Expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions has now released details of its popular Southern Hemisphere 2015-2016 expedition programme. Many favourite itineraries make an encore appearance with a few tweaks here and there testament to the company’s dedication to continually improve its offering.
The Heritage Expeditions programme is particularly appealing as it enables those who are not scientists to visit remote locations which are often ‘off limits’ to recreational travellers and certainly off the beaten track. The Spirit of Enderby accommodates just 50 passengers, so the group size does not overwhelm native villages or lonely islands and the vessel fosters a genuine common bond amongst the expeditioners on-board. Participants on these voyages of discovery are accompanied by a talented team of naturalists, biologists and human history experts who interpret and educate along the way. On some voyages there are specialised excursions where passengers can follow their particular passion such as sea kayaking.
Two expeditions which first made their appearance in the programme for 2013 are now gaining in popularity. These are the ‘Melanesia Discoverer’ voyage which travels from Madang in Papua New Guinea to Honiara in the Solomon Islands and ‘Secrets of Melanesia’ which explores from Honiara to Port Vila in Vanuatu. Many of the islands visited during these voyages rarely see outsiders, let alone tourist ships, so Spirit of Enderby passengers are a warmly welcomed novelty and are treated as personal guests by the local people. Berths start from USD5,995 per person for the 11 day expedition.
The shortest voyage in the selection is ‘Forgotten Islands of the South Pacific’ which offers an introduction to Subantarctic life and visits the Snares, Auckland and Campbell Islands. This 8 day round trip from Invercargill in southern New Zealand is priced from USD4,300 per person with sea kayaking at USD550. The longest voyage in the calendar is the 30 day Antarctica Ross Sea expedition ‘In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton’ which commences in Invercargill in January and February. Heritage Expeditions has been visiting this historic region for over 20 years and their experience shows in the enviable record of landings to visit the beautifully restored huts of the early Antarctic explorers.
The Heritage Expeditions Southern Ocean programme has much to offer the active expedition traveller in 2015/16. The full voyage calendar is available here.