Southern Fiords Discovery

Southern Fiords Discovery

7 Views
7 Days
From

$4150

$4036

Southern Fiords Discovery

7 Days Starting and ending in Te Anau

Visiting: New Zealand

Tour operator:

Heritage Expeditions

Ship Name:
Heritage Explorer
Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Ship Capacity:

Tour operated in:
English
From:
$4150
$4036 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$114

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Experience the grand scale scenery, untamed wilderness, ice-carved mountains, forests, sounds and unique wildlife of Fiordland's Preservation and Chalky Inlets and Doubtful and Dusky Sounds on this 7-day exploration of the Southern Fiords. Rich in natural history, geology and the location of some significant historical firsts and important restoration and conservation projects, it is easy to see why this incredible region inspired our dream for responsible travel.

Maori legend describes how demi-god Tu-te-raki-whanoa carved out the region's fiords with his adze, Te Hamo, from rock walls to create the fiords we know today. Captain Cook and his crew were the first Europeans to visit, landing here aboard HMS Resolution in 1773 and subsequently spending five weeks in Dusky Sound. Cook's records of his discovery and maps would attract sealers and whalers not long after, who would go on to form the first European settlements of New Zealand, historically this region is very important and shaped the future of the country.

Fiordland's Southern Fiords are only accessible by sea, making them some of the most remote areas of New Zealand's mainland. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and fiords are enveloped with misty veils that come and go, revealing steep gradients of mountain peaks and sheltered valleys. A rugged terrain, the thickly forested floors are covered with ferns, lichens and mosses while the calm waters are home to Bottlenose Dolphins, Fiordland Crested Penguins and New Zealand Fur Seals.

The isolation of the Southern Fiords has been beneficial in ensuring their epic beauty remains unspoiled and historic sites undisturbed. In these calm waters, away from the crowds, we plan to explore some of the most unique and wild parts of New Zealand as we sail though these beautiful fiords and landscapes.

Highlights

  • Experience the grand scale scenery

  • untamed wilderness

  • ice-carved mountains

  • forests

  • sounds and unique wildlife of Fiordland's Preservation and Chalky Inlets and Doubtful and Dusky Sounds on this 7-day exploration of the Southern Fiords.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Te Anau/Preservation Inlet

Make your way to the designated meeting point in Te Anau then take in the grand views and awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy a spectacular helicopter transfer to join Heritage Explorer in Preservation Inlet (times and meeting point will be confirmed with your voyage documents). The captain and expedition leader will be waiting to welcome you aboard Heritage Explorer and show you to your cabin. Settle into life aboard before we set sail along Long Sound and enjoy your first impressions of the fiords and the unrestrained landscape of Southern Fiordland. ***Note: Some voyages will operate the itinerary in reverse.***

Day 2: Preservation Inlet

Today is dedicated to exploring Preservation Inlet, rich in history we will delve into the gold mining and forestry attempts that once made this now quiet waterway a bustling hub of activity. The area’s natural bounty saw more than 2,500 gold miners and saw millers flock to the region in the late 1890s, this early settler history at mining towns Cromarty and Te Oneroa, now reclaimed by nature, can still be observed, none more spectacularly than at the failed Tarawera Mine and Smelter, where the ruins of the smelter’s three-storey chimney were restored in 2015. Among the activity Preservation Inlet can also lay claim to having New Zealand’s first whaling station at Cuttle Cove and the location of one of the country’s most remote lighthouses at Puysegur Point, which began operation in 1879 perched some 40-feet above the south island’s most south-western point. Here a great coastal walk, formerly a telegraph track built to connect the lighthouse, leads to the old landing shed at Otago Retreat.

Day 3: Chalky Inlet

The entrance to Chalky Inlet is guarded by the impressive limestone cliffs of Chalky Island, the inspiration behind Captain Cook’s naming of the fiord. One of several important predator-free islands in the inlet including Great Island and Passage Islands, Chalky Island is home to some of New Zealand’s most critically endangered bird species including the Little Spotted Kiwi and Kakapo, and endemic Te Kakahu Skink, discovered in 2002. The protected harbours at North and South Port offer much to explore as the centres of human history in the inlet with North Port the final resting place of the rusting hulk of purposely grounded GSS Stella while South Port reveals an industrial past with the remnants of once prolific sawmilling activity. Sailing to the head of the fiord the surrounding mountains envelope us with their majesty.

Day 4 : Days 4 & 5: Dusky Sound

Over the following two days we plan to leisurely expedition cruise through Dusky Sound visiting the some of the most significant historical and conservation sites in New Zealand as well as marvelling at the majestic scenery as we sail deep into the heart of Fiordland. A navigation through Acheron Passage, which separates Resolution Island from the mainland, is sure to be one of the highlights or our time in Fiordland. Predator-free Anchor Island homes half of the world’s population of Kakapo and Little Spotted Kiwi and is also the location of historic Luncheon Cove and a number of New Zealand firsts including New Zealand’s first sealing gang, the building of New Zealand’s first European homestead and first European designed ship, the 16-metre Providence built here and launched in 1795. On nearby on Pigeon Island learn the history of Richard Henry and his pioneering live transfer of birds to island refuges – an international first in wildlife conservation. While his attempts were unsuccessful due to stoats swimming over to the island, it is heartening to learn the island is now pest free and a sanctuary for native birdlife, with Henry’s vision fulfilled.

Day 6: Breaksea & Doubtful Sounds

After a quiet night aboard surrounded by the nature and wilderness of Breaksea Sound join your naturalists on deck to spot seabirds including the majestic Wandering and Buller’s Albatross as we pass Breaksea Island, which guards the entrance to Breaksea Sound. It was on Breaksea Island that the first successful island rat eradication program was completed, today it is a protected nature reserve of great significance to the many endangered species which call the island home. From here we sail onwards towards some of the most spectacular scenery in all of Fiordland – Doubtful Sound, or the sound of silence as it’s also known. Spanning some staggering 40-kilometres and holding the title as New Zealand’s deepest fiord, Doubtful Sound with its cloud-scraping wilderness cloaked mountains, sheer cliffs, waterfalls, inlets, quiet coves and wildlife presents nature on a scale so grand it’s off the chart. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner.

Day 7: Doubtful Sound/Te Anau

This morning we navigate to the very head of Doubtful Sound in Deep Cove home to several waterfalls including Helena and Lady Alice Falls. After a final breakfast and farewells, head ashore where a transfer to Te Anau, via the picturesque Wilmot Pass, the road constructed as part of the Manapouri hydro scheme, awaits. In case of unexpected delays, we ask you not to book any onward travel from Te Anau until after 3pm this afternoon. 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. Voyages are planned and scheduled pending final regulatory approval.

Ship Details

Heritage Explorer

Image Of Ship

New Zealand-built expedition yacht Heritage Explorer joins Heritage Expedition's small ship fleet creating new opportunities of discovery around the shores of New Zealand. Setting a new standard for discovery travel in New Zealand, Heritage Explorer combines the ultimate in comfort with unique itineraries and a personalised experience with a maximum of just 18 guests on board.

Heritage Explorer is a 30-metre, 4-deck New Zealand flagged vessel built in 2004 by the renowned wooden boat building family Carey's Boatyard in Picton. It features a contemporary wood-finished interior, 10 well-appointed cabins across three decks, dining room boasting spectacular 180-degree panoramas and theatre capabilities; lounge and bar featuring a flight of inclusive regional New Zealand wines and beers; and a well-stocked local library.

Outside, guests can enjoy plenty of covered space on the Bridge Deck, or ajourn to the Sun Deck perfect for wildlife
spotting, sunrises and sunsets, or simply enjoying watch your voyage unfold. Kayaks and fishing equipment are available for use during the voyage, while two tenders allow for deeper exploration and the unforgettable wildlife encounters synonymous with all Heritage Expeditions adventures.

As with our other vessels, Heritage Explorer has an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen helmed by a talented chef focused on highlighting local produce and any guest catches of the day, as well as an enthusiastic and passionate expedition team, and will be shipped by a New Zealand captain and crew.

The expedition yacht features state-of-the-art technology to provide a comfortable expedition with high performance dual Scania 653 horsepower engines, bow thrusters, fin stabilisers, full air-conditioning, sound attenuated twin generators and a hydraulic aft ramp, while a comprehensive navigation package ensures the ultimate Kiwi adventure awaits all guests.

Accommodation Details

Royal: Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck.

Salvin's: Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin's cabins have the option of either a double bed or two lower berths. Both feature ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, private en suite and a picture porthole.

Wandering: Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, private en suite and a porthole.

Buller's: Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller's cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, private en suite and a porthole.

Ship Name:

Heritage Explorer

Cabins:

10

Expedition Staff & Crew:

5

Breadth:

7.8m

Cruising Speed:

10 knots

Length:

30m

Tenders:

2

Draft:

1.93m

Guests:

18

Gross Tonnage:

76.1gt

Engine:

653 horsepower

Vessel Type:

Expedition Yacht

Deck Plan

Deck Plan

Salvin's Double

Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Double cabins feature a double bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole.

Royal

Located on the Bridge Deck, our Master Suite features a spacious bedroom with a queen-sized bed, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, mirror and washbasin, private en suite, personal climate control, TV, PABX satellite telephone, window and French doors opening out on to the covered Bridge Deck.

Wandering

Located on the Lower Deck, Wandering cabins feature one lower single berth, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.

Buller's

Located on the Lower Deck, the Buller’s cabin features one bunk (one upper and one lower berth), ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a porthole.

Salvin's Twin

Located on the Lower Deck, Salvin’s Twin cabins feature two lower berths, ample storage with wardrobe and drawers, TV, PABX satellite telephone, private en suite and a picture porthole.

What's Included

  • Landing fees

  • pre cruise helicopter transfer and post cruise coach transfer

  • all on board ship accommodation with meals and all shore excursions and activities. GST

  • house drinks

  • expert on board naturalist guides.

What's Not Included

  • All items of a personal nature

  • laundry

  • domestic flights

  • extensions and travel insurance.

Check out our Q&As

  • What fitness level is required?

    Guests are required to have a reasonable level of fitness in order to participate in landings. While not strenuous, travellers who participate on excursions must be able to climb a ship-side gangway, get in and out of Zodiacs and be able to stand unaided. Each landing and excursion caters to all fitness levels ranging from easy to challenging, ultimately each guest is able to decide how active or relaxing their voyage is.

  • Is any clothing included?

    Thermally-insulated Muck Boots are provided for use on all our Southern Ocean voyages while guests travelling to the Ross Sea are supplied with an Antarctic grade jacket during their time in Antarctica.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for our latest Covid-19 policies

  • Is there a doctor on board?

    Yes, on Heritage Adventurer there is an on board doctor with a small infirmary and on many voyages a First Responder will travel with guests on excursions. Heritage Explorer does not have a doctor on board, however our crew are trained in first aid.

  • Are drinks included?

    Yes, house wine, beer and soft drinks are included with lunch and dinner on all Heritage Expeditions voyages. Complimentary drinks can also be enjoyed during special events on board while bar purchases can also be charged to your stateroom.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Travelling with Heritage Expeditions is to travel responsibly. As biologists and ornithologists, we are intimately aware of the many issues that confront animals and their habitats, the world's oceans and isolated ethnic groups. We also take action: we actively contribute to the conservation of the places we visit in several ways; we 'buy local' and employ locally; we make sure that travellers are respectful of local customs and traditions; and we dispose of waste responsibly.

  • Is there a gym on board?

    Yes, Heritage Adventurer has a gym, pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and Spa on Deck 7. While there is no gym on Heritage Explorer, guests have plenty of opportunity to stretch their legs on shore or take the kayaks out, weather permitting.

  • What is the onboard currency?

    Heritage Adventurer operates in US$ while Heritage Explorer is NZ$.

  • Does a single supplement apply?

    Heritage Adventurer has 20 dedicated single cabins (12 x Main Deck Single Staterooms on Deck 3 and 8 x Superior Single Staterooms on Deck 5). Heritage Adventurer also has the option of guests sharing in our Main Deck Triple (Deck 3) and Superior Triple (Deck 5) Staterooms. There may also be the option to share a Deck 4 or Deck 5 Superior Stateroom with another solo-travelling guest of the same gender. Heritage Explorer has 2 dedicated single cabins, Wandering, and if these are booked there may be availability to book a Salvin’s Twin/Double or Buller’s as a single at 1.8 times the published per person rate.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Heritage Expeditions was formed in 1985.

  • Is there Wi-Fi on board?

    Yes, there is Wi-Fi available on both ships. Heritage Adventurer has a connection via satellite and vouchers can be purchased from reception. Wi-Fi is included on Heritage Explorer.

  • Are all excursions included?

    Yes, all standard excursions are included in the voyage cost. All you will need to pay for on board is anything of a personal nature, laundry, drinks and gratuities.

Reviews of this Operator

Anne Carroll (Google Reviewer)  

I’ve just returned to Canada...

06-Sep-2023

I’ve just returned to Canada after an absolutely stupendous trip to the Kimberley region of Western Australia aboard the Heritage Adventurer. Everything from booking the trip to exiting the ship on our last day was first class and run like a well-oiled machine. The guides were informed, interesting, interested, enthusiastic, friendly, and made us guests feel like we were part of the ship family. Every day I wondered how they could top the daily activities, and the next day was another mind-blowing experience. The daily recaps were well-presented and always so interesting. We always knew what was coming up next - everything was very well organized. The camaraderie amongst the guides was obvious and that translated into a truly remarkable experience for me and the many other guests I met and befriended on board. The ship crew were always smiling and quickly learned our names and preferences. To a person, they were delightful and couldn’t have done more to ensure a fabulous experience for all. Great staff, lovely ship and absolutely amazing daily experiences. Wildlife, stunning landscapes, ancient art sites, and guides who explain in detail what we are seeing whether it’s insects, birds, rocks, whales, crocodiles, plants, fish and so much more. I came away with a much deeper appreciation for nature and how we humans are affected by and have an effect on nature. The cruise was ten days, but it felt like I had a month worth of experiences. I’d jump at the chance to explore any place with this company. I’m now hooked on the small ship cruise experience! Thank you Heritage Expeditions!

Sally Adams  

In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton: Ross Sea Antarctica “A Fantastic Voyage!”

01-Mar-2023

It was a fantastic voyage! The weather was amazing, the ship was stable, all the staff were terrific, the lectures were really interesting the food was excellent & I met many wonderful fellow travellers, some of whom I am keeping in touch with. And now I am belatedly reading a book about the Antarctic explorers it means a lot more, having been to the area, seen the huts etc. So thank you very much for a memorable experience.

Heritage Expeditions Customer
Emily P  

The Best of New Zealand: An Intimate Exploration Cruise of New Zealand's Islands “One of the greatest experiences of my life!”

01-Mar-2023

“The expedition was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We journeyed to many incredible parts of Aotearoa that I wouldn't have otherwise sailed to, hiked, or photographed. I loved how the daily itinerary responded to the weather conditions and different abilities so that we could all have a meaningful time in each place. The vessel is stunning and the crew took excellent care of us, as did the expedition team. Getting to know them and our fellow adventurers was a special part of the trip. It still feels like a dream!”

Heritage Expeditions Customer
Graham Barrie (Google Reviewer)  

Have just booked a trip...

28-May-2021

Have just booked a trip later in the year and the service I had with the staff and Emma in particular has been wonderful. Thank you 😊

Lorraine Knowles (Google Reviewer)  

Our trip on Hertiage Explorer...

10-Oct-2022

Our trip on Hertiage Explorer to the Southern Fiords was awesome. There was not one aspect that we could fault. The food, crew, expeditions ashore, fellow passengers and the knowledge of our guides was A+. We will definately book with you again - 2024 around the Bay of Islands.

Kita Williams  

Galapagos of the Southern Ocean: New Zealand and Australia's Subantarctic Islands “This was a Fantastic Trip - I Enjoyed Every Moment”

01-Mar-2023

This was a fantastic trip! From the glorious king penguins, to the sweet young elephant seal pups with their huge eyes, to the breathtakingly beautiful albatrosses on Campbell Island, and the colourful megaherbs, I enjoyed every moment. The sub-Antarctic islands are all very different, with unique landscapes and characteristics that were wonderful to experience. It was great to watch the lectures on board the ship, and our guides were very knowledgeable, helpful, fun and organised. We were so spoiled with the delicious meals and almost endless choices on board as well! The ship became a very cozy, familiar place and I enjoyed meeting some wonderful guests and exploring or cruising around in Zodiacs together. This trip really was a photographer's paradise, the wildlife and landscapes were incredible. Thank you Heritage Expeditions, I hope to join you again in the future!

Heritage Expeditions Customer
Chris Verstappen (Google Reviewer)  

A travel company that makes...

04-Oct-2017

A travel company that makes expedition cruising available to remote places on earth. I had the opportunity to go on a trip to the South Pacific in April 2017. A truly remarkable and well organized expedition and for sure a company I will come back to for more of their trips.

Brent Narbey (Google Reviewer)  

I had the trip of...

21-Dec-2017

I had the trip of a lifetime, the boat, crew and expedition leaders were WORLD CLASS! We cruised from Papua New Guinea through the Solomon Islands (Melanesia) for two weeks. The wildlife was wonderful as the indigenous peoples were friendly - Cant wait to do another one of their trips. Thanks for everything!

Dates & Availability

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Thursday - Wednesday

Jul 04, 2024 - Jul 10, 2024
$4625 $4498 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$127 (USD)

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Wednesday - Tuesday

Jul 10, 2024 - Jul 16, 2024
$4625 $4498 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$127 (USD)

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Monday - Sunday

Aug 12, 2024 - Aug 18, 2024
$4625 $4498 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$127 (USD)

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Friday - Thursday

Sep 06, 2024 - Sep 12, 2024
$4150 $4036 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$114 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Monday

Sep 24, 2024 - Sep 30, 2024
$4150 $4036 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$114 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Heritage Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of heritage expeditions charges.

    Up to 91 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 90 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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