range of twin-share cabin types. As usual with these ships your choice of berth/cabin type directly impacts the price of your ticket.
These prices are in US dollars per berth. There’s also an additional charge of US$ TBA pp to cover landing fees on these protected islands.