Four albatross on a breeding ground in the Subantarctic region

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean

Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia aboard the Spirit of Enderby

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6600  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Dunedin, New Zealand
Depart: Invercargill, New Zealand
Lodging: 12 nights aboard expedition vessel
Meals: All meals aboard ship included
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level: Expedition cruise, nature walks, Zodiac explorations


  • Extraordinary sub-Antarctic wildlife oases, from Macquarie Island to the Snares
  • Endemic wildlife from royal penguins to Hooker’s sea lions, rare flora including sub-Antarctic wildflowers
  • Shore excursions by Zodiac
  • Expert guest lecturers to enrich your experience

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Visa Requirements

A visa is not required for US citizens visiting New Zealand but a visa for Australia is needed for visiting Macquarie Island. This visa can be obtained online and must be issued prior to departure.

Home to nearly half the world’s penguin and albatross species, the sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand are spectacular birding paradises hidden in the remote reaches of the Southern Ocean. Millions of penguins populate these islands—on tiny Macquarie Island alone are more than 850,000 pairs of royal penguins, found nowhere else in the world—and the biodiversity includes endangered yellow-eyed penguins, endemic species of albatross, and amazing flora. Aboard the 50-guest Spirit of Enderby, an ice-strengthened ship, we have the rare privilege of exploring these dramatic islands, one of the wildest, least visited, and most intriguing parts of our planet.


Note: This departure begins and ends in Invercargill, with a pre-expedition overnight in Invercargill.

Days 1-2
Invercargill, New Zealand / Embark

Transfer on your own to the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill. The next day, embark on the Spirit of Enderby and sail towards The Snares.

Days 3-5
The Snares / Auckland Islands

The closest Subantarctic Islands to New Zealand, The Snares include  two main islands, the largest of which is home to more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles together. We cruise the coastline by Zodiac to look for the endemic Snares crested penguins, Snares Island tomtit, and fernbirds. On the Auckland Islands, we land at Sandy Bay to see the Hooker’s or New Zealand sea lion, a rare member of the seal family. Beachmaster sea lions protect their territories here. We also can look for southern royal albatross, northern giant petrel, Auckland Island shag, Auckland Island flightless teal, Auckland Island banded dotterel, and much more. At Carnley Harbour. We can climb to the South West Cape to visit the shy mollymawk colony and perhaps spot the wandering albatross spreading its huge wings above the cliffs.

Days 6-9
At Sea / Macquarie Island / At Sea

Macquarie is the only place in the world where the beautiful royal penguin breeds and we’ll visit their huge colony as well as a king penguin colony in Lusitania Bay. A landing is planned for the ANARE base and Sandy Bay, where we will meet with scientists and park rangers based here. Hundreds of elephant seals lolling on the beaches and dunes will provide ample photo opportunities.

Days 10-11
At Sea / Campbell Island

New Zealand’s southernmost Subantarctic territory, the magnificent Campbells offer a panorama of rocky islets and sea stacks. Anchoring in Perseverance Harbour, we walk to the nesting site of the southern royal albatross at Col Lyall or across the hills to North West Bay and see the strange megaherbs growing on the hills, with their huge pink and yellow wild flowers. We also seek out, light-mantled sooty albatross, northern giant petrel, Campbell Island shag, southern skua, red-billed gull, black-backed gull, Antarctic tern, redpoll, dunnock, and New Zealand pipit.

Days 12-13
At Sea / Port of Bluff / Invercargill

At sea en route to the Port of Bluff, we enjoy a  a last-minute opportunity to bid farewell to the expedition team, then disembark for transfer to downtown Invercargill on the morning of Day 13.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

2015 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.

Download our online digital brochure to view on your computer or mobile device, or as a PDF! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 2, Easy to Moderate. It is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. There are shore excursions featuring short walks. Please be aware that this expedition takes place in the Southern Ocean, where seas are typically much rougher than those around the Antarctic Peninsula. Agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. Good balance and quick reflexes are necessary when sea swells cause rolling and pitching of the ship. Landing sites vary depending on weather and sea conditions. There is the possibility that rough seas will make some Zodiac cruises and island landings impossible.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Dec 3-15, 2015  Invercargill to Invercargill

Dec 22, 2015-Jan 3, 2016  Invercargill to Invercargill

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
Triple (waitlist only) $6,600
Main Deck $7,600
Superior $8,300
Superior Plus $8,800
Mini Suite $9,300
Heritage Suite $9,900
Landing Fees (per person): $800
Single supplement: 180% of the cost of the cabin, and 200% of the cost of the suite

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 25% of trip cost
100 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $750 per person
179-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
89 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Deck Plan

Cabin details:

  • Heritage Suite: Has a large lounge area, a separate bedroom with double bed, a single bed in the lounge, writing desk, wardrobe, drawers. There is a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. There are large forward and side facing windows to allow great views.
  • Mini Suites: Have a separate bedroom with a double bed and a single bed or a sofa in the lounge, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. The Mini Suites have windows.
  • Superior Plus cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
  • Superior cabins: Have bunks (an upper and lower berth), wardrobe, drawers, a desk, a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. These cabins have windows.
  • Main deck cabins: Have two lower berths, wardrobe, drawers, a desk, washbasin and porthole. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.
  • Main deck triple: Has one bunk (one upper and one lower) and one lower berth, wardrobe, drawers, a desk and wash basin. The nearby showers and toilets are shared with other Main deck cabins.


Trip Cost Includes:

  • Accommodations and meals aboard the ship; some cabin categories have shared bathrooms
  • All shore excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Services of Expedition Leadership/tour staff
  • Post-trip expedition log
  • Transfer from Dunedin or Invercargill hotel to the ship, transfer from the ship to Invercargill 

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Airfare to or from New Zealand; landing fees ($650 per person); alcoholic and other beverages; gratuities to ship staff; optional hotel accommodation; meals ashore; fuel charges; baggage, cancellation and accident insurance; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls and e-mail service.

Spirit of Enderby

The 50-guest expedition vessel Spirit of Enderby, while offering very basic cabins, some with shared bathrooms, has a warm and intimate atmosphere, a professional staff, and excellent cuisine prepared by New Zealand and Australian chefs. The vessel has a bar, small lecture room, and library. She is fully ice-strengthened and equipped with a fleet of go-anywhere Zodiacs. Designed and built as a research vessel, she still undertakes research expeditions when not focused on passenger cruises. The ship is accompanied by a veteran team of experienced naturalists and guides who have devoted a lifetime to field research in the areas that the ship visits.