Are you an “Island Ticker?”
“Island Tickers” are travelers with a burning desire to visit islands on which no one else has stepped foot. If inspired by this aspiration, nab one of the four remaining available cabins on a Heritage Expedition’s Russian research icebreaker (approximately 3-star) sailing on November 8 – December 2, 2012 from Western Australia to two of the most remote islands on the planet.
Cut through the icy waters to Heard andMcDonald Islands, terra incognita. Deep in the South Indian Ocean, these two protected World Heritage sites, a mere 1,010 sea miles north of Antarctica, are rarely visited, and not at all for the past decade. Travel trophy of a lifetime.
Wild! Heard Island boasts no ports and no harbors. Zodiac access only. In addition to its beginning-of-the-world astonishing beauty, expect two active volcanoes, tens of thousands of Southern Elephant Seals (biggies with really big noses), Antarctic and Sub Antarctic Fur Seals, predatory Leopard Seals, the rarer, slender and pale Crabeater, the plentiful Weddell Seal, and the rare, small, sort-of-sexy Ross Seals famous for their trilling and siren-like sounds.
A bird paradise too: Penguins are the most populous: King, Gentoo, Macaroni and Eastern Rockhoppers; plus three species of albatross, and burrowing petrels.
Who’s onboard? In addition to other daring “island tickers,” Rodney Russ, owner- founder of New Zealand-based Heritage Expeditions with 25 years of experience under his windbreaker. Lively professional staff, hands-on photographers, two Australian Geographic lecturers and some top birders. Lectures. Library.
How: Fly to Perth in Western Australia, then drive about half an hour to the port of Fremantle. Return to the port of Albany on the southern coast.
- Average age: around 60.
- The sea: rough
- Grub: Family-style “hearty” cooking.
- Gear: layers to protect from single-digit Centigrade cold.
- They provide brand-new waterproof gear.
- Mandatory: evacuation insurance
- E-mail: Amazingly, yes.
- Price: $16,000 pp.