Adventurous Heritage Expeditions

Image source: Contributed

When it comes to bucket list-worthy travel, the grande dame of expedition cruising, the Heritage Adventurer has it all and more, enthuses Helen Flanagan.  

Imagine being the ultimate expeditionist on a true voyage of discovery, when no two days are alike; with nature showing off absolutely amazing and perpetually-significant landscapes and seascapes with wildlife and history like no other. 

If small ship expeditions with unforgettable excursions and encounters are your thing, local travel agent extraordinaire Rachel Cleary has teamed up with Heritage Expeditions to deliver a trifecta of trips that include sophisticated accommodation options, drinks, gourmet meals and excursions with expert guides. 

In August next year, it’s all aboard the Heritage Adventurer for the Kimberley Coast and Beyond, including the tropical paradise of Indonesia’s Matakus Island, and the ancient, untouched beauty along the Kimberley coast of Australia. Imagine rugged wilderness of unfathomable scale – over 400,000m2 of ancient land forged by nature is a treasure trove of towering, fractured iron-tinged red cliffs, torrential waterfalls, azure waters, hidden coves and caves. The secluded white sand beaches are perfect for expedition cruising, as are magnificent reefs. 

Encounter rare and endangered wildlife, experience indigenous customs, rock art and connections to ancient lands. View incredible landscape while poolside (a rare treat on a ship in the Kimberley), on one of the many outdoor decks, from the observation lounge, aboard a fleet of Zodiacs, or by foot. 

End the year with a trip to the Galapagos of the Southern Oceannamed so due to its abundant wildlife. Journey through the Subantartic Snares and Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Islands with visits to rowdy penguin colonies, hiking through fields of waist-high mega herbs, and dining on freshly-cooked gourmet meals. 

Or choose to start 2024 as one of only 300 people to visit one of the most remote places on the planet, the Ross Sea region of Antarctica on In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton. With shipping restricted by impenetrable pack ice to two months each austral summer, opportunities for non-scientific personnel are limited to a handful of tourist expedition ships such as the Heritage Adventurer, an ice-strengthened ship, crewed by an experienced passionate and knowledgeable team, including expedition leader Aaron Russ. 

There is so much to marvel from discovering the historic huts of explorers Scott and Shackleton; observing the gentle plume of smoke peeling off Mt Erebus; being awe struck by glacial ice tongues and ice shelves; understanding icebergs and sea ice; the thrill of walking on ice; and exploring mega-penguin colonies at 2am when the sun is still shining for a life-changing moment. 

Enjoy Insta-worthy encounters with seabirds, seals and whales, visit scientific bases and field camps. Be enthralled wherever you go, such as the stepping stones to the Antarctic continent, the little-known Subantarctic Islands, including the dynamic Snares, Aucklands, Macquarie and Campbell Islands, en route to the heart of Antarctica.

Worried about what to wear? Guests are loaned thermally-insulated muckboots on the Subantarctic and Antarctic voyages and for those voyaging down to the Ross Sea, a jacket specially designed to combat the cold, dry conditions is provided. 

Expedition leader Aaron Russ is no stranger to this region thanks to Heritage Expeditions, the New Zealand company his parents started in 1984. Aaron made his first trip to Antarctica’s Ross Sea aged eight and today he runs the family business with brother Nathan. 

Their ethos is creating memories of a lifetime whilst working alongside many researchers who have also dedicated their lives to protecting and preserving flora and fauna. Their passion is sharing their work with those wanting to explore unique UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

If you have a passion for wildlife, photography, ancient cultures geography or history; an adventurous spirit; and love excitement and surprises, expect the unexpected on the totally indulgent 140-guest expedition ship with expert guides and all the creature comforts.


For over 30 years Rachel Cleary’s national and international clientele have endorsed her mantra of Dream Big. Travel Often. Make a Difference. As a premium and bespoke travel specialist Rachel books hotels, tours, cruises and expeditions wherever clients wish to go, especially to places that will make a positive impact on local people, wildlife and the environment.

For more information on these and other Heritage Expeditions itineraries: phone 0412 053 664; email; or visit

About the Author /

Noosa’s sophisticated charm, vibrant food culture and the magnetism of a subtropical paradise surrounded by national parks, inveigled Helen’s manic world and flipped it on its side. She pursues the good life with gusto, instinctively understanding the joys of travel, the art of story-telling, a candid review and surviving another reno whilst thriving on the motto Live Laugh Love!

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