Heritage Explorer Set to Cruise New Zealand

Heritage Explorer, a 30 metre expedition yacht capable of carrying up to 18 guests

Heritage Expeditions, the New Zealand based expedition cruise company, better known for chartering in small Russian passenger carrying icebreakers in which to explore Antarctica, are to scale things down a bit for their own back yard

The family run firm will shortly introduce Heritage Explorer, a 30 metre expedition yacht capable of carrying up to 18 guests to its fleet. 

The arrival of the New Zealand-flagged vessel into Aotearoa waters announces both the return to the boutique Kiwi adventures the company was founded on and adds a domestic expansion to its expedition repertoire.

Operating a Kiwis only summer season gives New Zealanders passionate about exploring their own back yard will get the chance of a more accessible and intimate variation than is possible on traditional expedition style voyages, 

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, a 30 metre expedition yacht

Available for private full yacht charter, 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 galley 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.

Built originally as Suwannee River by the wooden boatbuilder Carey’s Boatyard in Picton, she was launched in 2003.  In 

She was refitted in Cairns in late 2007 to become Kalibobo Spirit and as such chartered the waters of Papua New Guinea’s idyllic tropical islands and mysterious Sepik River.  On occasions she ventured offshore sailing the South Pacific and Pitcairn Islands.

As Heritage Explorer she relies on twin 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.