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Expedition Antarctica: Reliving the Race to the South Pole

Program Number: 20499RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/22/2013 - 2/15/2013;
Duration: 24 nights
Location: Antarctica
Price starting at: $19,365.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 63; 22 Breakfasts, 19 Lunches, 22 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience the polar regions famously charted during the first race to the South Pole by pioneering explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton a century ago. Make landings on remote islands and shorelines by Zodiac boat.




Activity Particulars

Wet landings by Zodiac boat. Walking on uneven, slippery, rocky terrain. Itinerary may change based on unpredictable weather and ice conditions.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Hobart (Australia), 1 night; aboard Orion, 20 nights; Bluff (New Zealand), 1 night.



Days 1-2: Overnight flight from the U.S.A. / cross International Date


Days 3-4: Arrival Hobart (Australia) / embark Orion:

Explore the historic capital of the island state of Tasmania. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Days 5-6: At Sea:

Onboard experts give you en overview of Antarctic wildlife.



Days 7-8: Macquarie Island:

Learn about the unique geology of this UNESCO World Heritage Site island.



Days 9-11: At Sea:

Take part in expert-led presentations and discussions as the ship sails through the Southern Ocean.



Days 12-17: Ross Sea Region (Antarctica):

In this remote, ecologically rich area, attempt a variety of opportunistic landings. Encounter huge colonies of Adélie Penguins. Visit an Italian research station in Cape Terra Nova Bay. Venture to well-preserved huts built during Shackleton’s, Scott’s and Carsten Borchgrevink’s early 20th century expeditions.



Days 18-20: At Sea:

Continue to transit this vast wilderness in the company of seabirds, whales and dolphins.



Day 21: Campbell Island (New Zealand):

Walk among the fascinating rock formations of this volcanic island.



Day 22: Auckland Islands:

Discover an abandoned Maori settlement and a WWII coast watching station at Ranui Cove.



Day 23: Snares Islands:

Board the Zodiac for an up-close look at a protected shoreline home to albatrosses, Antarctic Terns and Snares Crested Penguins.



Days 24-25: Bluff / disembark / coach to Invercargill / departure

At the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, meet New Zealand’s tuatara, a lizard that has been on the planet since the time of dinosaurs.



Orion

Constructed by the Cassens Shipyard in Emden and launched in November 2003, Orion boasts an array of advanced design features and sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Custom-made for expedition cruising, the ship accommodates around 100 passengers, cared for in five-star comfort by a crew of 75.


Antarctica

In 1907, Shackleton led his crew into a place whose total ice-free area is estimated at little more than three tenths of a percentage. They came within one hundred miles of the South Pole and had to turn back for lack of supplies. Two hundred years later, slated from 2007 to 2009, an International Polar Year has been declared in order to allow researchers an opportunity to continue the tradition of discovering this wondrous land of ice and light.



Meals and Lodgings
   Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie
  Hobart, Australia 1 night
   Orion
  Aboard the Orion, At Sea 20 nights
   Ascot Park Hotel
  Invercargil, New Zealand 1 night
 Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie
Type: Hotel
  Description: Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie is located a leisurely stroll from Hobart’s famous Battery Point, Salamanca Place and waterfront restaurants and bars. The hotel’s location ensures handy access to all the unique attractions this region has to offer. The hotel is located 17KM from the airport.
  Contact info: 167 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS,  7000 Australia
phone: +61 .(0)3.6220.7100
web: www.staywellgroup.com/hotels/hobart/leisure-inn-hobart-macquarie
  Room amenities: Guest rooms also provide visitors to Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie the convenience of wireless internet, tea/coffee making facilities, mini-fridge, iron/ironing board, Individual room heating, In-room direct dial phones, hairdryer and opening windows.
  Facility amenities: Hotel facilities include onsite restaurant (check with the hotel for current opening hours), undercover parking, business services, guest laundry, dry cleaning service, luggage storage and tour booking expertise. The hotel is also serviced regularly by two airport shuttle buses.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for prices and booking.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Orion
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Technically and aesthetically, Orion is arguably the most sophisticated vessel in its class. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships guide describes her as "the latest in the quest to build the ideal expedition cruise ship". Constructed by the world-leading Cassens Shipyard in Emden, and launched in November 2003, she boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Although custom-made for expedition cruising, Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and calibre of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship and her guests are few; around just 50 couples, all cared for in 5-star comfort by a crew of 75. Chart your own path less travelled.
  Ship Information: Technical Information Length: 103 metres Beam: 14.25 metres Draft: 3.82 metres Hull: Ice-reinforced for voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic Ice Class: E3 (Germanischer Lloyd) Gross Tonnage: 4,000 Engines: Mak; 8M25; 3,265HP Speed: 15 knots. Cruise speed: 13 knots Stabilisers: Blohm & Voss, retractable fin stabilisers Manoeuvrability: Bow and stern thrusters Built: 2003 Delivery Date: November 2003 Builder: Cassens Shipyard-Emden, Germany Staterooms and Suites: 53 Guest Capacity: 106 (twin occupancy) Crew: 75 Elevator: Yes Classification: Germanischer Lloyd 100 A5 E3 Passenger Ship MC E3 AUT Regulations: Orion is built according to the latest international safety regulations, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health, Canadian Arctic Shipping, and St. Lawrence Seaway. Additional Craft: 10 Zodiac Heavy Duty MK5, 10 Kayaks, 2x12 passenger tenders Communications: Direct-dial satellite telephones; fax; e-mail; Internet access; internal telephone system Registry: Bahamas
  Contact info: Level 2, 8 West Street
North Sydney, NSW,  2060 Australia
phone: +xx.xxx.xxxx
web: www.orionexpeditions.com/ship/orion/ship
  Room amenities: Accommodation onboard Orion comprises 31 Suites and 22 Staterooms. Every room offers you ocean views, room to relax during the day and a choice of either queen or twin bed sleeping arrangements. All of the Staterooms and Suites have the same high standard of amenity. The marble bathrooms are well appointed, with Grohe tapware, Lanvin toiletries, fluffy towels and robes. All rooms offer conveniences such as ample storage space, complementary 24-hour room service, a flat screen TV, DVD/CD player, internet connectivity, a personal safe, hairdryer and a mini-refrigerator continuously stocked with complimentary bottled water.
  Facility amenities: Boutique Elevator Gymnasium Hair and Beauty Salon Hospital & Infirmary Internet Jacuzzi Lecture Theatre Leda Lounge and Cocktail Bar Library Marina Platforms Mud Room Observation Lounge Outdoor Café Outdoor Bar Reception Restaurant Sporting Facilities Sun Deck Vega Health Spa
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ascot Park Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Corner of Tay Street & Racecourse Road
Invercargill,   New Zealand
phone: + (03)2176195
web: www.ascotparkhotel.co.nz
  Room amenities: Broadband Internet connection, refridgerator, tea and coffee making facilities, full mini-bar, SkyTV, alarm clock, hair dryer, ironing board, radio, telephone
  Facility amenities: 24-hr reception, 24-hr room service, banquet/conference facilities, business centre, restaurant, bar, indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, spa, gymnasium, dry-cleaning facilities, laundry facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Additional nights available. Rates to be confirmed via PD.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts in Hobart, Tasmania, at the program hotel at approximately 6:00 p.m., before dinner. You will be staying at Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends in Invercargill, New Zealand, at the program hotel after breakfast at approximately 5:30 a.m. You will be staying at Ascot Park Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. All guests reserving Antarctic voyages will be required to supply information regarding fitness for travel to Antarctica and evidence that adequate medical and evacuation insurance is held.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not recommended.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: A Hobart bus shuttle operates between Hobart CBD (Hobart accommodation hotels, motels etc) and the Hobart Airport for every departure. The bus shuttle departs outside the terminal after the arrival of every flight transferring passengers to the city.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Hobart
  Transportation to site: There will be one group transfer from the airport in the first program site. Program only participants can join this transfer at no additional cost. Taxi fares to the city cost about $25-$30 one way and take about 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon traffic flow, which is usually free-flowing. Taxis conveniently can be found at the front of the domestic terminal building. A Hobart bus shuttle service operates between Hobart CBD (Hobart accommodation hotels, motels etc) and the Hobart Airport for every departure. The Hobart bus shuttle departs outside the terminal after the arrival of every flight transferring passengers to the city. To find out more about the Tasmanian Redline Airporter, visit www.tasredline.com.au/
  From End of Program
  Location:  Invercargil
  Transportation from site: There will be one designated group transfer from the program hotel to the airport. Program only participants can join the designated group transfer at no additional costs. There are taxis available from the hotel to the airport. The airport is about 1.5 miles from the city center.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Flight to Australia
(Tuesday, January 22)
   
 Depart From: Group flight departs North American for Australia.

Day 2: En Route / Cross International Date Line
(Wednesday, January 23)
   
 In Transit: En route to Australia.

Day 3: Arrival Hobart, Tasmania
(Thursday, January 24)
   
 Arrive To: Group arrival to Hobart airport at approximately 4:10 pm. Transfer to your program hotel.
 Afternoon: Join your group leader and other participants for the program orientation before dinner.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Leisure Inn Hobart Macquarie
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 4: Hobart / Transfer to board the ship
(Friday, January 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Set on the River Derwent, Hobart is very much a city of the sea with views of the Derwent estuary appearing around every corner. Historic 19th century waterfront warehouses remain, still bordering the commercial fishing harbour, though today it is easier to feast on seafood at one of the restaurants they now house. Hobart is the finishing line for the famed blue water Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and its deep harbour precinct once bustled with whalers, soldiers, petty bureaucrats and opportunistic businessmen. A walk through the town will reveal that the city has resisted the pressure to move with the times, having retained and preserved old buildings such as the Parliament built by convicts in the 1830s.
 Lunch: Lunch on own.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the pier to board the Orion. Time to settle into your cabin.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea / Presentations
(Saturday, January 26)

Note: Although our itinerary to the Antarctic regions is based on many years of collective experience, prevailing weather and ice conditions in this area of the world are unpredictable, mother nature dictates our course. These are not cruises; they are true expeditions to what can be the most inhospitable region on earth.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: At Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, January 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Macquarie Island
(Monday, January 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Often described as one of the "wonder spots" of the world, the sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie has been said to rival South Georgia in its magnificence, scenic diversity and prolific wildlife. Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1933 and a World Heritage Site in 1977, Macquarie now operates a full-time manned station where biological and meteorological research is conducted. The station, located on the isthmus at Buckles Bay, is where you will meet the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife rangers who will be your guides.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Explore Macquarie Island with your guide.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Sandy Bay on Macquarie Island
(Tuesday, January 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Sandy Bay, situated halfway down the island's eastern seaboard, is our planned landing site. The Zodiacs will traverse breakwaters of giant kelp before reaching rocky beaches where landing conditions can best be described as "wet and challenging". Once ashore you'll find the bay, with its rugged backdrop of mountains and tussock-covered headlands, is home to 20,000 breeding pair of royal penguins, king penguins, rock hopper penguins, gentoo penguins and elephant seals. This profusion of wildlife wasn't always so protected, the rusting remains of machinery used by whalers being stark reminders of the exploitation which took place on the island during its early history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue with today's expedition.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea / Presentations
(Wednesday, January 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At Sea / Presentation
(Thursday, January 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea / Presentation
(Friday, February 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Ross Sea Region / Cape Hallett
(Saturday, February 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: This southernmost expanse of the Pacific Ocean was named after James Clark Ross who first explored the area in 1841 with two ships, Erebus and Terror. As seas go, this one is quite shallow and is bounded in the east by the coastal mountains of Victoria Land and in the south by the Ross Ice Shelf. The shelf is a flat topped body of snow covered glacial ice about the size of France which largely floats except along the coastlines. The southern part of the Ross Sea is not navigable for some 9 months of the year. Over the summer season between January and March very few ships venture here, and those that do principally supply the various scientific stations. The Ross Sea coast extends from the ice shelf northwards until it reaches the very tip of Victoria Land and Cape Adare. During our time in the Ross Sea Region we will attempt a variety of opportunistic landings, subject to weather conditions.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Cape Hallett (wet landing): Following an intricate approach to Cape Hallett through thick pack ice, disembark the ship to inspect the site of an abandoned US/New Zealand base established during the International Geophysical Year in 1957-58. It is a magnificent area with giant glaciers and surrounding mountains of over 4,000 meters. Weddell Seals and Adelie Penguins abound.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Ross Sea Region / Cape Terra Nova Bay
(Sunday, February 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Cape Terra Nova Bay (wet landing): First discovered by Scott during his 1901-1904 expedition, the site is now occupied by an Italian base which operates a summer research station. If permission is granted, visit the base. It is then intended to cruise by the massive Drygalski ice tongue, which extends 70km out into the Ross Sea as part of the David Glacier.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue this morning's exploration.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Ross Sea Region / Inexpressible Island
(Monday, February 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Inexpressible Island is home to a small Adelie Penguin rookery. This low bleak Island is the site of an amazing story of survival where Scotts Northern party were forced to over-winter in a snow cave. Two plaques mark the site of the cave were the men suffered until their departure on the 30th September 1912 for Ross Island across the sea ice. This is a rarely visited site which is challenging to access but if a visit is successful it is not hard to imagine why the men called this place "Hell with a capital H."
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue with this morning's field trip.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Ross Sea Region / Cape Evans
(Tuesday, February 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Cape Evans: Scott's 1911 Terra Nova Hut is the largest historic building in Antarctica. Used in the 1910 to 1913 British Antarctic Expedition, it served as the base for extensive scientific research and surveys as well as Scott's journey to the South Pole. Much of Scott's equipment is well preserved. Shredded seaweed sewn into jute quilting is used as an insulating layer between the inner and outer cladding of the wood hut. Ten men of Shackleton's ill-fated imperial trans-Antarctic expeditions were marooned here in 1915 after their ship Aurora was blown out to sea and unable to return. Two of Aurora's anchors remain to this day on the beach in front of the hut. Entering the hut provides a window into the historic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Cape Evans.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Ross Sea Region / Cape Royds and Possession Islands
(Wednesday, February 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Cape Royds: Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds was constructed during the British Antarctic Nimrod Expedition in 1907-1909. Unable to land at King Edward VII Island, he then entered McMurdo Sound. Ice conditions prevented him from reaching Hut Point, the site of Scott's hut, so he selected Cape Royds for winter quarters. Adelie Penguins are slowly reclaiming the site which is the world's southernmost penguin rookery. The New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust conservation program has successfully conserved a substantial number of fascinating artifacts in this hut, in such a way that at first sight the hut appears to have only recently been abandoned.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Subject to sea and ice conditions, the Orion hopes to make a landing at the rarely visited small and craggy Possession Islands. One of these, Foyn Island, is covered with Adelie Penguins. The islands were discovered by James Clark Ross and Francis Crozier in 1841 during their expedition to locate the south magnetic pole.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Ross Sea Region / Cape Adare
(Thursday, February 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Cape Adare was discovered by Captain James Ross in 1841. We plan to visit Borchgrevink's Hut from the British Southern Cross Expedition, the first to ever spend winter in the Antarctic, in 1899. Up to 1,000,000 Adelie Penguins have reclaimed the site, which is spectacular, surrounded by black volcanic hills. High above the huts is the lonely grave and cross of Borchgrevink's biologist.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Cape Adare.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: At Sea / Presentations
(Friday, February 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participant in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: At Sea / Presentations
(Saturday, February 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: At Sea / Presentations
(Sunday, February 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by the ship's onboard lecturer.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Campbell Island
(Monday, February 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Campbell Island was first discovered in January 1810 by Captain Frederick Hasselburg, master of the sealing brig, Perseverance. He named the island after his employers Robert Campbell and Co. of Sydney and sadly drowned later that year after a boat capsized in Perseverance Harbour. Campbell is a volcanic island with fascinating rock formations. 50 years ago, between 2 and 3 million Rock Hopper Penguins were nesting on the island but since then 90% have been decimated by bacterial infection. Less than 20 pairs of Wandering Albatross nest are found here. Approximately 8,500 pairs of Royal Albatross and about 74,000 pairs of Black Browed Mollymawk also call the island home. Over 40 other breeds of birds including the Southern Royal Albatross have also been observed on Campbell Island.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Campbell Island.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Auckland Islands (New Zealand)
(Tuesday, February 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Auckland Islands: Sites in Port Ross may be visited including an abandoned Maori settlement, a German expedition observation point at Terror Cove and a WWII coast watching station at Ranui Cove. In Carnley Harbour castaway depots at Camp Cove, are marked by an A frame building built in 1887 by the crew of the Awarua, inscribed with the names of people from the French Bark Angou wrecked in 1905. Possible cruising to Victoria Passage, a dramatic opening at the end of Carnley Harbour. The birdlife of Auckland Island is profuse.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring Auckland Island.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Snares Islands
(Wednesday, February 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. Weather permitting we'll launch our Zodiacs for an exploration of the sheltered eastern coastline as the island's wildlife protection program precludes landings. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds, 99 recorded species including albatross, Antarctic Terns and Snares Crested Penguins.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Snare Island.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Orion
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Disembark Ship / Bluff (Invercargill), New Zealand
(Thursday, February 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to your hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: The largest urban centre in New Zealand's Southland is Invercargill, a city of 49,000 people. Visitors come to admire the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, gardens and landscaped parks. The fishing port of Bluff is a half hour drive south from Invercargill and is home to the famous Bluff oyster and a lively annual seafood festival. From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island - a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Ascot Park Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 25: Departure
(Friday, February 15)
   
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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