Cruises make adventures to remotes area like the Subantarctic Islands, a reality. For birding in particular, cruises offer transport right to the very island while still in your accommodation base. During travel time, the Subantarctic Island cruise guests get to enjoy their meals, get some rest, socialize with the other birders or even print their sightings if it a photography based conjunction. Once the boat arrives at one of the many islands which are visited on the cruise, guests simply leave for a day’s adventure and return right back to the boat at the end of the day to directly get cleaned up and ready for their evening meal and recap of the day. Not many birders around the world know that the Subantarctic Island cruise is geared mainly towards birding.
This is why one of the biggest birding organizations in the world, the American Birding Association has offered up a partnership with a leading birding tour group to bring birders to this area. It is not just about tourism or an opportunity to add to birding lists but also to bring awareness of the islands to the greater birding community in hopes of keeping them preserved. Top tier leadership members of the ABA come along on the Subantarctic Island cruise. This is in addition to the birding tour guides and crew members. In total there will be around 100 people per ship. Birding is done to various islands on the 2 week journey but the 3 with the most potential and where a little extra time will be spent are the Snares, Stewart and Campbell Islands.
The richness in the islands is the sheer amount of species to be found here. It’s a wonder why the Subantarctic Island cruise is so low on many birders global destinations with the high amount of species seen on every island on the trip. Multiple species of penguins, parrots and kiwis can be found here, which would require a round trip of the entire New Zealand coast to do so otherwise. The Subantarctic Island cruise tour guests get the advantage of being able to tour the islands not just with tour guides as part of their holiday package but with esteemed members of the American Birding Association.
The partnership means that there will be representatives going along on every Subantarctic Island cruise. The tour officially starts in Auckland once guests have made their way to New Zealand. They will be taken through a safety drill, before being acquainted with the rest of the tour group. Guests will live on the ship during the 2 weeks of the Subantarctic Island cruise and leave every morning upon arrival at one of the islands which form part of the schedule of the birding tour. Return is done back to the ship every night except for one night where some after dark birding will be done to account for nocturnal species. Not on the usual spectrum of birding tours, ABA members are there to further provide knowledge of the area and the conservation efforts they are putting into place.