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2024 Scott & Shackleton’s Antarctic Ross Sea Polar Expedition

*** BOOKINGS CLOSED *** In conjunction with Girls on the Road Again, come join photographer and adventurer Lesley Whyte as she embark on her second extraordinary and awesome expedition and heads to the seldom visited Ross Sea from New Zealand, and walk in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers on this exciting expedition. On this expedition, although it’s a Girls on the Road Again adventure, your “bloke” is welcome to join you as we’re sure they also have Antarctica on their bucket list.

Sailing from Dunedin in New Zealand on board PONANT’s Le Soléal, start in Campbell Island, part of New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands, and discover the island’s spectacular endemic flora and fauna, including six species of albatross. Whilst you enjoy some time at sea and take advantage of talks and lectures on board by the team of PONANT’s expedition guides, be prepared to reach the Ross Sea, the Southernmost sea on Earth.


  • Visit the most pristine piece of ocean left on earth.
  • Follow in the footsteps of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration.
  • Landing and weather permitting, possibility of viewing the historic huts of Scott, Shackleton & Borchgrevink.
  • The opportunity to see nine of the world’s penguin species.
  • Populations of Fur Seals, Southern Elephant Seals, Weddell Seals, Crabeater Seals and New Zealand Sea Lions.
  • Landscapes on a breath-taking scale.
  • Gain an insight into the history and the diversity of flora and fauna from your expert expedition team.

At Sea Days

Lesley is no stranger to Antartica, nor capturing amazing wildlife and rugged Antarctic landscape images. While on the “at sea days” Lesley will run photography workshops and processing, Lightroom and Photoshop sessions, so be sure to bring your laptop or tablet device with Adobe software pre-loaded and registered if you are a photographer.

A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment. You may want to make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Maybe you’ll be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutiques.

As well as Lesley, there are dedicated PONANT photographers to meet and learn from. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species (so make sure your camera is handy).


After settling into your Dunedin accommodation, Lesley & Rob will host a group dinner tonight so we can all get to know our fellow travel buddies.


Free time this morning until you are transferred to Port Chalmers to board in preparation for your 3pm departure. Get settled into your cabin and meet Lesley & Rob for the start of your awesomely amazing expedition.



Campbell Island is the most southerly of the five New Zealand subantarctic groups. Described by the English botanist Joseph Hooker as having a “flora display second to none outside the tropics.” It is known for its megaherbs, herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, with huge leaves and very colourful flowers, which have developed as an adaptation to the harsh weather conditions on the islands. Campbell Island is also home to six species of albatross, and several critically endangered endemic birds including the Campbell Island teal and snipe. You will have the opportunity to undertake a guided walk on the Col Lyell Saddle boardwalk as well as undertake a zodiac tour around the coastline of Perseverance Harbour.



The Ross Sea, the southernmost sea in the world, owes its name to Sir James Clark Ross, both a naturalist and a Royal Navy officer, who first explored the area in 1841 with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. It is bounded on the east by Roosevelt Island and the Edward VII Peninsula in Mary Byrd Land, on the west by Ross Island and the coastal mountains of Victoria Land, and on the south by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica located some 320 km from the geographic South Pole. The history and treasures of the world’s ultimate marine sanctuary will be revealed during this extraordinary expedition.

You will be able, weather and ice conditions permitting, to discover several emblematic sites in the region. Among the possible stopovers, Cape Adare, at the northern end of the Borchgrevink coast, home to the world’s largest colony of Adélie penguins. We will attempt to reach Terra Nova Bay where the Italian and South Korean scientific stations are located to the north and the Drygalski Ice Tongue to the south. Dating back at least 4000 years, it extends 70 km offshore from the David Glacier and is 24 km at its widest point. On the Inexpressible Island, discover the exceptional survival conditions of a group of six men of the Terra Nova expedition, led by Robert Falcon Scott (1910-1913), forced to winter in a cave dug in the ice, today classified as an Antarctica historical monument. On Ross Island, follow in the footsteps of the polar explorers Sir James Clark Ross and discover Sir Ernest Shackleton’s hut, classified as an Antarctica historical monument. Built at Cape Royds during the British expedition Nimrod (1907-1909), it proudly stands at the bottom of Mount Erebus. Sixty years earlier, while Captain James Ross was trying to reach the South Magnetic Pole, he discovered Franklin Island, located 130 km east of Cape Hickey in Victoria Land. He named it after Sir John Franklin, Arctic explorer and governor of the territory of present-day Tasmania. You will be offered there, a privileged position to observe Adélie penguins in their daily ballet as well as Weddell seals, resting on the shore.



The Balleny Islands are an extremely remote series of islands extending for about 160 kilometres in a northwest-southeast direction straddling the Antarctic Circle some 270 kilometres north of the Antarctic mainland. The volcanic islands are heavily glaciated and have received few human visitors since their discovery in 1839. Their isolated location within the rich waters of the Southern Ocean has resulted in a species diversity rivalling the entire Ross Sea region. Humpback, fin and minke whales are regular visitors to the rich feeding grounds along with Crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Several of the islands are home to significant colonies of Adélie and Chinstrap penguins. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to explore the spectacular coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of Zodiac®.



Long celebrated as one of the wonder spots of the world, Macquarie Island is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for more than 3.5 million seabirds, most of which are penguins. There are four species breeding on Macquarie Island: Royals, Kings, Gentoos and Rock Hoppers. There are also three types of fur seals and one seventh of the world’s population of elephant seals breeding on the Island. In 1948 The Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions (ANARE) established its expedition headquarters on Macquarie Island. If time and weather permit, guests will have the opportunity to land ashore and view the prolific wildlife that resides here.



Amongst the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand, the Snares have the distinction of being the only forested group without introduced mammals, not even mice. Consequently, it is a remarkable haven for wildlife. The island boasts more nesting seabirds than the entire realm of the British Isles. Over 2 million Sooty Shearwaters breed here in the summer months. Four species of Albatross are listed as breeding on the Snares along with 35,000 endemic Snares crested penguins. There are also approximately 1,000 New Zealand fur seals and 500 New Zealand sea lions. Landing on the Snares is prohibited. If time and weather permit, you will have the opportunity to explore the coastal environments and view the prolific wildlife from our fleet of zodiac.


After breakfast, join Lesley as you are transferred to Dunedin airport so you can board your homeward bound flight.


  • Ex Dunedin City, return to Dunedin Airport
  • Welcome dinner with wine, hosted by Lesley & Rob – GORA Bonus
  • 1 night Single accommodation in Dunedin – GORA bonus
  •  Transfer City Hotel to Port Chalmers to board your ship – GORA bonus
  • All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation)
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi
  • Port charges (AUD$1,040 per person are included)
  • Wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands – premium option own cost
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • Room service 24h (special selection)
  • Gratuities (prepaid and included in your cost of AUD$18 per person per day)
  • Highly qualified expedition team
  • Zodiac landings
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Polar Parka for you to keep
  • Transfer from Port Chalmers to Dunedin Airport at the end of your expedition – GORA bonus
  • Hosted by Lesley & Rob Whyte
  • Photo tuition to enable you to capture those awesome images provided by Lesley throughout the cruise.  This includes photo processing in Lightroom and Photoshop sessions, so be sure to pack your device (tablet or laptop) which have these Adobe products preloaded  –  GORA bonus.


  • Any ground services/flights before and/or after the cruise – note this journey is Dunedin – Dunedin
  •  Visa expenses if required
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s).


  • Travel insurance suitable for this type of expedition is required – Kerry can assist and provide a quote
  • You may require approval closer to departure from your medical practitioner due to the remoteness of the location
  • Details on what is required for COVID-19 will be provided. At this time it is mandatory to be vaccinated.


For the photographers, you will receive an updated equipment & clothing list suitable for this expedition, this although is our standard equipment list.


  • Sharing Prestige Stateroom on deck 4 – AUD$37,390 per person

NOTE:  Don’t want to share:

  • Prestige Stateroom single supplement – add an additional AUD$9,450 *** ONE ONLY ***
  • Once the above is sold, single supplement is an additional AUD$32,644

Want to make a booking, email Girls on the Road Again’s awesome travel agent Kerry Graham at kerry@privatetravel.co.nz or if you have a photography enquiry contact Lesley at lesley@girlsontheroadagain.com

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19 Jan 2024 - 10 Feb 2024