Southern Heritage Expeditions - Antarctica

No man will ever venture further than I have done, and that the lands that may lie to the south will never be explored.

The Ross Sea Region

The Ross Sea region, south of New Zealand was discovered in the summer of 1841 - 42 by the James Clark Ross expedition. This region was to play an important part in the exploration of the continent. In 1908 Ernest Shackleton led the Nimrod Expedition to Cape Royds on Ross Island in his attempt to be the first person to reach the South Pole. He was forced to turn back just 97 nautical miles short of the Pole. Three years latter Robert Falcon Scott established a base at Cape Evans before beginning his "dash" to the South Pole. Other explorers and research expeditions followed and today the Ross Sea Region is among one of the most historical yet remote regions on this great frozen continent. The birds and mammals of these icy latitudes which have intrigued explorers and scientists alike remain as they were when the first explorers arrived, indifferent to the human visitors.

Subantarctic Islands

Lying between the Ross Sea region of Antarctica and Australia and New Zealand are a number of Islands - outposts in the Southern Ocean. Macquarie Island has made a remarkable recovery from a period of intense exploration. Four species of penguin - Gentoo, Rockhopper, King and Royals nest here. Nearly two million royal penguins unique to Macquarie Island blanket the southern end of the Island. Campbell Island is New Zealand's southern most Subantarctic Island. It is a major breeding area for the Southern Royal albatross, a seabird whose 11 foot wing span rivals that of the wandering albatross. Further north the Auckland Islands is the centre of the worlds population of rare Hookers sealions. Of all the Subantarctic Islands none has had a more romantic history. Discovered in 1806 they were the haunt of sealers and whalers, they were also the scene of a shortlived attempt at colonisation. The thickly wooded slopes display a unique and luxuriant blend of Subantarctic and Pacific flora.

The Antipodes Island were named for their antiopal position, almost exactly opposite on the globe from Greenwich, England. They are the most remote of New Zealands Subantarctic Islands. The Bounty Islands discovered by Capt. William Bligh consist of eleven granite rocks. There is no vegetation and the birds, of which there are many, that nest there crouch low to the rocks to avoid being blown away during the storms. The Snares Island is one of the few unmodified Islands in this region, it is a wildlife sanctuary of International importance where thousands of seabirds and penguins find refuge.

The Ross sea region and the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia remain one of the most isolated areas of the globe. Our ship is an expedition-class vessel, powerful and safe but not luxurious. Even so, on board you will find all the necessities and more, including comfortable cabins, excellent food and interesting lectures. And with a maximum complement of 38 passengers, you are assured of maximum opportunity to enjoy and participate.

What Is Expedition Cruising

Expedition cruising offers unique opportunities for discerning travellers to visit some of the worlds rare and remote places in an intelligent, comfortable and safe way. These are not luxury cruises, they are trips designed for people who are truly interested in their destination.

Expedition cruising is educational. Itineraries are thoroughly researched to give participants maximum opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique natural and cultural history of the areas visited. To assist participants qualified historians and naturalists accompany the cruise to share information in an informal way about the region. An extensive library is also available for participants use.

Expedition cruising is responsible. We appreciate that the areas we visit contain fragile ecosystems, and that we are visitors, not the creators. Responsible guidelines of visitor behaviour are adhered to, these ensure maximum enjoyment for everybody while protecting the wildlife and fragile ecology.

Expedition cruising is rewarding and challenging. We are always prepared to expect the unexpected and take advantage of it. Our itineraries are flexible allowing us the opportunity to spend more time in an area if the wildlife observations are particulary good. As a member of a small team your interests are always important and are considered in planning activities.

Southern Heritage Expeditions

Welcome to the world of Expedition Cruising - our world. Southern Heritage Expeditions has been offering discerning travellers the opportunity to discover previously inaccessible wilderness areas and islands in New Zealand and the southern ocean since 1985. Programmes which have won international acclaim and awards, including the Air New Zealand Ecotourism Award and highly commended in the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

We are pleased to present to you our 1995/96 collection of expedition cruises. They continue the high standard of research and presentation that discerning travellers have come to expect. These expeditions are designed for people who are truly interested in the destination, who wish to participate and be informed. We employ some of New Zealands leading field scientists and experts to accompany each expedition and this season is no exception.

Many of the areas that we visit contain fragile ecosystems. To ensure that impacts are kept to a minimum we adhere to responsible visitor guidelines and group sizes are deliberately kept small. You will be one of just 38 passengers on board, imagine the opportunities that this presents. We have completed an Environmental Impact Assessment Report on our operations. This has been audited and approved by the New Zealand Government. Our safety standards are among the highest in the world with modern equipment and state of the art semi rigid inflatable craft for landings.

The destinations continue to excite those that join us. The Ross Sea Region of Antarctica played an important role in the exploration of the continent, it is one of the most historic yet remote regions of Antarctica. The birds and mammals which have intrigued explorers and scientists alike remain much as they were when the first explorers arrived, indifferent to human visitors. The Subantarctic Islands are lonely outposts in the southern ocean. They are important breeding grounds for the millions of seabirds, albatross's, petrels and prions, that must come ashore to nest. So valuable are these Islands that authorities restrict the number of visitors that are allowed ashore each year to 600. The southern most fiords of New Zealand are amongst the most majestic in the world and are only accessible by ship. Here the mountains, forests and rivers combine to form a dramatic landscape.

Our objective is to share these places with you in such a manner, that you will return ambassadors for the continued protection, of what we believe are among the most magnificent places on earth. We invite you to join us.

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