Antarctica - The Ross Sea Region

The ultimate Antarctic voyage, this expedition includes the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, as well as Macquarie Island, McMurdo Sound, and the Ross Ice Shelf. You will spend 10 days in the Ross Sea, with plenty of time ashore to soak up the scenery, wildlifeÂincluding the famed Emperor PenguinÂand the history. Explore the seldom visited Possession Islands and Ross Island, and examine the eerily preserved artifacts of ScottÂs Discovery hut.

Voyage departing on January 12, 2012 follows the same itinerary as below, but starts in Invercargill, embarks in Port of Bluff and is 29 days.

Itinerary

Day 1: Dunedin, New Zealand

Arrive at the City of Dunedin and the Port of Otago. It was from Dunedin that the Terra Nova departed for Antarctica on 29th November 1910. The highlight of the evening will the Centennial Expedition Dinner with guest speakers and invited members of the public.

Day 2: Port of Dunedin

After breakfast, board a coach to transfer to DunedinÂs Port of Otago where the Spirit of Enderby awaits. Settle into your cabin, then join expedition staff for an orientation to the vessel.

Day 3: The Snares

North East Island is the largest of the Snares and home to more nesting seabirds than in all of the British Isles. Snares Crested Penguins are plentiful, as are the Cape Petrel and BullerÂs Albatross.

Days 4-5: Auckland Islands

Forested by windswept Rata, Enderby Island is simply beautiful. Enjoy the Bulbinella rossii fields, regenerating patches of Anisotome latifolia and red and white gentians. View the rare HookerÂs Sea Lion, and in Carnley Harbour climb up to the Southwest Cape White-capped Albatross Colony or take part in a Zodiac excursion.

Day 6: At Sea

Learn more about the biology and history of the Subantarctic Islands and the Southern Ocean through a series of lectures. Expect the bird life to build as we cross the Subantarctic Convergence Zone.

Days 7-8: Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is a small sliver of land supporting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. Millions of penguins breed here. Large groups of Elephant Seals and other wildlife also inhabit the sandy beaches and the tussock grass.

Days 9-12: At Sea

Lectures now concentrate on your next destination, the AntarcticÂs Ross Sea region. Drifting icebergs carry vivid colours and come in extraordinary shapes. The Captain will announce your arrival at the Antarctic Circle.

Days 13-21: AntarcticaÂs Ross Sea Region

Due to the unpredictable nature of ice and weather conditions, a day-by-day itinerary in the Ross Sea is not possible, but you take advantage of every opportunity to make landings. Your program emphasises wildlife viewing, key scientific bases and historic sites, as well as the spectacular scenery. You may visit the following areas: Cape Adare - The location of BorchgrevinkÂs Hut, the oldest in Antarctica, built during the first expedition to the Antarctic continent in 1899. It is also the site of the largest Adélie penguin rookery in Antarctica--up to one million birds. Cape Hallett - The enormous Admiralty Range heralds your arrival at Cape Hallett. The mountains rear up from the sea to over 4,000 metres and glaciers course down from the interior. Terra Nova Bay - At Baia Terra Nova, an Italian research station, many streams of scientific research are conducted, and they also claim to have the best Âcaffe espresso in Antarctica! Franklin Island - This rugged Island, deep in the Ross Sea, is capped in ice and is home to a large Adélie Penguin population. Ross Ice Shelf - The largest ice shelf in Antarctica, the Ross Ice Shelf is also the worldÂs largest body of floating ice. A natural barrier, it lies just 800 miles from the South Pole. Ross Island  Mount Erebus, Cape Bird, ShackletonÂs Hut, and ScottÂs Hut. Cape Evans Hut - The hut is expected to be completed to celebrate this anniversary. Visits to McMurdo Station and Scott Base provide an insight to modern scientific research in Antarctica.Ross Island is dominated by Mount Erebus, its active volcanic crater towers over AntarcticaÂs most historic region, McMurdo Sound. Your time within McMurdo Sound is dedicated to visiting and witnessing the natural and historical highlights. Travel back in time, walking in the footsteps of Scott and Shackleton with visits to their huts and Cape Royds, Cape Evans and Hut Point. This is centenary of the Terra Nova Expedition and restoration work on the Possession Islands. These small, rugged and rarely visited islands lay off the shore of Cape Hallett. An Adélie Penguin rookery, numbering tens of thousands of birds, blankets both islands.

Days 22-26: At Sea

Enroute to Campbell Island, take part in a series of lectures designed to prepare you for our visit to Campbell Island and view the pelagic species, which abound.

Days 27-28: Campbell Island

Campbell Island is a place of rugged scenery and abundant wildlife. The highlights of our visit are the rare HookerÂs Sea Lions and a walk to the hilltop breeding sites of Southern Royal Albatross, over six thousand pairs of which breed here.

Day 29: At Sea

Relax and reflect on what will have been an amazing experience. You will enjoy a farewell dinner tonight as you sail the last few miles of your journey.

Day 30: Invercargill

After breakfast and customs formalities you will disembark at the Port of Bluff, Invercargill. You will then transfer you by coach to central Invercargill hotels or to the Invercargill Airport.

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