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Ross Sea in Luxury

Travelling onboard a modern 5* expedition ship for only 21 days, this trip makes Antarctica’s remote Ross Sea so much more accessible. While the vessel's all-inclusive creature comforts and speed make sailing days pass by comfortably, the remoteness, wildlife and history of the Ross Sea and subantarctic islands remain the real stars of the show.

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Ross Sea in Luxury

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Trip type

Ross Sea

Trip length

21 Days

From

$23,990

Ship Comfort

Luxury

Ross Sea in Luxury - 21 Days - $23,990

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 8 full days in Antarctica’s Ross Sea region, plus 4 exploring New Zealand’s subantarctic islands 
  • With a cruising speed of 14 knots, this ship cuts down sailing time
  • Operational experience in Antarctic waters since 2004
  • Expedition staff-to-guest ratio of 1:10
  • Complimentary parka jacket, 24 hour room service & open bar
  • Bilingual cruise – operated in French and English
  • Optional pre & post cruise program available

Start from Dunedin and end at Dunedin

Landmarks potentially visited on Ross Sea in Luxury

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation in Dunedin 

This afternoon you will board your comfortable expedition ship and set sail on your adventure from Dunedin. This is New Zealand’s oldest city, and many have drawn parallels with Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh.  

You might like to add some extra time to explore the location further. There is some excellently preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Silver Peaks hinterland. Within the city you can find the Otago Peninsula, home to wildlife reserves including the only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatrosses.


Day 2: At sea en route to Campbell Island  

Today, you will sail south to Campbell Island. The expedition team of naturalist guides will use your sea days to provide an insightful programme of educational presentations on the wildlife and history of the locations you will visit.  

Do spend some time out on deck, as this can be the perfect opportunity to begin observing some of the region’s spectacular seabirds, which may glide alongside the ship. 


Day 3: Exploring Campbell Island

The island is known for its highly adapted spectacular herbaceous and perennial wildflowers. Colloquially known as “megaherbs”, these lush plants are characterised by their impressive size, with huge leaves and brightly colourful flowers. The island’s other great draw is its glorious birdlife. It is home to several critically endangered endemic birds, including the Campbell Island teal and snipe, along with an impressive six albatross species.

During your time on the island, you may have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Col Lyell Saddle boardwalk, as well as explore the coastline of Perseverance Harbour by zodiac cruise.  


Days 4 to 6: At sea en route to the Ross Sea 

The next few days will be spent on your ship, with the temperature dropping rapidly as you head south towards the Ross Sea. We recommend wrapping up and getting out on deck to look for wildlife. 

Along with the ongoing educational program, there will be time to enjoy the ship’s amenities. Treat yourself to a pampering session in the spa, or burn off the delicious food in the well-equipped gym. 


Days 7 to 14: Exploring the Ross Sea of Antarctica 

You will spend the next week navigating the southernmost sea in the world. This extremely remote body of water is named after a Royal Navy Officer, Sir James Clark Ross, a naturalist who first explored the region in 1841 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. 

The sea is bounded on the east by Roosevelt Island and the Edward VII Peninsula in Mary Byrd Land, on the west by Ross Island and the coastal mountains of Victoria Land, and south by the spectacular Ross Ice Shelf, the largest in Antarctica.

The conditions here can be extremely wild, with both the weather and ice dictating your daily itinerary. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will look for the best opportunities for you to safely explore the area.

Possible locations include Cape Adare, at the northern end of the Borchgrevink coast, home to the world’s largest colony of Adelie penguins. The ship may also attempt to reach Terra Nova Bay. South of this location is the spectacular Drygalski Ice Tongue. Thought to be over 4,000 years old, it extends 43 miles (70 km) offshore from the David Glacier and is an impressive 15 miles (24 km) across at its widest point. 

If possible, you might take in some of Antarctica’s most famous historical monuments. You may head to Inexpressible Island, where a group of six men from the Terra Nova expedition, led by Robert Falcon Scott (1910-1913), were forced to winter through brutal conditions in a cave dug in the ice. On Ross Island, if conditions allow, you might discover the legendary Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut. Built at Cape Royds at the foot of Mount Erebus, it was erected for the British Nimrod expedition (1907-1909). 

While in search of the South Magnetic Pole 60 years earlier, Captain James Ross discovered Franklin Island, named for the famous Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin. This is a fantastic location to spot Adelie penguins, as well as beautifully pelted Weddell seals snoozing on the shore. 


Day 15: At sea en route to the Balleny Islands 

Turning north once again, you will head towards the Balleny Islands, around 168 miles (270 km) north of the Antarctic continent. This is a perfect opportunity to start sorting through your photos. 


Day 16: Exploring the Balleny Islands 

Spread out across around 99 miles (160 km), this archipelago straddles the Antarctic Circle.  Though volcanic in origin, these little-visited islands are now heavily glaciated. Located in the rich waters of the Southern Ocean, they boast a huge diversity of species. Cetaceans abound with humpback, fin and minke whales taking advantage of the well-stocked feeding grounds, sharing the patch with crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Penguins can also be found here, so look out for Adelies and chinstraps. 

If conditions allow, the expedition team will operate a zodiac cruise so you can soak up these remote islands from water level.


Days 17 & 18: At sea en route to Macquarie Island 

During sailing time, your onboard naturalists will continue to provide fascinating talks on the history and wildlife of the area.  


Day 18: Exploring Macquarie Island

Despite measuring just 21 miles (34 km) by 3 (5km), Macquarie Island is an island of outstanding natural diversity. More than 3.5 million seabirds breed here, most of which are four species of penguin: royals, kings, gentoos and rockhoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and an impressive seventh of the world's population of elephant seals breed here. If time and weather permit, there may be the opportunity to land ashore and view the jaw-dropping wildlife that calls this island home.


Day 19: At sea en route to the Snares

Sailing north, you will make a final stop on your expedition before returning to New Zealand.


Day 20: Zodiac cruising around the Snares

A remarkable haven for wildlife, the Snares contain more nesting seabirds than the entirety of the British Islands. This is partly thanks to having avoided any human introduction of invasive mammals, such as mice and rats. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months, joined by four species of albatross.

You may add to your penguin species list if you spot one of the 35,000 endemic Snares crested penguins. Also look out for fur seals and sea lions hauled out on the beaches. 

Please note that landing on the Snares is prohibited. If conditions allow, the expedition team will offer a zodiac cruise to enjoy the spectacular coastline.  


Day 21: Disembarkation in Dunedin 

This morning you will leave the ship one last time in Dunedin and are then free to continue your onward journey independently.  

Why Swoop

Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost

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Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right ship, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.

A Depth Of Knowledge On Board

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As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.

For The Ends Of The Earth

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Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).

We’re With You At Every Step

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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

Modern, custom-built, beautifully appointed and capped to just 200 people, this ship is a classy act.

Maddison Clare Antarctica Sales Specialist

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

2025

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $23990

Additional Notes

If you would like assistance with getting to and from the embarkation port of Dunedin in New Zealand, there are optional pre and post-cruise programs available at additional cost. The pre-cruise program includes an arrival transfer from Auckland airport to a 5* hotel in the city, a transfer back to the airport and a flight from Auckland to Dunedin.  The post-cruise program includes a transfer to Dunedin airport, the flight back up to Auckland and a post-cruise final hotel night there. 

Single Supplement And Child Policy

For passengers willing to share, there is no single supplement. For those who would like their own cabin, there are no dedicated solo rooms, but we can investigate the solo supplement for you. 


Children aged 6 years old or over are welcome. 

Includes

  • Open bar for duration of voyage
  • 24 hour room service
  • Unlimited wifi on board
  • Pre and post voyage transfers
  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation and meals onboard on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Complimentary waterproof parka jacket
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
  • Access to fitness room
  • Laundry, wake up and photography services

Excludes

  • Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
  • Transfers not specified in the itinerary
  • Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Personal Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature - laundry, select premium beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop & spa services)

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