Journey to East Antarctica and New Zealand’s subantarctic islands on an exclusive cruise to Mawson’s Huts

Retrace the steps of legendary Australian geologist and explorer Sir Douglas Mawson on this immersive 26-day cruise into East Antarctica. Venturing from Hobart, Tasmania, all the way down to the great seventh continent and back up to Bluff, New Zealand, this exclusive polar expedition has been made possible by the conservation efforts of Mawson’s Huts Foundation. The itinerary includes Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, the Auckland Islands, The Snares, and Commonwealth Bay where Mawson’s Huts mark the home base of those early East Antarctic explorations. These huts offer travellers a rare and first-hand connection to the events of 1911–14, and the wildlife and birdlife found throughout the expedition is varied and often quite rare, with emperor penguins and endangered New Zealand sea lions among those we hope to sight. With wild coastal landscapes, awe-inspiring Antarctic scenery and riveting stories of bold adventure, In the Wake of Mawson might just be the expedition of a lifetime.


Start
Hobart, Australia
Finish
Invercargill, New Zealand
Destinations
Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar
Code
GQMWM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 13
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

Why you'll love this trip

  • Make no mistake, this is a real adventure. Travelling across the Southern Ocean in a small boat like the early polar explorers is an unforgettable thrill

  • Hard to reach but well worth the effort, Mawson's Hut is one of those special places that few travellers have seen – even fewer than have climbed Mt Everest. To connect first-hand Sir Douglas Mawson’s legendary explorations is one of the most exciting opportunities in polar travel today

  • These islands are heaven for twitchers and wildlife lovers alike, as albatross, prion and petrel abound – not to mention rare New Zealand sea lions and the possibility of emperor penguins on the Antarctic coast

  • With Zodiac excursions, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the wildlife and landscapes and capture next-level photos of these beautiful coastlines

  • Learning the biology and history of this part of the world is an essential part of the journey, so settle in and soak up the knowledge of onboard naturalists who deliver video-supported lectures throughout the trip

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although our ice-strengthened ship is sturdy and built for the conditions, Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness on open water crossings. Be sure to prepare with appropriate medication; there is also a doctor on board for any further assistance needed.

  • Warm clothing, base layers, and a waterproof outer layer are all absolutely essential. A parka will be provided for your time on the Antarctic coast, but appropriate footwear and waterproofs are important for all landings. Read the Essential Trip Information for further information on what to bring.

  • Depending on the weather, there will be regular excursions in a Zodiac boat for exploring and wildlife-viewing. It can get wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and take care to keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy legs are required for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. There will also be times on board the ship when your stability will be tested. Pack your sea legs for this voyage.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area. We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The onboard library and educational lectures are ideal ways for keeping entertained.

Itinerary

A city steeped in colonial heritage, beautiful waterways and top-notch cuisine makes for the perfect jump-off point to the Antarctic. Consider arriving a little earlier to explore what Tasmania’s capital has to offer; the world-renowned Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) certainly deserves a day trip. Your adventure begins with a private tour and reception at the Mawson’s Huts replica in Hobart. This is a good opportunity to meet fellow adventurers and some of the expedition team ahead of tomorrow’s embarkation.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
No arrival transfer is included, so please make your way to the Hobart joining hotel (listed in your final documents) to arrive by 6 pm.
The expedition team welcomes you aboard as we embark. Set sail across Storm Bay, heading past Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula, bound for Macquarie Island.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
As we make our way through an area known as the roaring forties (the area at 40–50 degrees in latitude that experiences ferocious westerly wind currents), there will be a series of video-supported lectures on the biology and history of the subantarctic islands and the Southern Ocean. Bird sightings may well include the wandering albatross, royal albatross, black-browed albatross and light-mantled sooty albatross; also keep an eye out for the fairy prion, fulmar prion and Antarctic prion.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Macquarie Island supports one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Ocean, including four different species of penguin: king, rockhopper, gentoo and the endemic royal. The plan is to spend time around Sandy Bay and Buckles Bay, and take a guided tour of the Australian Antarctic Division Base. There’s also the chance to spot southern elephant seals in slumber on the beaches.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Steaming ever southward through the Southern Ocean, with albatrosses and petrels soaring above, the captain will manoeuvre the ship between drifting icebergs and in close for your first photography of the ice. There’s a special cause for celebration when we pass into Antarctica’s realm of 24-hour daylight.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
For our first East Antarctic landing, we touch down at Cape Denison in Commonwealth Bay, weather permitting. This is where Mawson’s Huts are found, and we’ll have the chance to explore them and their surrounds. Thanks to the Mawson’s Huts Foundation and their conservation efforts, it’s now possible to enter these historic huts and connect first-hand with the remarkable 1911–1914 expedition. On our explorations we hope to not only spot gorgeous Adelie penguins, but land at an emperor penguin colony. Meanwhile, the majesty of East Antarctica’s coastline comes in the form of immense glaciers and vivid white beaches.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (6)
  • Lunch (6)
  • Dinner (6)
Leaving the spectacular scenes of Antarctica behind, take the opportunity to enjoy some quieter time at sea – perhaps trading photos with other travellers, or simply kicking back and recovering from the extensive daylight hours of the Antarctic. On the way to Campbell Island, a series of lectures will prepare you for the following day.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
We take time to explore Campbell Island, New Zealand’s southernmost subantarctic territory. A number of optional activities are available, allowing you to get the most out of this World Heritage-listed island.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Our next stop is Carnley Harbour, once the caldera of the Carnley volcano. As well as choosing from a range of optional activities, you can make the challenging scramble to see a shy albatross (also known as a shy mollymawk or white-capped albatross).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We plan to land at Sandy Bay, one of three breeding areas in the Auckland Islands for the New Zealand sea lion. Also known as Hooker’s sea lion, or whakahao in Maori language, the New Zealand sea lion a rare member of the seal family and a delight to observe frolicking on shore.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
North East Island is the largest of The Snares, and it’s known to have more nesting seabirds than all of the British Isles put together. Arriving early in the morning, set off on a cruise along the sheltered eastern side of the rugged coastline by Zodiac.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Arrive at the port of Bluff early this morning. After a final breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as the journey comes to an end. A complimentary coach transfer will take you to either a central city point or the airport.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
A transfer is included from the port at Bluff to Invercargill airport or city centre.

Meals

25 breakfasts, 23 lunches, 24 dinners

Transport

Expedition cruise ship, zodiac

Accommodation

Expedition cruise ship 24 nights, hotel 1 night

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our In the Wake of Mawson - East Antarctica trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.

Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

Your voyage is operated by in conjunction with our partner company, Chimu Adventures.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews