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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Cruise: The Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia

Tour Information



Deposits & Payments: 25% of total cabin price is due at the time of booking. The remaining 75% of total price is then due 100 days prior to departure. Final payment for this cruise must be done by check, money order, or bank wire. No credit cards please.

Cancellation and refund policies. Cancellations received more than 180 days before departure date will receive a full refund less a $750.00USD per person administration fee. For cancellations received from 179 days to 91 days before your embarkation the full deposit will be forfeited. The full expedition fee is forfeit if your notice of cancellation is received within 90 days of your departure date.

Included Items: Fares include all shipboard meals throughout the voyage including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; and all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.

Excluded Items: Fares do not include tips to ship staff; airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; transfers to/from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage; travel (trip cancellation) insurance or personal insurance (both strongly recommended); excess baggage charges; and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, and telecommunication charges. Any hotel nights and transfers before embarkation will be charged separately.


Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Cruises to the Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

Note: All travelers from 60 visa waiver countries (including E.U. countries plus the US and Canada) will need to hold an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) before entering New Zealand. This waiver costs NZD$9-12 and can be applied for online at This is best done after you purchase your flights. This applies to travelers arriving by air or sea, as well as passengers simply transiting through New Zealand. Additionally, a fee called ‘The International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy’ may also be assessed at the same time as the ETA and will cost NZD$35.

Upon entry into New Zealand, Biosecurity New Zealand is very strict. Please make sure all footwear, tripod legs, camping gear etc are spotless, free from any dirt or foreign material. Find specific information, including a video here:

HEALTH: Our vessel has a small clinic, and a qualified Western doctor trained in emergency medicine will be on board during the cruise. In order to insure that our on-board doctor has the information he or she needs, all cruise participants will be asked to fill out a health advisory, to be returned to the WINGS office no later than 60 days before sailing,

PACE OF TOUR: This varies on a daily basis. During days at sea you can sleep until breakfast or be out for an hour or two beforehand for some seabirding. The great thing about being on a ship is you can rest when you want, and even the shore excursions and zodiac cruises are ‘optional’ (but obviously are recommended!). On some landings there may be options for shorter or longer walks, and we will choose the ones best suited to birding. If in the course of the trip you are concerned about your ability to do any particular hike or activity, please consult the ship guides before you start. Zodiac excursions may range from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on local conditions.

RESTRICTIONS ON PARTICIPATION: A reasonable degree of mobility is required for passage on expedition ships, and travelers with significant physical limitations or medical conditions are advised not to participate in these cruises. Please remember that more than rudimentary medical care will be impossible during the course of the cruise.  If you have limitations but nonetheless feel you are able to participate in an expedition cruise, please advise us in detail and in writing the nature of your limitation and please attach a letter from your physician expressing his or her approval of your participation.

Any condition discovered at or before boarding may, at the sole discretion of the ship’s captain, be grounds for denying the participant boarding privileges or requiring the participant to leave the ship and terminate his or her continued participation in the cruise. People thus excluded are responsible for all expenses associated with getting themselves home. By forwarding a deposit for this cruise, the cruise participant certifies that he or she is in good physical health and capable of performing the normal activities on this expedition.

CLIMATE: Subantarctic and maritime, which means potentially cool, wet, and windy, but more like the Aleutians or Scotland than the truly bone-chilling cold possible in Antarctica. Only at Macquarie Island (Australia!) is real cold a possibility; elsewhere it is wind that is the main concern, combined with the possibility of rain and fog, which can make things cool. Keeping dry is the main concern, but it can also be sunny and warm on some days, and sunscreen at these latitudes is recommended. Thermal or fleece pants and top with a windbreaker jacket and rain pants suffice for most occasions and on board you can also watch from inside.

OUR SHIP: Heritage Adventurer is a true pioneering expedition vessel of exceptional pedigree. Often referred to as the ‘Grande Dame of Exploration Cruising’ due to her celebrated history and refined design, she was purpose-built for adventure in 1991 at Finland’s Rauma shipyard and specifically designed for Polar exploration.
Setting a peerless standard in authentic expedition travel, Heritage Adventurer (formerly known as MS Hanseatic) combines the highest passenger ship ice-class rating (1A Super) with an impressive history of Polar exploration, having held records for the most northern and southern Arctic and Antarctic navigations, and for traversing both the Northwest and Northeast Passages.

ACCOMMODATION: Please see the complete printed General Information document for a plan of the decks and cabins.

MEALS: Our chefs will delight you with international cuisine, prepared with the freshest products available. Our chefs onboard can prepare food according to your special dietary needs (providing this information is given in advance of departure date, specified on the booking form). The ship may not be able to fulfill some dietary requests (details forthcoming).


DRESS: Informal throughout.

SMOKING: Smoking is not allowed when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If any site where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, the stricter policy will prevail.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND CONDITIONS OF WINGS TOURS: Please take a moment to read the General Information and Conditions on the WINGS website. This section contains important information about how we conduct tours, e.g., what is included in the tour price, refund and cancellation policies, pace of the tours, and other information that will help you prepare for the tour.

FINAL INFORMATION: Final information with instructions for meeting the group, hotel addresses, etc., will be mailed about three weeks before trip departure. Other news will be communicated as necessary. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Updated: 17 November 2022