DAY 1 – AUCKLAND
Departure at 18H00.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the city of sails when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
DAYS 2-3 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
DAY 4 – BOUNTY ISLANDS
The Bounty Islands are a scattering of 20 igneous islets and rocks lying 700 km east-south-east of New Zealand. They were discovered by Captain William Bligh in 1788, just months before the mutiny on the Bounty. The Bounty Islands can be smelt and heard from far away, as every available rock is covered in New Zealand fur seals and seabirds. The islands have the world’s largest breeding colony of New Zealand fur seals. There are breeding populations of Salvin’s mollymawks, erect-crested penguins and the endemic Bounty Island shag. Landing on the Bounty Islands is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.
DAY 5 – ANTIPODES ISLANDS
The volcanic islands of the Antipodes Island group lie 860 km to the southeast of New. The group consists of one main island, Antipodes Island, Bollons Island to the north, and numerous small islets and stacks. The islands are home to a wide variety of sea and land bird species including two species of parakeet. The seabirds range from the tiny storm petrel to the Antipodean wandering albatross, one of the largest flying birds in the world. There are also significant populations of erect-crested and rock hopper penguins. Landing on the Antipodes is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.
DAY 6 – AT SEA
DAY 7 – CAMPBELL ISLAND
Campbell Island is the most southerly of the five New Zealand subantarctic groups. Described by the English botanist Joseph Hooker as having a "flora display second to none outside the tropics." It is known for its megaherbs, herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, with huge leaves and very colourful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Campbell Island is also home to six species of albatross, and several critically endangered endemic birds including the Campbell Island teal and snipe. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Col Lyell Saddle boardwalk as well as undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Perseverance Harbour.
DAY 8 – ENDERBY ISLAND, AUCKLAND ISLANDS
Enderby Island is situated off the North Eastern tip of Auckland Island and is the second largest Island in the group. The eradication of introduced species in 1994 has seen a significant increase in the abundance of the native flora and fauna compared to the main Auckland Island. It has become a stronghold for the rare yellow-eyed penguin and the primary breeding location of the New Zealand Sea Lion. You will head ashore and have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Northern Cliffs track as well as spend time viewing the New Zealand Sea Lion colony. There is also the opportunity to undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Enderby Island in search of the Auckland Island Teal and other endemic species.
DAY 9 – AT SEA
DAY 10 – ANARE STATION, MACQUARIE ISLAND
Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, the Macquarie Island is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for more than 3.5 million seabirds, most of which are penguins. There are four species breeding on Macquarie Island; Royals, Kings, Gentoos and Rock Hoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and one seventh of the world's population of elephant seals breeding on the Island. In 1948 The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on Macquarie Island. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk around the ANARE Station to view the facility and the prolific wildlife that resides here.
DAY 11 – SANDY BAY, MACQUARIE ISLAND
Macquarie Island, or “Macca” as it is colloquially known, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997 as a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only island in the world composed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks from the mantle. It is an island of unique natural diversity and one of the truly remarkable places on earth. Sandy Bay is located on the East Coast of the Island and is home to significant Royal and King Penguin rookeries as well as a breeding colony of Southern Elephant Seals. You will have the opportunity to land ashore in Sandy Bay to view both the King and Royal colonies as well as the other prolific wildlife in the Bay.
DAY 12 – AT SEA
DAY 13 – SNARES ISLANDS
Amongst the islands of the Southern Ocean, The Snares have the distinction of being the only forested group without introduced mammals, not even mice. Consequently, it is a remarkable haven for wildlife. The Island boasts more nesting seabirds than the entire realm of the British Isles. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months. Four species of Albatross are listed as breeding on the Snares along with 35,000 endemic Snares Crested Penguins. There are also approximately 1,000 New Zealand fur seals and 500 New Zealand Sea Lions. Landing on the Snares is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiacs.
DAY 14 – AT SEA
DAY 15 – DUNEDIN
Disembarkation at 07H00.
Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.
On this cruise aboard Le Bellot, PONANT invites you to discover the wild and untouched beauty of the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand. Set sail on a 15-day expedition cruise with an exceptional itinerary and allow yourself to be transported to another world where the wildlife rules and we are but visitors.
Often described as the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Subantarctic Islands of Australia and New Zealand are among some of the best preserved and protected environments on the planet where you will experience scenery and wildlife like nowhere else on earth.
Le Bellot will plot a course South towards the New Zealand Subantarctic Islands and Australia’s very own Macquarie Island. These remote island outposts are collectively designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a myriad of wildlife with many species endemic to the region and even to individual islands.
You will be captivated by the breathtaking scenery, meadows of megaherbs forming a colourful tapestry and towering cliffs buffeted by the power of the waves and wind - the playground of the Royal Albatross. With a myriad of penguins patrolling the black sandy beaches it is truly a nature-lover’s dream come true.
Port and safety charges
Your cruise including all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
24 hour room service (selected menu)
Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)