Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
Before You Go
For most activities, a moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. Temperatures will range from the low 50sºF to the mid-60sºF in Queenstown, and from 40ºF to 55ºF in the sub-Antarctic islands. As we sail through the Southern Ocean, we may experience moderate to rough sea conditions. Please prepare accordingly if you are prone to motion sickness.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
Activity Level & Accommodations
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk approximately two miles over sometimes rough terrain such as uneven, rocky beaches and occasional snow or packed ice. We have designed shore excursions to accommodate both those who would like moderate strolls and those who prefer more active hikes. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided.
Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your flight itinerary to Zegrahm, as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights to Dunedin and from Queenstown, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, whichcan be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
The average temperature in New Zealand decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, as the Southern Hemisphere is in the midst of summer. Temperatures will range from the low 50sºF (10ºC) to the mid-70sºF (21ºC) in Queenstown, and from 40ºF (4ºC) to 55ºF (13ºC) in the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Please keep in mind that these temperatures will decrease when cruising by Zodiac and exposed to other factors like wind and rain.
The following are average high/low temperatures in January and February for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Queenstown, New Zealand||74ºF (24ºC)||58ºF (14ºC)|
|Milford Sound, New Zealand||66 ºF (19ºC)||50 ºF (10ºC)|
|Campbell Island, New Zealand||53 ºF (12ºC)||44 ºF (7ºC)|
|Macquarie Island, Australia||48 ºF (9ºC)||43 ºF (6ºC)|
The British pound is the standard currency on board the Caledonian Sky. However, all ship related purchases may be added to your onboard account and payment taken at the end of the expedition. The Caledonian Sky does accept most major credit cards, but please note using your card to settle your onboard account will be subject to a surcharge.
As of August 2019, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||1.55 New Zealand Dollar (NZD)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||.83 British pound (GBP) — Caledonian Sky|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs will vary. The Auckland airport has various ATMs throughout the international and domestic terminals. Also, ensure you know your four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs. Please note that some vendors require your credit card PIN number in lieu of a signature.
As a reminder, itinerary related expenses have been included in the price of your trip. Therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations.
Pre-documents are sent approximately five months prior to departure and include important pre-departure information as well as a complete packing list and gear certificate. Final documents, including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies, will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical currents are the following:
- New Zealand: 230V/50hz with electrical outlet type I
- Caledonian Sky: 100V/50Hz & 60Hz with electrical outlet types A & B
- Each stateroom’s bathroom will have one 220v razor European style outlet.
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Dunedin, New Zealand and Queenstown, New Zealand/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
At this time, no inoculations or prophylaxes are required.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition. As we sail through the Southern Ocean, we may experience moderate to rough sea conditions. Please prepare accordingly if you are prone to motion sickness.
If you are traveling with a CPAP machine and require distilled water, please notate your request in the Personal Information Form or notify your Expedition Advisor. The Caledonian Sky must be informed in advance as they do not readily have distilled water on board.
We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty as this can help prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun by bringing a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. If you would like to request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206.285.4000, or review the pamphlet included in your final documents package.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotels. Wi-Fi access is available on the Caledonian Sky. However, please note that the internet connection on board the ship is low-bandwidth and intermittent at best. Phones are located within each stateroom for guest use during the expedition, but please note that charges will apply for international calls.
All gratuities for ship’s crew, hotel staff, local guides, and drivers associated with our itinerary are included in the cost of your expedition. Gratuities for extra services outside of group arrangements are at your own discretion.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PST)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EST)|
|4:00 a.m. — THE NEXT DAY||Dunedin, New Zealand (NZDT)|
The main restaurant on board the Caledonian Sky can accommodate all guests at one sitting. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style and dinner is served in the main restaurant with four a la carte courses. When weather permits, meals can also be served on the outdoor deck. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, and coffee and tea are available throughout the day/night.
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available on board the ship for a fee, and by using it you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing. Laundry bags are provided in your cabin. Turn around for laundry service is usually 24-hours.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended. Normally, there are two shipboard occasions when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties, followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate attire, and men may choose to dress business casual. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight, natural fabrics are recommended. Warm, polar-fleece jackets can be layered on top for additional warmth. Water-repellent outer garments are absolutely essential and will keep you dry on the outside and still “breathe” enough so that moisture from your body can escape. Make sure you dress in layers; it is better to trap air in several layers of clothing than in one or two heavy layers. Be sure to also wear mittens, thermal socks, and a warm hat.
Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking over uneven surfaces and often slippery terrain. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the uneven terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than regular shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.
Knee-high, waterproof boots with good tread are essential for wet landings, as you will be stepping from the Zodiac onto the shore in wet conditions. If your feet get wet, they will lose heat rapidly, so your boots need to be waterproof. Once ashore, excursions can involve a fair amount of walking and hiking over uneven terrain and on trails where paths may be damp or even icy. You will have the opportunity to change into your hiking boots once on shore.
IMPORTANT: Please note you are required to bring your own pair of waterproof boots as they are not available on board the ship. You may rent BOG or MUCK boots from Zegrahm gear shop, and they will be shipped to your home address. Please see your Packing List & Gear Certificate for more information.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through August 2, 2020. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of two blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages ifnecessary.
U.S. citizens are required to have an Electronic Travel Authority for entry into New Zealand. You will need to apply and pay for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) before departure. For more information on how to apply, you can visit https://nzeta.immigration.govt.nz/
IMPORTANT: Macquarie Island, Australia
Due to stricter border and immigration enforcement policies in Australia, all Due to stricter border and immigration enforcement policies in Australia, all guests are now required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or an Australian visa, if your citizenship does not allow for an ETA. For more information about the ETA and visa eligibility, visit www.eta.immi.gov.au. Passengers can be denied entry on to Macquarie Island if they do not acquire an ETA or visa in advance.
Please contact the relevant visa issuing authority in your region for further details regarding validity duration and entry requirements.
PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Reservations & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.