Western Pacific odyssey including Bonin Islands | 36 days
This is a ‘must do' for any birder as you’ll see many of the world’s rarest pelagic seabirds. The cetacean list is outstanding too.
Departing Tauranga we sail for the Hauraki Gulf where native species include the recently discovered New Zealand storm petrel.
Then northward to Norfolk Island and New Caledonia where we search for the amazing Kagu at the Rivière Bleue National Park. We then spend five exciting days birding on several of the Solomon Islands before cruising across the cetacean-rich New Britain Trench. As we sail along the coasts of Bougainville and New Ireland, we look for the Heinroth's Shearwater and the recently rediscovered Beck's petrel. Next stop is Truk Island, Micronesia, before we set a course for the Bonin Islands, south of Japan. Our route takes us to Chichijima, Haha-jima and Torishima Islands and on to Miyakejima, concluding at Yokohama.
With you will be some of the best pelagic birding guides in the world who have extensive experience of the seabirds of the West Pacific. Birding starts at dawn and finishes at sundown and the reading of the bird list and discussion each evening is fascinating.
Ships:Spirit of Enderby
When: 10 March – 14 April 2020, similar dates in 2021
Guide price:From £10,150 per person based on twin cabin (shared facilities)
Fiona’s travel tips
TOP TIP: Dress in layers - you will need them.
BEST TIME TO GO: The best time of year to visit the Falkland Islands is during the Austral Summer, particularly between the months of December to February. This is the peak of wildlife activity and, usually, the warmest time of the year.
WHY NOT: Combine your voyage in the South Atlantic with a fabulous trip to Argentina or Chile – we have plenty of suggestions!
DON’T MISS: Camping overnight on the peninsula to experience Antarctic weather close up. It might seem tough at the time but you won’t regret it! Don’t forget to pre-book as it’s popular.
LET US KNOW: If you have a former connection with any of the polar regions we visit by ship. Perhaps you or a relative lived on one of the bases, or were a member of a past expedition? We can offer you the chance to share your experiences, diaries or photographs with others on your voyage. In the past we’ve even got the ship to make unscheduled visits to tie in with such an event.
“The holiday was great and met all my expectations – all the connections worked like clockwork. The cruise was fantastic and we landed on all except the South Orkneys which were ice bound. Food was very good and plenty of it – Iguazu was really good and connections etc worked well – the room was fantastic with Falls view as specified – at the end of the day it was good to relax by the pool and enjoy the Bacardi and coke as you do. Thanks for organising the trip it was one in a lifetime.”
Allen Cooper, The Falklands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Antarctic Peninsula discovery cruise
“As you know, I have waited 60 years for this and the whole Plancius experience on the exact centenary of Scott’s last expedition was just magical. Absolutely brilliant.”
John Sharples, Antarctic Peninsula
“In December 2012 I was able to fulfil my dream of setting foot on Antarctica despite my age (83 and eight months) and disability. Thanks to Fiona’s meticulous planning and the resulting support of guides and the Plancius crew at every step en-route and on the boat, I was able to travel there and back alone, and to enjoy shore landings and zodiac rides. A truly stunning experience. I realise how blessed I was to have so much encouragement and help both from Fiona and the expedition team.”
Dr Grete Gross, Antarctic Peninsula voyage
“It was a fascinating voyage with lasting impressions. The wildlife both on the Falklands and on Antarctica is incredibly rich. The organisation on board the ship was very good. Among the talks given by the scientific crew I enjoyed the witty talks by Robert Headland the most. The familiar atmosphere in the lodges on Sea Lion Island and on Carcass Island was very nice indeed. Last but not least I should like to thank you for the impeccable organisation on your part.”
Mr Hubert Kalf, Epic Antarctica icebreaker voyage
“Most helpful, informative, and friendly service at all stages. Absolutely spectacular trip which exceeded my already high expectations. Brilliant value for money, notwithstanding the high cost. It says it all that I was looking at your brochure for a future trip, as soon as I got back!”
Judith Philip, Antarctic Peninsula