Scott & Shackleton's Antarctic-Ross Sea Expedition




Embark on an extraordinary adventure to the seldom visited Ross Sea from New Zealand, and walk in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers on this exciting expedition.

Sailing from Dunedin in New Zealand on board Le Soléal, start in Campbell Island, part of New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands, and discover the island's spectacular endemic flora and fauna, including six species of albatross.

Whilst you enjoy some time at sea and take advantage of talks and lectures on board by your team of expedition guides, be prepared to reach the Ross Sea, the Southernmost sea on Earth.

Alongside your expedition team, you will have the privilege of exploring this fascinating region and learn all about its history and natural environment, all in one of the most pristine, spectacular settings. Observe the largest Adelie penguin rookeries in the world, sail pass gigantic icebergs and thundering glaciers during a Zodiac® excursion, or spot Weddell Seals as they relax or hunt on icefloes.

You will have the chance to visit historic buildings including Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds, and reflect on the heroic polar journeys of some of the world's most intrepid polar explorers.

On your way back, enjoy some time on Australia's Macquarie Island, and its impressive colony of king penguins, before disembarking in Hobart. A truly memorable adventure not many have the chance to experience!

We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

Package Inclusions

  • 22 night luxury exploration cruise onboard Ponant's Le Soleal from Dunedin to Hobart
  • All meals onboard
  • Open bar including mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits, tea and coffee (excludes premium brands)
  • Zodiac excursions
  • Park entry fees

PLUS!  Ultimate Cruising guests also receive:

  • 1 night accommodation in Dunedin pre-cruise
  • A$500 per booking air credit
  • Chauffeur driven luxury car transfers from your home to the airport and return (within 35km)

Cruise Highlights

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.

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.

Ross Sea Region
The Ross Sea, the southernmost sea in the world, owes its name to Sir James Clark Ross, both a naturalist and a Royal Navy officer, who first explored the area in 1841 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. It 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 on the south by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica located some 320 km from the geographic South Pole. The history and treasures of the world's ultimate marine sanctuary will be revealed during this extraordinary expedition. 

You will be able, weather and ice conditions permitting, to discover several emblematic sites in the region. Among the possible stopovers, Cape Adare, at the northern end of the Borchgrevink coast, home to the world’s largest colony of Adélie penguins. We will attempt to reach Terra Nova Bay where the Italian and South Korean scientific stations are located to the north and the Drygalski Ice Tongue to the south. Dating back at least 4000 years, it extends 70 km offshore from the David Glacier and is 24 km at its widest point. On the Inexpressible Island, discover the exceptional survival conditions of a group of six men of the Terra Nova expedition, led by Robert Falcon Scott (1910-1913), forced to winter in a cave dug in the ice, today classified as an Antarctica historical monument. On Ross Island, follow in the footsteps of the polar explorers Sir James Clark Ross and discover Sir Ernest Shackleton's hut, classified as an Antarctica historical monument. Built at Cape Royds during the British expedition Nimrod (1907-1909), it proudly stands at the bottom of Mount Erebus. Sixty years earlier, while Captain James Ross was trying to reach the South Magnetic Pole, he discovered Franklin Island, located 130 km east of Cape Hickey in Victoria Land. He named it after Sir John Franklin, Arctic explorer and governor of the territory of present-day Tasmania. You will be offered there, a privileged position to observe Adélie penguins in their daily ballet as well as Weddell seals, resting on the shore.

Balleny Islands
The Balleny Islands are an extremely remote series of islands extending for about 160 kilometres in a northwest-southeast direction straddling the Antarctic Circle some 270 kilometres north of the Antarctic mainland. The volcanic islands are heavily glaciated and have received few human visitors since their discovery in 1839. Their isolated location within the rich waters of the Southern Ocean has resulted in a species diversity rivalling the entire Ross Sea region. Humpback, fin and minke whales are regular visitors to the rich feeding grounds along with Crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Several of the islands are home to significant colonies of Adélie and Chinstrap penguins. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to explore the spectacular coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of Zodiac® .

Macquarie Island
Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, 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. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.

Hobart occupies a wonderful location at the mouth of the Derwent River, overseen by majestic Mt Wellington and surrounded by natural bushland. The Tasmanian capital is Australia's second-oldest city, after Sydney, and the picturesque waterfront is bordered by 19th-century warehouses and colonial mansions. Salamanca Place is packed with shops, galleries and restaurants and the fascinating Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is a short ferry ride from the quay. Hobart is within easy reach of some of Tasmania's best-known destinations, from historic Port Arthur and the rugged Tasman Peninsula to Bruny Island, the Huon and Derwent Valleys and Mount Field National Park.

Departure Dates & Pricing

Departs Dunedin 22 January 2023

Pricing starts from A$33,470 per person share twin.  All pricing is subject to availability and to change at any time.  Please ask us for the best available pricing at time of booking.

Cruise Category
  • Luxury Expedition
  • 24 Hr Room Service
  • All meals
  • Boutique &/or Salon
  • Drinks All Day
  • On-Board Lecturer
  • Shore Excursions
Itinerary Map Image

Trip itinerary

Dunedin, New Zealand
At Sea
Campbell Island
At Sea
Ross Sea Region
At Sea
Balleny Islands
At Sea
Macquarie Island
At Sea

Technical Details

  • Tonnage 10944
  • Built Date 2013
  • Crew 140
  • Capacity 264
  • Length 142M

Cruise Category

  • Boutique Style
  • Luxurious

Le Soleal

The contemporary décor, fluid lines and modern colour scheme combine natural wood with shades of grey and white.  A refined ambiance enhanced by quality workmanship is synonymous with French elegance and a chic seaside spirit.