7 Days Small Ship Expedition Cruise
Departs Bluff - 24 November 2020
Join Innovative Travel and Heritage Expeditions for a unique destination and experience in authentic small ship expedition cruising. Tick this once-in-a-lifetime experience off your travel bucket list and explore remote parts of New Zealand's Southern region, an area known for its diverse range of wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery where you will discover the real Fiordland and Stewart Island.
Explore New Zealand's remote southern backyard on this special 7-day voyage. Discover the time-forgot rawness of wildlife-rich Stewart Island/Rakiura and primordial majesty of Fiordland where clouds scud the ragged peaks of glacier-cleaved mountains streaked with waterfalls only accessible by expedition ship, and the rare opportunity to combine both of these remarkable destinations on one voyage.
After departing Bluff you will set sail for Stewart Island, New Zealand's third largest island, and predator-free Ulva Island/Te Wharawhara. Rich in history and wildlife, these wild and remote islands are home to a unique range of birdlife including Bellbird, Tui, Kaka, Tomtit, Rifleman, Stewart Island Robin, Saddleback, Mohua and of course, the Stewart Island Brown Kiwi (or Southern Tokoeka). There will be opportunities to listen to the native bird song and stroll the golden sandy beaches, before taking the time to take a closer look at the history of Paterson Inlet.
Travelling south and cruise along the coast around South West Cape and the Muttonbird/Titi Islands, an archipelago of three rocky island chains named after the Sooty Shearwater which famously breed here. We hope to make several landings at these remote and sandy beaches and Zodiac cruise the coastline including Codfish Island/Whenua Hou with its history including sealing and, more recently, as one of the most important strongholds of critically-endangered Kākāpō on the planet.
As you expedition cruise up the lower west side of New Zealand's South Island, prepare for the grand scale scenery of Fiordland. Explore these remote ice-carved mountains, verdant forests and winding fiords. In the calm waters of Fiordland, and away from the crowds, you can expect to encounter playful New Zealand Fur Seals, curious Dusky Dolphins, elusive birds and enjoy endless stunning vistas.
During your time here it is planned to Zodiac cruise glittering waterways amid the podocarp forest-cloaked spines of Anchor and Resolution Islands and the tiny islands of Dusky Sound where orchids, flame-tipped Rata and clusters of alpine tree daisies put on an impressive floral display.
On predator-free Anchor Island, home to half the world's population of Kakapo as well as Little Spotted Kiwi, you will cross tannin-stained streams and walk around Lake Kirirua, its calm surface reflecting the forest-fringed edge, before arriving at historic Luncheon Cove - a location of New Zealand firsts including first sealing gang, first European settlement and first ship to be built in the country. Discover hidden inlets, coves and beaches as you make your way around Sportsman Cove and Zodiac cruise to explore the lush wilderness of Cooper Island and experience Fiordland from above with an optional helicopter extension.