Classic Travel

24 Night - Mawson’s Antarctica: Along the East Coast Cruise

In the footsteps of explorers (and penguins)!

Package Details

Overview

From AU$36,381* twin share

Cruise Line: Scenic Eclipse
Ship: Scenic Eclipse II
Duration: 24 Nights
Cabin: Suite
Ports: Queenstown to Hobart


Itinerary

Queenstown (New Zealand), Milford Sound, At Sea, Balleny Islands, East Coast Antarctica, At Sea, Macquarie Island, At Sea, Hobart (Tasmania, AUS)


Description

Departure Date: 15 December 2024.
 
In the footsteps of explorers (and penguins) around the icy southern continent.
 
The World's First Discovery Yacht is coming to Australia for two years of truly all- inclusive voyages. Designed for the experience of a lifetime, Scenic Eclipse II features two on board state-of-the-art helicopters and a custom-designed submersible Scenic Neptune II, and a wealth of ultra-luxury features.
 
For centuries, avid travellers and explorers have been fascinated by the world’s most southern continent, a place where penguins congregate in the thousands and people are few and far between. With an ever-changing landscape of glaciers and icebergs, Antarctica’s realms are wild - particularly along the East Coast, where Australia has a rich history of exploration thanks to the pioneering efforts of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson. You’ll have the rare opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Mawson and his team, navigating remote bays and ravishing coves and islands where wildlife rules supreme. 

 The Scenic Difference
 
Every detail of your all-inclusive journey has been carefully considered to create a truly carefree experience and memories to last a lifetime.
  • Only 200 guests for an exclusive small-ship experience and more multiple landings each day
  • A specialist Polar Discovery Team of up to 20 members
  • Butler service for every guest and an almost 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio
  • Up to 10 dining experiences from casual to fine dining
  • The finest selection of included premium branded beverages, all day, every day
  • Indulgent 550m² Senses Spa, gym, yoga and Pilates studio
  • Engaging lectures and education program with on board experts
  • Scenic Discovery excursions

Scenic Eclipse II

The design of Scenic Eclipse II is inspired by the sleek contours of a sailing yacht and its innovative features have set the benchmark in 6-star ultra-luxury cruising. The Discovery Yacht is equipped with two state-of-the-art Airbus H130-T2 helicopters^ and a next-generation submersible^ which provides guests with 270-degree panoramic underwater views.

Scenic Eclipse is intimate and luxurious, with an almost 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio for only up to 228 guests. Guests can take a culinary journey at up to 10 dining experiences and eight bars and lounges. The 550sqm Senses Spa, Vitality pools, dedicated yoga and Pilates studio and state-of-the-art gym provide an opportunity for complete rejuvenation and the spacious suites all feature butler service.


text

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Queenstown is the kind of place that will leave you breathless – in more ways than one. There are the high altitudes of the Southern Alps, mirror-like Lake Wakatipu, dreamy vine-laced countryside and the atmospheric town itself, where wood fires crackle and wine glasses toast the end of another remarkable day.

Enjoy your one-night stay in Queenstown.

Day 2

This morning you will be transferred via coach from Queenstown to Milford Sound.

This remote, nature-blessed pocket of South Island's Fiordland is home to some of New Zealand’s most dramatic scenery. Lakes are so clear it’s as if they are glass, fiords are carved by ancient glaciers and rainforest reigns supreme.

It’s a fitting backdrop as you board Scenic Eclipse to be welcomed by the crew who will keep you company for the duration of your voyage. But first, champagne – to provide extra sparkle to the beginning of your cruise. Mix and mingle and meet your fellow travellers.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

While exploring the luxurious spaces on board Scenic Eclipse, you’ll have the chance to meet some of the experts who will bring the places you visit to life. The expert Discovery Team will enrich your Antarctica experience with their encyclopaedic knowledge in just about every field imaginable: geology, glaciology, photography, marine biology, history, ecology… They’ve been exploring the world’s most remote reaches for years and will fascinate you with facts and stories about the destinations you’ll soon see.

These insights – details beyond anything you can find in guidebooks or websites – will be revealed as you cross the Southern Ocean, with the Discovery Team hosting regular daily lectures and discussions in the yacht's state-of-the-art theatre on topics ranging from ecology to exploration, photography to ornithology.

Think of this as a voyage where the journey is just as thrilling as the destination.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

It’s time to ease into your ultra-luxury surroundings. This might be the day you sleep in, conserving energy for the activities ahead, then spend lazy hours in your suite. Because there’s a lot to love about your accommodation.

Each of Scenic Eclipse’s 114 suites cocoons you with the comforts of a 6-star hotel, the design throughout is elegant and spacious. Unpack and take a steam shower using your suite’s ultra-luxury amenities, perhaps. Curl up with a birding book in your reading alcove, getting acquainted with the creatures you’ll soon spot, followed by an enrichment lecture on glaciology. Join the yacht’s sommelier for a wine tasting at Epicure. Or simply open your suite doors and feel the rush of nature as you make your way toward the world’s most southern continent.

Learn more from your Captain and your crew at the open bridge. They will share with you the details about Scenic Eclipse’s world-class facilities, which include two helicopters^ and a submarine^, offering innumerable exclusive ways to explore across your journey.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Wake up reinvigorated after a good night’s sleep on your signature Scenic Slumber Bed, having made the most of the pillow menu at your disposal the previous night. Then, begin your day with a barista coffee brought by your butler, or perhaps with a breakfast in the Yacht Club.    Every day on board Scenic Eclipse, a true culinary journey awaits, with up to 10 extraordinary all-inclusive dining experiences and nine bars and lounges. You may decide to return to the Yacht Club for lunch, or opt for Azure Bar & Café, where you can graze throughout the day.

As dusk falls, the hardest decision you have to make is which direction to wander. Elements is the main dining experience, where the menu ranges from Italian to steak and seafood. Channel the spirit of Asia at Koko’s Asian Fusion, which also comes with a sushi bar and private Night Market experience (by reservation). Journey to France at Lumiere, replete with a champagne bar, or dine in the privacy of your suite, choosing from a comprehensive 24-hour menu.

With a guest-to-crew ratio of close to one-to-one, you will enjoy the most attentive service at sea, regardless of where you decide to dine.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Strengthened hull. Forward bow thrusters. An electronic Azipod propulsion system and oversized zero speed stabilisers – these are just a few of the state-of-the-art features and technology that make your journey to East Antarctica across the Southern Ocean a smooth one.

Today you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold waters of the Antarctic circumpolar current meet and mingle with warmer waters to the north. Be sure to stay close to your verandah, as wandering albatross are a common sight – icebergs will begin to pop up around you as well. The nutrient-rich waters Scenic Eclipse now navigates are also popular among orcas, seals, penguins and whales.

Feel the excitement building up as the Discovery Team shares with you all the details on how your Zodiac, helicopter^, submarine^ and other discovery expeditions will work. Get familiar with the team and your polar equipment – your expedition kit includes an expedition parka and water bottle that are yours to take home, plus the use of specialised polar boots, trekking poles, personal flotation devices and specific equipment you need for kayak and paddleboard excursions. Between landings, your outdoor gear will be stored in a personal locker in our convenient Discovery Centre.

Prepare yourself for unparalleled ‘pinch-me’ moments, and be exposed to the unpredictability of the region, with your expert team deciding the course of action in the coming days. The team will make every attempt to have many landings and Discovery Excursions, including Zodiac tours, kayaking and optional helicopter^ flights and submarine^ dives.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

This 160-kilometre-long chain of volcanic islands (some of them still active) is a delightful surprise in what you may be expecting to be the whole Antarctic landscape.

The Balleny Islands are remote and fascinating, their location straddling the Antarctic Circle leaving them heavily glaciated. Landings aren’t permitted, but in favourable weather conditions you may have the chance to explore in Zodiacs for a front-row seat to one of the greatest convergences of wildlife in the world.

Humpbacks, fin and minke whales may put on a show while we are nearby, breaching and blowing and slapping their tails. Crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals loll about, sunbaking between swims. And Adélie and chinstrap penguins march and squark, creating a cacophony that is strangely melodic.

Make sure you head to the Observation Deck for a vantage view or enjoy the comforts of your private balcony to take in every moment navigating this incredible region.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Almost completely mantled by ice, Young Island is the northernmost island in the archipelago, and British mariner Captain Balleny – after whom the chain is named – reported seeing smoke billowing from its 1,340-metre summit when he was here exploring in 1839.

At the other end of the chain, Sturge is the southernmost island in the Balleny archipelago. Pull out your binoculars or head for the telescopes in the Observation Lounge, because this particular slip of land has been declared and Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. Twitchers will rejoice at spotting the enormous breeding colonies of southern fulmers and snow petrels, which set up base on the ice-free cliffs along the western and northern coasts. Gain deep insights from your expert Discovery Team about the region and its rich birdlife.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

All jagged cliffs and ink-black escarpments backed by the towering Admiralty Mountains, the Adare Peninsula is a postcard of natural drama. Much of the spectacle comes courtesy of the 250,000 breeding pairs of Adélie penguins – the largest colony in Antarctica – that call the region home, making it one of the most jaw-dropping sights of your journey. Which is saying something.

Nothing quite prepares you for the Adélie orchestra that you’ll hear as Scenic Eclipse draws close to shore – raucous neighbourhood disputes, high-pitched laughter, impatient hungry youngsters, confident courtship.

This is where the Southern Ocean gives way to the Ross Sea, and a place that has drawn avid expeditioners for centuries. It was the site of the first documented Antarctic landing on the continent in 1895, and Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink’s two 1899 huts remain on land. Explore the remains with your Discovery Team, who will take you to shore in Zodiacs for an experience that hits you in waves and lingers long after you return home.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Captain James Ross discovered and named Yule Bay, a curve in the coast of northern Victoria Land. Like much of Antarctica, the immensity of the ice here can only be fully appreciated with some perspective.

In these rarely seen reaches of East Coast Antarctica, glaciers glitter like gems, ice lakes are scattered with star points of light, immense snow cliffs cast blue shadows, and the gossamer sheen of silver gleams across the ridges of the frozen ocean and white abstract shapes. This is a place of superlatives, and the beauty will - leave you speechless.

Back on your Discovery Yacht, meet your new friends in one of the all-inclusive nine bars and lounges. Make tonight the night you visit the Whiskey Bar, where floor-to-ceiling shelves hold a collection of more than 110 bottles. Order a drink, relax, and re-live the day’s remarkable sights with your companions.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Throughout your voyage you will have the opportunity to experience your Discover Yacht’s two helicopters^, offering an unrivalled perspective of icebergs and glaciers along East Coast Antarctica.

There’s also the option to take a deep dive into Antarctic waters in your Discovery Yacht’s custom-built submersible, Scenic Neptune^. The undersea landscape of Antarctica can be a technicolour contrast to the monochrome landscape above the water, thanks to a rich fauna of marine invertebrates.

Your Discovery Team are also on call to lead more active excursions, whether kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding – words don’t do justice to the emotions you’ll feel gliding across the water and spotting a whale breach metres from you. Or perhaps it’s time to brave the Polar Plunge. Pull on your swimsuit, throw off your robe and jump into the near-freezing Southern Ocean with flair – the more dramatic, the better.

You’re going to feel invigorated at the end of this split second, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The cold plunge is exhilarating, and the shared experience with your fellow Antarctica ‘plungers’ immensely bonding. That hot drink as you emerge is restorative and reviving. This is an unmissable opportunity, whether enjoyed today or throughout your voyage in Antarctic waters.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

If you’re a fan of geographical mysteries, you’ll be enthralled by the Terra Nova Islands. The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions spotted this pair of islands back in the early 1900s and named them after explorer and British Royal Navy Officer Robert Falcon Scott’s ship, the Terra Nova.

Fast forward to 1989 when a German expedition set off to map the islands, but when they went to the supposed location via helicopter, there was nothing there. After endless testing, it was concluded the Terra Nova Islands never existed. Theories around these ‘phantom islands’ abound – were they fog banks, seaweed, icebergs?

What does exist in the region, however, is the Terra Nova Hut, Scott’s shelter from the elements on the volcanic shore of Cape Evans, and his base while he was trying for the Geographic South Pole. You may have a chance to explore this region today. Whether you glimpse the Cape on land, in a helicopter^, hugging the coast in a Zodiac, in a kayak or on a paddleboard, being here will make you feel small, in the best possible way.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13

Today we may reach the Mawson Peninsula, a narrow tongue of ice along the George V Coast. It’s easy to be humbled by its immensity, with the Peninsula’s vertiginous white cliffs glittering in the sun and casting unimaginable shadows over opaline swirls of the ocean surrounding it.

Back on your Discovery Yacht, ease into the evening with your new friends and share today’s adventures over dinner in one of the restaurants. Perhaps opt for a degustation at Lumière, the ship’s fine-dining restaurant where the food on your plate is as elegant as the décor. Champagne, oysters, and caviar at the bar are followed by an impeccable selection of food and wine that will transport you straight to France.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14

It’s hard to comprehend the scale of the Mertz Glacier, an enormous hunk of crystalised ice that gleams like a turquoise jewel from a rumpled apron of sea in every shade of blue imaginable. Sunlight cascades over its waves like liquid silver; in the troughs between are shadows of azure.

Back in 2010, a massive iceberg with enough freshwater in it to fill Sydney Harbour 135 times over calved from the Mertz Glacial Tongue – it’s now known as Iceberg C-28 because it is the 28th substantial iceberg to have broken off the Antarctic ice shelf, in the quadrant that faces Australia, since 1976.The Suvorov Glacier, 9 km wide, will bring you a feeling of amazement as you admire its bright, silent stillness, with stretches of snow and ice tipping away into fathomless distances without the interruption of a single alien feature. There are no trees or shrubs; flora is just a sprinkling of occasional lichen, moss and algae.

These impressive spectacles of nature are just two of the immense glaciers you may witness on this remarkable journey.

This is what infinity looks like, and you’ll have the chance to see it up close and personal with your expert Discovery Team, in Zodiacs, kayaks or on stand-up paddleboards.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dy 15

Australia has a rich Antarctic history, arguably the most significant moments of which are remembered and preserved at Mawson’s Huts along Cape Denison at Commonwealth Bay.

Sir Douglas Mawson came here on the 1911-1914 ‘heroic era’ Australian Antarctic Expedition, and rather fortuitously decided to set up base on what is now known to be the windiest place on the planet – it’s dubbed the ‘home of the blizzard’ for a reason. Remarkably, Mawson’s Huts have not been blown away, and remain frozen in time, opening a vault of historic expedition moments.

Weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to step back in time as you see the historic Mawson’s Huts, walking through and immediately feeling connected with the men of that incredible expedition.

Located west is Dumont D’Urville station, giving you the chance to see emperor penguins. While the breeding season is over, there may still be some around.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Dy 16

If the wind stays away, Commonwealth Bay is one of the few places along East Coast Antarctica where it’s possible to step ashore, giving you the chance to follow in Mawson’s footsteps and marvel at his six fragile wooden huts and structures.

The explorer and his team spent two years here documenting the continent, and this legacy – along with his 1929-1931 expedition – is the reason why Australia has a territorial claim of 42 per cent of Antarctica. The Main Hut is the most well preserved of the structures, although today is mostly filled with ice, Mawson’s memories literally frozen in time. You may also spot his team’s belongings left behind, including a cast-iron stove, bottles, jars and cans.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17

Largely ice free, Cape Denison’s peninsula adjacent to the polar plateau emerges from beneath the continental ice sheet. The result is a series of dramatic rocky ridges and valleys, the sculptural sweep of snow and ice at times interrupted by sharp-toothed mountains like black cut-outs against a turquoise sky. They’re high, but in this fathomless expanse their scale is impossible to judge; there are no points of reference.

Apart from Mawson’s Huts, Cape Denison is a magnet for breeding wildlife. Weddell seals can often be seen with pups during the breeding season, while colonies of skuas, petrels and penguins clutter the shores and the sky.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18

Small and rocky, Ile du Gouverneur is part of Antarctica’s Géologie Archipelago. And in between is sea ice, an important breeding site for Emperor penguins. The fact that it’s close to a research station means that the creatures here are well documented – they also include Adelie penguins, Antarctic skuas, Wilson’s storm petrels, southern giant petrels, snow petrels and Cape petrels. You’ll likely also spot Weddell seals basking in the sun.

Today you may wish to join them, soaking up a few rays and incredible vistas from the comfort of your private verandah. Or join the Discovery Team on active excursions. Be sure to make the most of your day by adding an optional helicopter^ or submersible^ excursion, revealing the stark beauty of the southern continent from the air and below the surface of the sea.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19

The past three weeks have delivered an abundance of emotions and active explorations – today could be the day for some downtime in the expansive 550m² Senses Spa. There, be rejuvenated with yoga and Pilates included classes or choose to indulge in a range of high-quality treatments+ and wellness experiences, from dreamy massages and facials to body wraps and scrubs, manicures and pedicures. Then take time out on one of the thermal lounges; your limbs will thank you later.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20

Today is your chance to indulge a little more in your Discovery Yacht’s facilities. Begin the day with a yoga class, followed by a soak in the heated vitality pool, the endless horizon your backdrop. Your active start to the day means you can reward yourself by calling on your butler to bring breakfast to your room. You could enjoy lunch here as well. Or make a date with your new friends to re-live Antarctica memories over a meal at Lumiere. On-board chefs prepare fresh and inspired meals that you’ll want to linger over well into the afternoon.

The only thing you need to do now is decide which bar or lounge to move to, making the most of the truly all-inclusive beverage menu, including premium wines and spirits. For a dose of sunshine, retire to the Scenic Bar & Lounge, order a cocktail or flute of French champagne, and let your cares drift away.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21

When you’re visiting some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems, you have a commitment to protect them for future generations.

Take advantage of our open bridge policy to meet with the Captain and his team to find out all about Scenic Eclipse’s state-of-the-art technology and environmentally sustainable systems that aim to leave as small a footprint as possible.

Learn about Scenic Eclipse’s GPS Dynamic Positioning and how it allows her to maintain location without dropping anchors onto sensitive seabeds; Azipod propulsion system delivers the lowest noise and vibration levels to ensure minimal disturbance to marine life. Visiting Antarctica positively breeds environmental ambassadors, and you’ll be keen to learn more over an enrichment lecture in the state-of-the-art theatre.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22

Macquarie Island is a place that sparks every sense. First smell, then sound… then sight. From a distance, Macquarie’s earth appears to be moving. As Scenic Eclipse approaches you realise that the land is, in fact, heaving – under the weight of millions of penguins.

Subject to permits, you may get to see this spectacle of epic proportions, an extraordinary landscape hosting one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the Southern Ocean. Countless tuxedoed, bushy eyebrowed and golden crowned penguins – king, rockhopper, gentoo and the endemic royal – breed here, and they’re not shy about having a good time. Or about greeting passengers who step ashore with squarks and squeaks. Occasionally one flops down for ice surfing, paddling on its belly like a torpedo-shaped toboggan. The youngsters, fluffy, impossibly cute, have the gleeful look of children allowed to stay up past their bedtime for a grown-up gathering.

You’re likely to see leopard seals that patrol the waters, southern elephant seals that peek from tussocked dunes, and sooty albatrosses that circle overhead.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23

Thousands of penguins. Countless seals and whales. Antarctica-only birdlife. Endless expanses of ice. The remarkable sights of the world’s southernmost continent take a while to digest. Sometimes, quiet contemplation is the best way to do that – perhaps editing images, writing in your journal, marking highlights on a map. At other times, being with others who appreciate your emotions is ideal. Join your fellow passengers in one of the up to ten restaurants, nine bars and lounges, or while relaxing in the Observatory Lounge & Library. Relive every moment that sparked joy over the last three weeks, looking forward to sharing these once-in-a-lifetime memories with your loved ones at home. 

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24

End your journey in the same way you began it – by indulging in Scenic’s truly all-inclusive philosophy. Enjoy an unrivalled selection of premium beverages available on board all day, every day, across nine bars and lounges and including premium gin, saké and more than 100 varieties of whiskey.

Make your reservation for the Night Market @ Koko’s, where chefs prepare unique dishes inspired by the markets of Asia while you watch on from behind the hot and cold grill. Knowing that you share this night only with your chef and seven other guests makes it all the more memorable.

Inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25

Your voyage ends in Hobart – knowing there’s still nothing between you and Antarctica but swathes of icy ocean helps take away the sting of everyday life. After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to your new friends and the dedicated Scenic Eclipse crew, who have made your voyage so remarkable. Fly home carrying once-in-a-lifetime memories with you, or choose to extend your journey to explore the captivating city of Hobart. 

Please book your flight to depart out of Hobart after 12:00 PM.

Please note, the itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons and weather conditions. As such, Scenic cannot guarantee the cruise will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above.

Inclusions: Breakfast

Terms & Conditions

Conditions apply. Subject to availability and change without notice. Full supplier conditions apply. Valid for new bookings only. Prices valid at the time of publication. Prices are per person based on twin share occupancy unless otherwise stated and displayed in AU$. Member savings are calculated using the original advertised price.

Enquire Now

1300 765 305 (AUST) 0800 956 363 (NZ)

}