The Heritage Expeditions fleet recently met for the first time in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, with the Heritage Adventurer and the Heritage Explorer anchoring off the seaside town of Russel.
According to Heritage’s Expeditions Directors Aaron and Nathan Russ, the place was the perfect location for the reunion of the purpose-built expedition vessels.
“With its rich history of New Zealand firsts, we couldn’t think of a better destination to bring our incredible exploration vessels together for the first time,” said Aaron.
Nathan, who was Expedition Leader on Heritage Adventurer, said it was also the perfect opportunity for the respective vessels’ expedition teams and crew to experience and cross train on each ship.
“It was an exciting time for everyone on both ships and an excellent opportunity to explore and experience our unique vessels and what makes each ship so special,” said Nathan.
The union took place while Heritage Adventurer was offering the 15-day Best of New Zealand itinerary and the Heritage Explorer had just completed the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf voyage.
Following their rendezvous, Heritage Adventurer set sail to Japan as part of the 29-day Grand Pacific Odyssey cruise, while Heritage Explorer embarked on a charter expedition to the Hauraki Gulf and Coromandel.
Currently the flagship of Heritage Expeditions, the Heritage Adventurer was formerly known as the Hanseatic.
Designed for expeditions to remote and polar areas, the 140-guest vessel was built at Finland’s Rauma shipyard in 1991 and spent most of its career sailing for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
Among its many features is a fleet of 14 Zodiacs, two mud rooms and a presentation theater, in addition to a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, two restaurants, two lounges, a wellness center, a hospital and a shop.
The Heritage Explorer, meanwhile, is an 18-guest expedition yacht that offers coastal exploration around New Zealand.