Heritage Expeditions welcomes 18-guest expedition yacht Heritage Explorer to its fleet
Heritage Expeditions Director and Expedition Leader Aaron Russ said the return of the near 30-metre New Zealand-flagged vessel (formerly Suwannee River and Kalibobo Spirit) to 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 our amazing backyard and Heritage Explorer will offer a more accessible and intimate variation of our traditional voyages,” said Aaron.
While the company’s latest addition was being prepared for her maiden Heritage Expeditions voyage, new itineraries and destinations were being finalised.
“We are really excited to bring a new style of voyage to destinations we know intimately, and offer more in-depth exploration experiences of New Zealand.”
Upcoming itineraries will include the Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands, Marlborough Sounds, Stewart Island and Fiordland. Heritage Explorer will also be available for private charter.
Heritage Explorer boasts a considered design that’s both ahead of its time and showcases a clever balance of privacy, comfort, spaciousness and agility allowing her to explore the furthest reaches of New Zealand’s backyard, like Heritage Expeditions’ other vessels Spirit of Enderby (Professor Khromov) and Akademik Shokalskiy, while introducing new levels 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 featuring private en suites, windows or portholes, climate controlled air conditioning, PABX satellite telephone and flat screen TV with access to the ships GPS plotter allowing guests to follow their voyage.
Elsewhere on board guests will find a multitasking 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 enjoying your voyage unfold. As with all Heritage Expeditions vessels, Heritage Explorer will have an open bridge policy and a full commercial kitchen helmed by a talented chef focused on highlighting local produce and any guest catches of the day, as well as an enthusiastic and passionate expedition team, and will be shipped by a New Zealand captain and crew.
Guests will have full use of kayaks and fishing equipment along with the option for diving charters in the future, while two tenders 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 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 Kiwi adventure awaits.