Heritage Expeditions is confident its new flagship, Heritage Adventurer, will be sailing New Zealand waters late next year.
Heritage Expeditions commercial director and expedition leader, Aaron Russ has been in Europe this month checking on progress with the ship and is now back in Christchurch self isolating.
Heritage Expeditions is offering an exclusive 10-day stay on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Circle. Up to five guests will be able to stay on this remote island during The Ultimate High Arctic Expedition in July 2022.
They will be guests of the rangers who man the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve, best-known as the polar bear denning capital of the world, as well as for having the largest population of Pacific walrus and a rich natural history.
A leading proponent of expedition cruising says he is already hearing from cruise lines that the PONANT debacle this week may put them off visiting New Zealand in the future.
Aaron Russ, general manager Wild Earth Travel, says the PONANT cancellation had the feel of ‘pure politics’ and that contrary to some claims Immigration New Zealand was fully consulted while the cruise line went through the protracted and drawn out process of gaining health clearance and maritime exemption to operate here.
Heritage Expeditions is confident the 50-passenger ship Spirit of Enderby will be operating cruises for New Zealanders around New Zealand by late November.
The company's commercial director, Aaron Russ says all clearance and exemption requirements, including Ministry of Health clearance, have been received for the ship to be in New Zealand on the basis of the plan submitted by Heritage Expeditions.
A completely different option for travellers, while still being close to hand, is worth consideration by travel agents and their clients, says Sarah Porter, business development manager – Auckland for Wild Earth Travel.