Heritage Adventurer:  A New Period for Heritage Expeditions

I’m going to share one thing with you that I in all probability shouldn’t admit. After years of exploring the far corners of the world and dealing with varied corporations, I’ve a couple of favourite journey corporations. I suppose very similar to dad and mom – a journey author just isn’t imagined to have their favorites, however I do – cuz I’m human.

If I had a ‘stamp of approval’ – I’d give Heritage Expeditions the ‘Ottsworld Approval’ in a heartbeat. I like this family-owned expedition firm; their journey philosophy of getting off the crushed observe is in alignment with mine.

Heritage Expeditions are likely to problem individuals’s views of the world with their distinctive itineraries. I too imagine that journey is about taking over challenges – in the way in which you assume, act, and reside. It definitely has been that manner for me through the years, and it’s what retains me persevering with to journey to new locations and cultures.

The Great thing about Being Completely different

As I become older, I’m much less and fewer inquisitive about following the group; I don’t need to be dwelling the identical life as everybody else – nor do I need to journey to locations that everybody else goes to. That is additionally a core worth of Heritage Expeditions; they try to be totally different, distinctive, and never like each different cruise operator on the market (and there are lots of).

Interacting with locals in Melanesia expedition cruise
Interacting with locals in Melanesia

Heritage differentiates itself by its distinctive itineraries, ardour for exploration, taking you to locations few individuals go to, unimaginable information of expedition cruising, and skill to pivot rapidly to new plans (which is commonly crucial for expedition journey).

Heritage Expeditions Journey to the Ross Sea and Sub-Antarctic Islands – a spot the place few individuals go.

It’s no shock then that they ask their passengers to be ‘rigidly versatile’. Each time I hear that, it makes me smile as a result of it resonates with me a lot.

A New Expedition Ship

heritage adventurer new ship

Heritage’s expedition cruise choices modified drastically within the final yr – I used to be curious to see in the event that they had been the identical nice firm that I remembered from my earlier journeys to Antarctica’s Ross Sea and Russia’s Wrangle Island pre-pandemic with them.

As everyone knows, the pandemic hit the journey business laborious. The cruise business was in all probability hit the toughest. Heritage stopped operations the primary yr after which might actually solely provide cruises to native New Zealanders the second yr. Lastly, when cruises began again up internationally, Heritage had another extra curve ball that different corporations didn’t must deal with; Russia invaded Ukraine.

One among Heritage’s differentiators was their itineraries within the Russian Far East. Now, these might now not run. And to prime it off – their present ship, the Spirit of Enderby, was leased from Russia and will now not be utilized because of sanctions.

Heritage needed to pivot rapidly, they returned their Russian leased ship and invested in a totally new vessel – the Heritage Adventurer.

I lately traveled with Heritage for the third time on a distant and distinctive expedition cruise via Melanesia (South Pacific Islands). It was the inaugural cruise of their new expedition vessel the Heritage Adventurer. That they had made an thrilling change throughout the pandemic, and now I obtained to see what this implies to the corporate and its fashion of expedition cruising.

Expertise an epic journey via Melanesia – some of the culturally fascinating areas on the earth. Be taught extra about my journey and the 2023 dates for the Secrets and techniques of Melanesia Itinerary.

Expedition Journey Outlined

Today you’ll get a whole lot of totally different definitions of expedition journey, and it’s laborious to say which one is appropriate. However what I do know is that increasingly more corporations are beginning to use the time period – and with that has come confusion.

remote expedition travel
Distant expedition journey in Melanesia

I have a tendency to think about expedition journey as journey to hard-to-get-to distant locations so as to uncover and expertise the area on a deeper stage. In response to Nationwide Geographic, “An expedition is a journey that requires planning and goal, and is normally undertaken by a gaggle of individuals, for a particular goal, similar to to discover a distant place or to do analysis.”

As increasingly more corporations begin to use the time period in advertising and label their choices as expedition journey, I discover that it has develop into barely watered down. I really feel as if the time period has been stolen and compelled extra mainstream.

Heritage Staying True to Their Expedition Cruising Roots

As we bounced round behind a lorry truck whereas attempting to sit down on a picket plank, I used to be overjoyed with the genuine (albeit uncomfortable) expertise that we had been having within the Solomon Islands. We had been headed to a distant village through the one transportation on the island…native transportation. Different expedition cruise corporations don’t try this, they in all probability wouldn’t think about placing you in such an uncomfortable scenario for an hour’s trip to the center of a distant island.

Heritage Expeditions melanesia cruise

Nonetheless, Heritage offers you the chance to push your self into new experiences. You push your self into areas that you just may not be comfy with as a result of these develop into essentially the most talked about and greatest experiences of your journey usually.

Heritage does as a lot as it might presumably facilitate, but it surely’s as much as the passengers to tackle what they need. As Nathan, one of many house owners, says, “You all the time provide the expertise, facilitate it, and other people could make their very own resolution. If it means waking up at 4 AM to offer you the expertise, then I’ll – even when solely 5 individuals go.”

It’s true. All of us sat wanting on the shore of Ambrym Island in Vanuatu as we waited to see if the waves and wind would die down sufficient in order that we might do a touchdown and expertise the rarely-seen conventional Rom dance on the island. Nonetheless, the climate wasn’t letting up. I used to be amazed at how lengthy and laborious Nathan and the expedition crew stored attempting with plans B and C; attempting different touchdown spots, placing themselves in peril at occasions.

We waited it out so long as we presumably might as Nathan communicated all the particulars with us – however ultimately, he had to surrender and transfer on to plan D for the morning. He nonetheless obtained individuals off the ship for a zodiac cruise in one other space. They don’t quit.

Heritage Expeditions Expedition Cruising Stays within the Household

One other trait that makes Heritage stand out to me is the truth that they’re the one family-owned expedition enterprise left. Everybody else has obtained company backing.

“We imagine that expeditions like this are designed from the center – not from the boardroom. Most of the individuals planning and advertising expedition choices as we speak don’t have an thought of what they’re actually advertising. However we reside this and have been doing so since we had been youngsters,” stated Nathan.

The corporate was began in 1984 by Nathan’s dad and mom. In actual fact, my earlier two expeditions to Russia and the Ross Sea Antarctica had been carried out with Nathan’s father, Rodney, on the helm because the expedition chief. I all the time appreciated Rodney’s fashion and journey philosophy, and I used to be joyful to see that he did cross that on to Nathan and Aaron, his sons who now run the enterprise.

Nathan Heritage Expeditions
Nathan manning a zodiac entertaining native youngsters in Melanesia

I had the pleasure of attending to know Nathan as an expedition chief for my Secrets and techniques of Melanesia journey. I heard Rodney’s voice and noticed his mannerisms in Nathan. This was by some means comforting to me…primarily as a result of it made me consider my circle of relatives and the way we’ve got the identical mannerisms as we become older. Positive – I attempt to imagine that I’m not going to end up like my dad and mom…however inevitably I’ll. Each time I noticed and heard Nathan tackle us for the day, I used to be reminded that this actually was a household enterprise.

Rodney had been getting ready his sons for expedition journey their entire lives. Nathan was 6 years previous when he went on his first expedition journey together with his dad. And he went to Antarctica when he was 8 years previous!

On my cruise to Melanesia, Nathan introduced alongside his circle of relatives. This was the primary time his two younger boys (the identical age as he was on his first expedition) and his spouse had been all with him. He was beginning to plant the seeds of the family-owned enterprise together with his personal boys.

“Having the ability to carry them into environments like Melanesia the place there may be poverty and laborious dwelling is a superb academic expertise for them. It lets them perceive the place their dad goes and why when the telephone rings at midnight that he has to reply it. It teaches them what else is on the earth outdoors of New Zealand,” Nathan defined.

“That’s why on each expedition Aron (his brother and co-owner) and I’ll plan it. Then certainly one of us will go on the primary voyage and the opposite on the second voyage after which we’ll sit down and rehash it.”

Heritage Adventurer A brand new Period for Heritage Expeditions

Initially designed to accommodate 184 visitors, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes simply 140 expeditioners guaranteeing spacious voyages, whereas a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all visitors are in a position to maximize their expedition journey.

Heritage Expeditions was ‘constructed’ on the Spirit of Enderby, an older analysis vessel not essentially meant for passenger cruising. It was one of many coolest issues about Heritage (in my view), but it surely was additionally a little bit of a thorn too. I cherished the Spirit of Enderby after I traveled with them up to now. It solely held 50 passengers, however there have been completely no thrills…it was primary. Due to this fact, I used to be fairly interested by this new bigger, cruise-ier ship they had been shifting ahead with.

Though it is a very totally different ship for Heritage, Nathan expressed that it was extra essential than ever to stay true to their roots of expedition journey.

“I by no means need to hear the phrase cruise,” Nathan stated. “I need to ship a real experiential expedition whereas sustaining a brand new diploma of consolation. What the Adventurer offers us is the prospect to ship a rare platform to have the ability to ship true experiential expeditions whereas individuals nonetheless journey in a level of consolation and repair.”

Heritage Adventurer Highlights – What you Can Count on From the New Ship

The ship itself is way larger than the Spirit of Enderby, so it has many extra issues it might provide. That is fairly essential as Heritage runs journeys that may last as long as 28 days (to the Ross Sea)! The Secretes of Melanesia Journey I used to be on was 17 days. When you find yourself on a ship that lengthy – you undoubtedly recognize further house and a few consolation.

Larger Rooms

My room was comfy and had an enormous window which made it really feel even bigger. Every primary room had a small seating space with a sofa and desk. All cabins have ensuite bogs which had been additionally spacious and there was loads of closet house.

Extra Area for Enjoyable

Though I cherished the Spirit of Enderby, it had little or no comfy/lounging house which could be robust on longer journeys. Nonetheless, the Heritage Adventurer has a number of selections for lounging and stress-free.

Their massive bar/lounge situated behind the ship was the place we met often for lectures, expedition updates, and cocktail hour. The chairs had been plush and comfy, and the audio-visual setup was nice. Plus – there are tons of home windows so that you received’t miss something outdoors if you are sitting in a lecture!

Additionally they had a library lounge on the entrance of the ship above the bridge. The library was additionally crammed with comfy seating areas, and it had a implausible view out of the entrance of the ship! Throughout my time on board – the library was barely used! It was a terrific place to go learn or simply loosen up and birdwatch.

Film Room

There’s a devoted film room with comfy film seats and a terrific sound system. On a couple of of the nights, they featured documentaries concerning the areas we had been touring to which was a superb approach to be taught extra concerning the space.

Out of doors Area

I feel this was my favourite half concerning the new Heritage Adventurer. There have been so many out of doors viewing areas that it was simple to get misplaced! There was an statement deck on the prime of the ship in addition to a pool space with seating (extra on that under), a ‘deck’ proper in entrance of the bridge, a number of ranges of ‘decks’ alongside the perimeters of the ship after which a terrific massive again deck that was partially coated. The again deck was the proper place to get pleasure from breakfast within the mornings!

Spa and Pool

That is definitely a brand new perk for Heritage. The pool is small, but it surely’s there…and a few individuals used it. For Melanesia – I most well-liked to simply swim within the sea! The recent tub is enclosed and a pleasant addition for these chilly arctic journeys. Additionally they have a health room and spa that provides massages.

Eating Room

The eating room vibe is a little more upscale on the Heritage Adventurer, however don’t get me incorrect – the ship remains to be very informal; there isn’t any must ‘costume up’ for dinner. Not solely is the eating room a lot bigger than the Spirit of Enderby, but it surely’s additionally crammed with home windows, AND beer and wine are included at dinner.

There may be additionally a Bistro Café on the ship which is for fast and fewer upscale meals – nice for lunches and lighter breakfasts.

Bridge Entry

After all, the bridge is ‘open’ that means you possibly can go on the bridge and see the Captain and crew at work. Ask questions, and find out about their jobs and the way they navigate. It’s additionally a brilliant space to observe for birds.

Heritage adventurer bridge

New Expedition Choices with Heritage Adventurer

With the brand new ship, comes new itineraries. That in all probability wasn’t the unique plan, since they’d a full yr of journeys previous to the pandemic, nevertheless because the Far East Russia itineraries had been now not potential, they needed to give you a plan B. They seemed within the neighborhood that they had been already working in and labored on growing a brand new expedition program there.


Good day Japan! Heritage Adventurer will probably be beginning expeditions across the distant outlying islands of Japan in 2023. This new itinerary consists of Hokkaido, certainly one of Japan’s northernmost and least developed islands, it’s a world away from the nation’s extra conventional and up to date cities.

In step with their energy of going the place few corporations go – Heritage will probably be specializing in immersion in Hokkaido. That is totally different from the opposite cruise operators in Japan who are likely to hit all the highlights within the larger cities of Japan. Heritage in flip will go deep into the wilderness of Hokkaido and its tradition.

Along with Japan – Heritage can be making new stops in South Korea, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Find out about Heritage Expeditions’ small 18-passenger yacht expertise across the Kimberleys and New Zealand.

Heritage Adventurer within the Ross Sea and SubAntarctic Islands

Since certainly one of my favourite journeys I’ve ever taken was after I went to the Ross Sea Antarctica with Heritage Expeditions on the Spirit of Enderby, naturally I questioned how the brand new Heritage Adventurer might have an effect on these basic itineraries.

It’s a much bigger ship, which implies there will probably be extra expedition crew crew. It grows from 5 to 14 expedition crew. This principally means they are going to have extra specialists in a large number of fields. One among my favourite issues about an expedition cruise is the chance to find out about geology, wildlife, tradition, and historical past. Now you’re going to get much more of that on the way in which to Antarctica.

For the Ross Sea journey, you spend quite a few days at sea within the Southern Ocean, due to this fact extra space, lounge space, and out of doors viewing areas solely make this already superb expedition even higher.

Heritage Adventurer

I’m so joyful that Heritage Expeditions was in a position to make it via the pandemic. They proceed to be certainly one of my favourite journey corporations.

The lesson right here is that when the world offers you lemons within the type of the pandemic and battle, Heritage made lemonade with their new Heritage Adventurer ship. It makes me love the corporate much more – this family-owned firm is a fighter. They’ve taken all the years of true expedition expertise, the energy of household ties, and their information of distant areas, and have introduced all of it collectively in a terrific expedition bundle on board the Heritage Adventurer.

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