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Ponant - Expedition to New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands

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Discover the wild and untouched beauty of New Zealand's Fiordlands and Subantarctic Islands. 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 you are but visitors.
New Zealand
Luxury
Wildlife
Ocean

Highlights

Explore the South West World Heritage Area home to majestic and spectacular Milford, Dusky and Doubtful Sounds.

Experience a Zodiac® cruise in the fiords and try to spot the rare Fiordland Crested penguin.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Te Wāhipounamu and its majestic Milford Sound, Dusky Sound and Doubful Sound and New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands

Gain an insight into the history and the diversity of flora and fauna from your expert expedition team on board and whilst exploring by Zodiac®.

From Dunedin, the Edinburgh of New Zealand that is a lively student city, with a rich Scottish Heritage, you will reach Ulva Island. This first call on Paterson Inlet is renowned as an extraordinary nature sanctuary. Our team of naturalists and destination experts will be on hand to show you some of the rarest bird species in the world.

You will follow your voyage towards Fiordland National Park, which is part of Te Wähipounamu, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, home to the majestic Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound.  You will enjoy a Zodiac® cruise and spot Fiordland Crested penguins, get up close to spectacular waterfalls and enjoy the vistas from the ship's outer decks.

You will then head to the Snares Islands, a haven for the country's wildlife with some 35,000 endemic Snares Gorfous and a colony of around 1,000 fur seals before discovering Macquarie Island, part of Australia.

Often described as the “Galápagos of the Southern Ocean”, the Subantarctic Islands of 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. 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.

Your ship will finally reach Dunedin, the end of your voyage.

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Included

- A la carte meals at the Gastronomic Restaurant
14 nights onboard Ponant Le Soléal
- Buffet Meals at the Grill Restaurant
- Complimentary 24-hour room service
- Keep fit in the gym
- Nightly entertainment in the Theatre
- Relax in the library with a good book
- Free & Unlimited Wi-Fi
INCLUSIONS ONBOARD PONANT:
All meals included whilst onboard Ponant
Regular Zodiac outings & shore visits
Unlimited drinks included whilst onboard Ponant
- Pillow Menu - select the pillow that best suits you

Dunedin to Dunedin

Your itinerary

Day 1
Dunedin

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 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.

  • Emarkation: 4pm to 5pm
  • Departure: 6pm

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Dinner
Dunedin
Dunedin | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 2
Ulva Island

Ulva Island (Te Wharawhara) is the largest of 20 islands within Paterson Inlet, Stewart Island, with an area of approx. 270 hectares. The island has never been logged and was declared pest free in 1997, becoming one of the few predator-free sanctuaries in New Zealand. The island is now a haven for many species of birds and plants that are rare, or have died out, on the mainland of New Zealand. Bird species regularly encountered include: the flightless Stewart Island Weka, South Island saddleback, yellowhead and Stewart Island robin. Ulva Island is not only a bird enthusiast’s paradise, it is also one of the few offshore islands with a largely undisturbed podocarp forest. Well-maintained tracks offer easy walking for most people providing a unique opportunity to see rare birds and plants at close quarters in a safe environment.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ulva Island
Ulva Island | Credit: Miles Holden
Day 3
Dusky Sound & Doubtful Sound

Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your sailing, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species. Weather and time permitting you may explore the Sound from our fleet of Zodiac®

Referred to as the "Sound of Silence", there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Both are part of the Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dusky Sound & Doubtful Sound
Dusky Sound | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 4
Milford Sound

Milford Sound fiord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Milford Sound
Milford Sound | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 5
The Snares

Amongst the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand, 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 Zodiac®.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The Snares
The Snares | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 6
Enderby Island & Musgrave Inlet, 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.

The Auckland Islands are the largest, highest and biologically richest of the five groups of Subantarctic Islands. They have been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International as they hold important seabird breeding colonies. The flora of the Auckland Islands is fascinatingly diverse with over 233 species of vascular plant. Musgrave Inlet is a picturesque bay on the eastern side of Auckland Island. Its sheer cliffs have protected the endemic flora from the introduced species, providing one of the best floral displays in the entire Island group. Landing in Musgrave Inlet is prohibited. If time and weather permits, you will have the opportunity to view the spectacular flora and fauna from our fleet of zodiacs.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enderby Island & Musgrave Inlet, Auckland Islands
Enderby Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 7
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Sea
Le Soléal | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 8
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island
Macquarie Island | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 9
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
ANARE Station, Macquarie Island
ANARE STATION, MACQUARIE ISLAND | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 10
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Sea
Le Soléal | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 11
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Campbell Island
Campbell Island | Credit: ©PONANT
Day 12
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Sea
Le Soléal | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 13
Antipodes Islands

The volcanic islands of the Antipodes Island group lie 860 km to the southeast of New. The group belongs to the New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands and 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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Antipodes Islands
Antipodes Islands | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 14
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.

Overnight stay onboard Ponant Le Soléal.

All-inclusive beverages - mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee and tea.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
At Sea
Le Soléal | Credit: ©Ponant
Day 15
Dunedin

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 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.

  • Arrival: early morning
  • Disembarkation: 8am
Breakfast

Additional information

Official language
English, Māori and New Zealand Sign Language
Local currency
New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Ocean Cruising

Redefine your sense of comfort and luxury with our carefully selected expedition cruises. Don't miss these ultimate experiences!

14 nights
from AUD12,880
per person, twin share
New Zealand
Dunedin
Dunedin
Luxury, Wildlife
28 December 2022

Hotel options

Ponant Le Soléal
Ponant Le Soléal

An elegant appearance and refined interior design combine with cutting-edge technology to offer a new type of cruising: adventure in a luxury setting. Le Soléal further reaffirms PONANT's signature approach: to take passengers to the farthest reaches of the planet onboard five-star ships offering top-of-the-range services.The interior design of the 132 staterooms and suites of the Le Soléal features a range of entirely soft and gentle colours, with greys and whites combining with natural wood. The Le Soléal thus brings to mind the looks and styles of the world of yachting, whilst at the same time adding a touch of sophistication.

Maximum 264 guests, 132 staterooms & suites, 140 crew members, spa and 2 restaurants.

Stateroom facilities:

  • Individually-controlled air conditioning
  • Stateroom layout: king-size bed, or twin beds, interconnecting staterooms available (Children welcome)
  • Minibar
  • Flat screen satellite TV
  • Bose™ Bluetooth speaker
  • Desk with stationery
  • Safe
  • Hermès® bath products
  • Dressing table, bath robes, hairdryer
  • Direct line telephone
  • 110V American (two flat pins) /220V European (round sockets with two round pins)
  • 24hr room service
  • WIFI internet access

Image ©Studio PONANT/Nathalie Michel

Important notes

  • Please note that this product is not part of our flexible booking policy as the supplier terms and conditions apply. Our team will advise of the exact booking conditions at the time of booking.
  • The scheduled itinerary is subject to delay, modification, or port-of-call cancellation due to weather and other causes beyond the control of the ship captain, the ship manager or Ponant Cruises. If necessary or appropriate, as determined in the discretion of the captain, the ship manager or Ponant Cruises, the ports of call and itineraries may be changed.
  • Pricing is based on a from price for the Superior Stateroom onboard Le Soleal 28 Dec 2022 departure and is subject to change. Please contact our team for an exact quote.

This same itinerary can also be taken on the following sailings:

  • 14/12/2022 to 28/12/2022 Dunedin to Dunedin onboard Le Laperouse (with National Geographic)

Please contact our friendly team for more information on these sailings. Please note that prices and inclusions vary for different ships.

 

Open Bar

From the moment you board and throughout your cruise, unlimited drinks are included*, at any time of the day. A drink with friends at the bar, refreshments on your return from an excursion or in the serenity of your Stateroom’s balcony: enjoy a large selection of beverages (mineral waters, soft drinks, wines, beer, champagne, spirits, coffee, tea). A selection of premium alcoholic drinks are also available à la carte.

*Does not include top shelf premium alcoholic drinks indicated on the Bar Menu. Valid only for individual personal consumption, without limitations.

Please note prices and availability are subject to change, please contact our team for an exact quote.

 

 

Blackout dates may apply during festive season.