Ponant launches new festive season sailing through Fjordland and Sub Antarctic islands

Ponant launches new festive season sailing through Fjordland and Sub Antarctic islands
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Spend Christmas Day exploring New Zealand’s spectacular Fjordland and New Year’s journeying amongst the wild and remote sub Antarctic islands on Ponant’s latest offering.

    What’s more? Book before 31 August and score huge savings through small ship cruise specialist, Cruise Traveller. 

    Described as the ‘Galapagos of the Southern Ocean’, the remote outposts of Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, The Snares, Antipodes Islands and the Auckland Islands – all outlying territories of New Zealand and Australia – are among the world’s best preserved and protected environments, with natural features and wildlife seen nowhere else on Earth.

    More than 1.5 million penguins, 3.5 million seabirds and 80,000 elephant seals can be found on these isolated islands halfway between Australia/New Zealand and Antarctica. 

    The most southern of the islands is Australia’s rugged Macquarie Island, a World Heritage-listed island home to scores of seabirds, huge elephant seals and penguins of several varieties as well as an Australian base staffed by 30 scientists.

    Because of its southerly latitude, Macquarie Island is blessed with more than 17 hours of daylight every January with early sunrises and late sunsets, allowing privileged visitors plenty of time to explore the wild outpost.

    Cruise Traveller has special offers on two round-trips, all-inclusive sailings from Dunedin, New Zealand, to the sub-Antarctic islands in December 2023, or January 2024, aboard Ponant’s luxury exploration ship, Le Soleal.

    The packages begin with two complimentary nights in a deluxe Dunedin hotel before guests board Ponant’s luxury expedition ship, the 264-guest Le Soleal, for a return voyage to Fjordland and the sub-Antarctic islands south of NZ.

    Le Soleal boasts private balconies in all staterooms as well as a fine dining restaurant and grill restaurant, panoramic lounge, theatre, library, open-air bar, pool, an expert expedition team and personalised service.

    The spectacular 14-night voyage takes in the famous fjords of NZ’s South Island, little-known Ulva Island and the remote sub-Antarctic territories of Macquarie Island, Campbell Island, The Snares, Antipodes Islands and the Auckland Islands – all rich wildlife sanctuaries which guest can enjoy on Zodiac adventure.

    Two departure dates are available – December 21, 2023, with a festivities-filled Christmas Day spent amongst the majestic splendour of NZ’s Fjordland and New Year’s Eve spent off Macquarie Island – and also January 4, 2024.

    Sub Antarctic Cruise. (Lorraine Turci – Supplied)

    Snapshot of inclusions and features – ‘More than Sounds and Mountains’ package

    • 16-night package from either December 21, 2023, or January 4, 2024
    • Free, two-night stay in Dunedin
    • 14-night, round-trip cruise from Dunedin aboard Le Soleal  including onboard beverages and Zodiac excursions

    The cruise and stay package is available from A$16,860 per person, twin-share (Dec 21 departure), in a Deluxe Balcony stateroom – a saving of $4405 each. 

    Solo travellers can enjoy a hugely reduced single supplement, with the package available from A$24,770 – a big saving of A$16,620.  

    Discounts apply to bookings made by August 31, 2023. Early bookings are recommended, with limited space available at these fares.

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