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 number of favourite journey corporations. I suppose very like mother and father – a journey author is just not presupposed to have their favorites, however I do – cuz I’m human.

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

Heritage Expeditions are likely to problem folks’s views of the world with their distinctive itineraries. I too consider that journey is about taking over challenges – in the best way you assume, act, and dwell. It definitely has been that method for me over time, and it’s what retains me persevering with to journey to new locations and cultures.

The Fantastic thing about Being Completely different

As I become old, I’m much less and fewer thinking about following the group; I don’t need to be residing 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 attempt 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 folks go to, unbelievable data of expedition cruising, and skill to pivot shortly to new plans (which is commonly vital for expedition journey).

Heritage Expeditions Journey to the Ross Sea and Sub-Antarctic Islands – a spot the place few folks 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 may actually solely provide cruises to native New Zealanders the second yr. Lastly, when cruises began again up internationally, Heritage had yet another further curve ball that different corporations didn’t need to take care of; Russia invaded Ukraine.

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

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

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

Expertise an epic journey by Melanesia – one 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 loads of totally different definitions of expedition journey, and it’s laborious to say which one is appropriate. However what I do know is that an increasing number of 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 contemplate expedition journey as journey to hard-to-get-to distant locations with a view to uncover and expertise the area on a deeper degree. In accordance with Nationwide Geographic, “An expedition is a journey that requires planning and objective, and is normally undertaken by a bunch of individuals, for a particular objective, resembling to discover a distant place or to do analysis.”

As an increasing number of corporations begin to use the time period in advertising and label their choices as expedition journey, I discover that it has grow to be 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 making an attempt to sit down on a wood 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 by way of the one transportation on the island…native transportation. Different expedition cruise corporations don’t try this, they in all probability wouldn’t contemplate placing you in such an uncomfortable scenario for an hour’s experience to the center of a distant island.

Heritage Expeditions melanesia cruise

Nevertheless, Heritage offers you the chance to push your self into new experiences. You push your self into areas that you just won’t be snug with as a result of these develop into probably the most talked about and greatest experiences of your journey usually.

Heritage does as a lot as it might presumably facilitate, nevertheless it’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 supply you the expertise, then I’ll – even when solely 5 folks go.”

It’s true. All of us sat trying 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 may do a touchdown and expertise the rarely-seen conventional Rom dance on the island. Nevertheless, the climate wasn’t letting up. I used to be amazed at how lengthy and laborious Nathan and the expedition group stored making an attempt with plans B and C; making an attempt different touchdown spots, placing themselves in peril at instances.

We waited it out so long as we presumably may 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 received folks off the ship for a zodiac cruise in one other space. They don’t hand over.

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 received company backing.

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

The corporate was began in 1984 by Nathan’s mother and father. The truth is, my earlier two expeditions to Russia and the Ross Sea Antarctica had been completed 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 pleased to see that he did move 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 someway comforting to me…primarily as a result of it made me consider my circle of relatives and the way now we have the identical mannerisms as we become old. Positive – I attempt to consider that I’m not going to prove like my mother and father…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 making ready his sons for expedition journey their entire lives. Nathan was 6 years outdated when he went on his first expedition journey along with his dad. And he went to Antarctica when he was 8 years outdated!

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 along with his personal boys.

“Having the ability to convey them into environments like Melanesia the place there may be poverty and laborious residing is a good instructional expertise for them. It lets them perceive the place their dad goes and why when the cellphone 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 considered 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 friends, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes simply 140 expeditioners guaranteeing spacious voyages, whereas a fleet of 14 Zodiacs ensures all friends are capable of 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 (for my part), nevertheless it was additionally a little bit of a thorn too. I cherished the Spirit of Enderby after I traveled with them prior 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 inquisitive about this new bigger, cruise-ier ship they had been transferring ahead with.

Though it is a very totally different ship for Heritage, Nathan expressed that it was extra necessary 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 folks 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 necessary 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 positively recognize additional house and a few consolation.

Greater Rooms

My room was snug 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 loos which had been additionally spacious and there was loads of closet house.

Extra House for Stress-free

Though I cherished the Spirit of Enderby, it had little or no snug/lounging house which may be robust on longer journeys. Nevertheless, the Heritage Adventurer has a number of decisions for lounging and enjoyable.

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 while you’re sitting in a lecture!

In addition they had a library lounge on the entrance of the ship above the bridge. The library was additionally stuffed with snug seating areas, and it had a incredible view out of the entrance of the ship! Throughout my time on board – the library was barely used! It was an incredible place to go learn or simply calm down and birdwatch.

Film Room

There’s a devoted film room with snug film seats and an incredible sound system. On a number of of the nights, they featured documentaries concerning the areas we had been touring to which was a superb method to be taught extra concerning the space.

Out of doors House

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 commentary deck on the high 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 an incredible massive again deck that was partially coated. The again deck was the right place to take pleasure in breakfast within the mornings!

Spa and Pool

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

Eating Room

The eating room vibe is a little more upscale on the Heritage Adventurer, however don’t get me mistaken – the ship remains to be very informal; there isn’t any have to ‘gown up’ for dinner. Not solely is the eating room a lot bigger than the Spirit of Enderby, nevertheless it’s additionally stuffed 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

In fact, 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 an excellent 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, nonetheless for the reason that Far East Russia itineraries had been not potential, they needed to give you a plan B. They appeared within the neighborhood that they had been already working in and labored on creating a brand new expedition program there.


Hey Japan! Heritage Adventurer can be beginning expeditions across the distant outlying islands of Japan in 2023. This new itinerary includes Hokkaido, considered 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 power of going the place few corporations go – Heritage can 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.

Study Heritage Expeditions’ small 18-passenger yacht experience across the Kimberleys and New Zealand.

Heritage Adventurer within the Ross Sea and SubAntarctic Islands

Since considered 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 suggests there can be extra expedition group crew. It grows from 5 to 14 expedition crew. This mainly means they’ll have extra specialists in a large number of fields. One in all 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 best way to Antarctica.

For the Ross Sea journey, you spend numerous 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 wonderful expedition even higher.

Heritage Adventurer

I’m so pleased that Heritage Expeditions was capable of make it by the pandemic. They proceed to be considered 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 warfare, 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 power of household ties, and their data of distant areas, and have introduced all of it collectively in an incredible expedition bundle on board the Heritage Adventurer.