He says the vessel will introduce European style comfort and luxury to expedition cruising here, with a distinct New Zealand flavour.
Heritage Adventurer will be sailing around Hokkaido, Japan, in June, then heading to the Russian Arctic before sailing down through Indonesia and the Pacific Islands to New Zealand and the sub Antarctic.
‘We met with the technical manager and team in Hamburg as well as the hotel team and everything is progressing well,’ says Russ. ‘We are set to be cruising in June.’
Russ adds that he hopes New Zealanders may be able to access the northern cruises (joining Australians who are already starting to book). ‘I don’t’ see any reason why vaccinated New Zealanders shouldn’t be able to.’
He is confident that the introduction to southern waters by Heritage Adventurer will be welcomed.
‘The ship has a capacity of 190 passengers but we are choosing to cruise with a maximum of 140. We’ll be operating her as a four-star product with 22sqm cabins and 44sqm Heritage Suites, two restaurants and a swimming pool.’
Heritage Expeditions already has runs on the board in terms of southern cruising despite the pandemic.
‘We’ve got the Spirit of Enderby here now for her second season. Everything went well last year and for this season we are just working with the New Zealand authorities to ensure we can return to the Ross Sea, Antarctica.’