Expedition to New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands

No Single Supplement

New Zealand
December - January
14 Nights

Choose Your Departure Date

Macqarie Island - Ponant
Dunedin - Dunedin
Jan 12 2026 - Jan 26 2026
14 Nights

Price from per person

£8,950
Campbell Island
Dunedin - Dunedin
Dec 03 2024 - Dec 26 2024
14 Nights

Price from per person

£10,160
New Zealand birds
Dunedin - Dunedin
Dec 29 2025 - Jan 12 2026
14 Nights

Price from per person

£10,170
Dunedin - Dunedin
Dec 17 2024 - Dec 31 2024
14 Nights

Price from per person

£10,160

Cruise Overview

Join us on a 15-day cruise to explore the pristine Fiordlands and Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand. Starting from Dunedin, the cruise features stops at Ulva Island, a noted wildlife sanctuary, and ventures into the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fiordland National Park, where you'll experience the majesty of Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, and Milford Sound.

Enjoy close encounters with unique wildlife on the Snares Islands and Macquarie Island. Renowned for their ecological richness, these remote islands offer sights of endemic species, rugged landscapes, and vivid megaherbs. Concluding in Dunedin, this journey promises unforgettable views and wildlife, making it a dream for nature lovers.

Expedition to New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Discover the South West World Heritage Area, featuring the stunning Milford, Dusky, and Doubtful Sounds.
  • Take a zodiac cruise through the fiords to catch a glimpse of the elusive Fiordland crested penguin.
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Te Wāhipounamu with its awe-inspiring sounds, Macquarie Island*, and New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands (Snares, Auckland, and Campbell islands).
  • Observe breeding populations of diverse seals including New Zealand, Antarctic, and Subantarctic fur seals, as well as New Zealand sea lions and Southern elephant seals.
  • Explore Snares Island, which hosts more nesting seabirds than the entirety of the British Isles.
  • Enjoy a guided tour on the predator-free Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara), renowned for its preserved natural habitat.
  • Learn about the rich history, diverse flora, and fauna through expert-led expeditions both on board and during zodiac explorations.
  • *Note: Visit to Macquarie Island is contingent on obtaining permission from Australian authorities.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Explore the pristine Fiordlands and Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand.

Dunedin
Day 1  

Dunedin

Dunedin, nestled on the southeast coast of New Zealand's South Island, combines a rich Scottish heritage with striking natural surroundings. Established in the 1840s by Scottish immigrants, its name is inspired by Edinburgh, Scotland.

The city is celebrated for its Victorian and Edwardian buildings, with the Dunedin Railway Station known for its intricate mosaics and the historic University of Otago, the oldest in New Zealand, serving as key landmarks.

Embarkation from 16:00 to 17:00

Departure at 18:00

Day 2

Ulva Island

Ulva Island is a serene sanctuary nestled in Paterson Inlet, off the southern coast of New Zealand's Stewart Island. It stands as an untouched paradise, largely due to its status as a predator-free nature reserve, a designation that has allowed native flora and fauna to thrive.

Dense, lush forests cover the island, featuring a mix of rimu, totara, and kamahi trees, intertwined with a rich understory of ferns and orchids. These forests provide a glimpse into New Zealand’s ancient past, offering walking trails that meander under the verdant canopy.

New zealand Dusky Sound
Day 3 

Dusky Sound & Doubtful Sound

Dusky Sound is a remote and majestic fiord located in the southwestern corner of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park. Known for its dramatic landscapes and historical significance, Dusky Sound offers a tranquil escape into nature's untouched splendor.

Dusky Sound holds a special place in New Zealand's exploration history as one of the first areas charted by Captain James Cook in 1773. His extensive mapping and time spent in the area have left a lasting legacy, marked by sites like Astronomer’s Point, where Cook’s astronomer used to observe the stars.

As a part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site, the sound is a sanctuary for numerous species of wildlife, including bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and Fiordland crested penguins. The isolated inlets and protected waters also provide a haven for various marine life.

Doubtful Sound, nestled deep within the rugged wilderness of Fiordland National Park in New Zealand's South Island, is a remarkable natural wonder often referred to as the 'Sound of Silence.' Its grandeur and tranquility make it a unique and mesmerizing destination.

 

Milford sound
Day 4

Milford Sound 

Milford Sound, located in the heart of Fiordland National Park on New Zealand’s South Island, is one of the country's most iconic and awe-inspiring natural attractions. Often shrouded in mist and draped with waterfalls, Milford Sound offers a dramatic landscape that captures the essence of wild beauty.

Milford Sound is known for its high rainfall, which enhances its mystical and ethereal atmosphere. The rain contributes to the numerous spectacular waterfalls, including the famous Stirling and Bowen falls, which swell and cascade into the fiord, creating powerful natural spectacles.

The Snares
Day 5

The Snares

The Snares, also known as Snares Islands, are a small group of islands situated about 200 kilometers south of New Zealand's South Island. They form one of the country's primary Subantarctic island groups, renowned for their untouched wilderness and critical ecological status.

The Snares are completely free from human habitation and invasive species, making them one of the most pristine areas in the Southern Ocean. Access to the islands is heavily restricted, with landings not allowed, to preserve their delicate ecosystem.

Enderby
Day 6

Enderby Island

Part of the Auckland Islands group, Enderby Island is acclaimed for its wild natural beauty and significant conservation efforts.

Enderby Island is a haven for diverse wildlife, including several endangered species. The island hosts a breeding population of the rare yellow-eyed penguin and the New Zealand sea lion, one of the most endangered sea lions in the world.

Musgrave Inlet
Day 7

Musgrave Inlet

Musgrave Inlet is a lesser-known but equally striking feature located on the eastern side of Auckland Island, part of New Zealand's remote Subantarctic region. 

The inlet is part of the Auckland Island group, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Conservation efforts focus on protecting the unique flora and fauna, including ongoing initiatives to remove invasive species and restore native habitats.

Le Boreal Ponant Bar
Day 8 

At Sea

Take full advantage of the various amenities and activities available on the ship. Indulge in some downtime at the spa, or keep up with your fitness routine at the gym. Depending on the weather, you might enjoy a dip in the swimming pool or some sunbathing. This cruise, free from port stops, also provides a chance to attend onboard lectures or shows, depending on what's scheduled. You can also shop at the onboard boutique or connect with photographers in their exclusive area.

For those who love the sea, a visit to the ship’s upper deck offers a breathtaking view of the ocean, where you might even spot some marine wildlife. This voyage promises a perfect blend of relaxation, leisure, and entertainment.

Macquarie Island - Ponant
Day 9

Macquarie Island 

Macquarie Island is the exposed crest of the underwater Macquarie Ridge, formed by tectonic activity between the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates. This island is one of the few places on Earth where the oceanic crust and rocks from the Earth's mantle, normally found deep below the ocean floor, are exposed above sea level.

The island serves as a vital breeding ground for a vast array of subantarctic wildlife, including four species of penguins—king, royal, gentoo, and rockhopper—as well as large colonies of elephant seals and fur seals. The waters surrounding the island are a habitat for whales and numerous seabird species.

Spa Le Lyrial
Day 10

At Sea

Take full advantage of the various amenities and activities available on the ship. Indulge in some downtime at the spa, or keep up with your fitness routine at the gym. Depending on the weather, you might enjoy a dip in the swimming pool or some sunbathing. This cruise, free from port stops, also provides a chance to attend onboard lectures or shows, depending on what's scheduled. You can also shop at the onboard boutique or connect with photographers in their exclusive area.

For those who love the sea, a visit to the ship’s upper deck offers a breathtaking view of the ocean, where you might even spot some marine wildlife. This voyage promises a perfect blend of relaxation, leisure, and entertainment.

Campbell Island
Day 11

Campbell Island 

Campbell Island is celebrated for its successful eradication of invasive species, leading to a dramatic recovery of native flora and fauna. This has allowed the island’s ecosystem to regenerate, helping to restore its original biodiversity.

Characterized by steep cliffs, rolling hills, and peat bogs, the island’s terrain is covered with dense mega-herb communities. These large, colorful plants are adapted to the harsh Subantarctic climate, and they flourish here, creating a unique and visually striking landscape.

Day 12

At Sea

Take full advantage of the various amenities and activities available on the ship. Indulge in some downtime at the spa, or keep up with your fitness routine at the gym. Depending on the weather, you might enjoy a dip in the swimming pool or some sunbathing. This cruise, free from port stops, also provides a chance to attend onboard lectures or shows, depending on what's scheduled. You can also shop at the onboard boutique or connect with photographers in their exclusive area.

For those who love the sea, a visit to the ship’s upper deck offers a breathtaking view of the ocean, where you might even spot some marine wildlife. This voyage promises a perfect blend of relaxation, leisure, and entertainment.

Antipodes Island
Day 13

Antipodes Islands

The Antipodes Island group, a collection of volcanic islands, lies remote in the Southern Ocean, approximately 860 kilometers southeast of New Zealand. These islands are part of New Zealand's subantarctic islands and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their outstanding natural value and nearly untouched condition.

With their harsh, cool, and windy climate, frequent rainfall, and challenging terrain, the Antipodes epitomize the raw, unbridled nature of the subantarctic region. Their conservation successes showcase the positive outcomes of dedicated environmental stewardship in protecting unique island ecosystems.

Le Lyrial Exterior seating Ponant
Day 14

At Sea

Take full advantage of the various amenities and activities available on the ship. Indulge in some downtime at the spa, or keep up with your fitness routine at the gym. Depending on the weather, you might enjoy a dip in the swimming pool or some sunbathing. This cruise, free from port stops, also provides a chance to attend onboard lectures or shows, depending on what's scheduled. You can also shop at the onboard boutique or connect with photographers in their exclusive area.

For those who love the sea, a visit to the ship’s upper deck offers a breathtaking view of the ocean, where you might even spot some marine wildlife. This voyage promises a perfect blend of relaxation, leisure, and entertainment.

Dunedin
Day 15 

Dunedin

Dunedin, nestled on the southeast coast of New Zealand's South Island, combines a rich Scottish heritage with striking natural surroundings. Established in the 1840s by Scottish immigrants, its name is inspired by Edinburgh, Scotland.

The city is celebrated for its Victorian and Edwardian buildings, with the Dunedin Railway Station known for its intricate mosaics and the historic University of Otago, the oldest in New Zealand, serving as key landmarks.

Disembarkation 8am

Activities

Activities

Zodiac Cruising

Zodiac New Zealand Ponant

Zodiac outings are included.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Le Boreal

Ship Highlights

1

Medium-sized luxury ship with a relaxed atmosphere

An excellent choice for explorers looking for a 5* luxury expedition cruise with a laid-back atmosphere, excellent dining choices and homely suites on a spacious ship with no more than 200 guests in Antarctica.
1

Outstanding expedition experience

Le Boreal is known for its outstanding expedition experience with a team of expert polar guides and naturalists who take guests exploring by Zodiac daily and offer enriching lectures onboard.
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Eco-friendly with a commitment to sustainability

With a deep commitment to environmental performance, Le Boreal is a huge advancement in eco cruising with the latest technologies, which include lower emissions and fuel consumption, waste reduction, waste recovery and recycling, an onboard environment officer, and a reduced underwater noise profile to minimize disturbance to wildlife.
1

Unique Itineraries to Explore Greenland and the Canadian Arctic

One of the few ships offering in-depth voyages to the Thule region in the far north of Greenland or Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, Le Boréal is an excellent choice for guests looking to undertake deeper explorations of the remote Arctic.
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Great Option for Solo Travellers

Le Boréal offers a selection of no single supplement cabins on select voyages, making it an excellent choice for solo travelers looking to explore the polar regions in a friendly atmosphere.

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