Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand: Jan 17—Feb 03, 2017

Aboard the Caledonian Sky

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Queenstown
Tour Limit: 20
Operations Manager: Greg Lopez
Download Itinerary: PDF (458.8 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


David Wolf

David Wolf is a senior member of the VENT staff and one of our most experienced tour leaders...

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Tui— Photo: Tessa Palmer/shutterstock


A voyage to New Zealand’s South Island and the southern Pacific Ocean features seabird spectacles, spectacular Fjordland, remote subantarctic islands, and the comforts of a small adventure cruise ship.

New Zealand is a veritable traveler’s paradise. Marvelous natural wonders, unique wildlife, and a rich indigenous cultural heritage are hallmarks of this country that many consider the most beautiful in the world.

For this departure, we’re partnering with Zegrahm Expeditions for a special exploration of the spectacular coastal regions of New Zealand’s South Island and extraordinary subantarctic islands. From Queenstown in the heart of the South Island to remote island clusters in the lonely Pacific Ocean, this will be a marvelous natural history program with strong emphases on scenic wonders, birding and botanical highlights, and shore activities. Our vessel for this voyage is the lovely Caledonian Sky, a 100-passenger small adventure cruise ship offering spacious accommodations, beautiful furnishings, all outside cabins, and excellent cuisine.

WEBINAR: With Victor Emanuel & Barry Lyon, September 13, 2016

While most land-based tours to New Zealand visit well-known, time-honored locations, only by cruise ship are we exposed to the full scale of New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery and wildlife. From the snow-capped Southern Alps, we’ll travel through Fjordland National Park in the wake of Captain Cook, exploring the glacially-carved waterways and towering cascades that define the legendary beauty of Milford, Doubtful, and Dusky sounds. Rounding South Island, we’ll spend time in the moss-laden rain forest of Stewart Island, home to rare native birds including Kiwi, Kaka, South Island Saddleback, Tui, and New Zealand Bellbird. Along the east coast, we’ll visit Taiaroa Head to see the world-famous colony of “Northern” Royal Albatrosses and the beautiful Yellow-eyed Penguin.

Caledonian Sky

Caledonian Sky— Photo: Ellen Rooney


The subantarctic Islands of New Zealand are a naturalist’s treasure-trove. Rising from the depths of the vast Pacific Ocean, a series of island clusters, hundreds of miles from the nearest land, have existed in isolation for millions of years. Harboring marvelous communities of birds and plants, these islands are proving grounds of evolution where species that colonized these outposts in the distant past have developed into unique varieties found nowhere else. We will visit the Snares—forest-covered citadels home to millions of albatrosses, shearwaters, diving-petrels, and Snares Penguins; Enderby Island—featuring Yellow-eyed Penguins, rata forests, endemic landbirds, and a colony of New Zealand Sea Lions; Campbell Island—renowned for its remarkable introduced predator eradication program, nesting “Southern” Royal Albatrosses, and flightless Campbell Islands Teal; and Australian-held Macquarie Island, most southerly of all, and home to splendid scenery, colonies of King and Royal penguins, and beaches clad with sparring Southern Elephant Seals.

All meals and accommodations aboard ship; activities include lengthy inter-island transits, Zodiac cruises, and shore excursions; mixed weather and sea conditions expected; temperatures mild to cold, but not frigid.