Pioneering New Zealand based expedition cruise company, Heritage Expeditions, is proud to welcome 18-guest expedition yacht ‘Heritage Explorer’ to its fleet.

Heritage Expeditions Director & Expedition Leader, Aaron Russ, says the arrival of the near 30-metre New Zealand-flagged vessel into Aotearoa waters announced both the return to the boutique Kiwi adventures the company was founded on and a domestic expansion of its expedition repertoire.

“Operating a Kiwis only summer season has shown us that New Zealanders are as passionate as ever about exploring their own back yard and ‘Heritage Explorer’ will offer a more accessible and intimate variation of our traditional expedition style voyages, said Aaron Russ.  “We are excited to bring a new style of voyage to destinations we know intimately and to offer more in-depth exploration experiences of New Zealand.”

While the company’s latest addition was being prepared for her maiden Heritage Expeditions voyage new destinations and itineraries were being finalised.

New itineraries will take in many of New Zealand’s most spectacular wild places including the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sounds, Stewart Island and Fjordland.

‘Heritage Explorer’ will also be available for private charter.  Heritage Expeditions views this as an excellent opportunity for their international travel partners when the world reopens.

‘Heritage Explorer’ boasts a design that’s ahead of its time, showcasing a clever balance of privacy, comfort, spaciousness and agility, allowing her to explore the furthest reaches of New Zealand’s coastline while introducing a new level of bespoke comfort.  

Tastefully decorated, ‘Heritage Explorer’s’ contemporary wood-finished interior features well-appointed cabins including a Master Suite, Double, Twin and Single options, all with a private en suite bathroom.  The cabins feature windows or portholes, climate controlled air conditioning, PABX satellite telephone and flat screen TV with access to the ship’s plotter, allowing guests to follow their voyage from the comfort of their cabin. 

Elsewhere on board, guests will find a multi-tasking dining room with 180-degree views and theatre capabilities; lounge and cocktail bar featuring a flight of inclusive New Zealand regional wines, beers and spirits; well-stocked region-specific library and plenty of covered deck space including a flybridge perfect for wildlife spotting, sunrises and sunsets, or simply for guests to enjoy their voyage unfold.

As with all Heritage Expeditions vessels, ‘Heritage Explorer’ will have an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen with a talented chef at the helm focusing on local produce and any guest catches of the day, as well as an enthusiastic and passionate expedition team.  The vessel will sail with a New Zealand captain and crew.

Guests will have full use of kayaks and fishing equipment, as well as the option for diving charters in the future.  Two onboard tenders will allow for deeper exploration and the unforgettable wildlife encounters synonymous with all Heritage Expeditions adventures.

‘Heritage Explorer’ was built by renowned New Zealand wooden boatbuilding family – Carey’s Boatyard Picton – in 2004, and was refitted in Cairns in late 2007.

Robust yet refined, ‘Heritage Explorer’ features high performance dual Scania 653 horsepower engines capable of 10 knots; bow thruster, stabilisers, full air-conditioning, sound attenuated twin generators and a hydraulic aft ramp, while a comprehensive safety-focused electronics package ensures the ultimate New Zealand adventure awaits.

The new vessel and itineraries will be uploaded to the Heritage Expeditions’ website shortly


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