The Spirit of Enderby is an ice-strengthened polar research vessel, operated by the New Zealand expedition travel company Heritage Expeditions

Perfect for polar expedition work, her small size lends itself to intimacy but she is large enough to handle the southern ocean, ice strengthened of course and in very good shape, probably the best of her class.

We spoke to David Bowen, general manager at Heritage Expeditions, for advice and information about what to expect when cruising on the Spirit of Enderby .

Ocean Cruise
Prices Starting From: US$1798
Passenger capacity: 50
Passenger Decks: 4
Total Cabins: 30
Cabins (Balcony): 0
Cabins (Outside): 30
Draught: 4.50m
Gross Tonnage: 1769
Restaurants: 1
Bars: 1
Swimming Pools: 0
Spa: No
Gym: No
Casino: No
Exclusively For Adults: No

Where does the Spirit of Enderby visit?
We operate a full season for five months in the southern ocean – we reposition one way to the Russian Far East and Arctic and operate a pelagic voyage on the spring reposition.

What are the most popular destinations and attractions?
Ross Sea, followed by Wrangel Island in the Russian Arctic

What are fellow passengers typically like?
Highly educated over 50s with a keen interest in the natural world.

What’s new for 2011 and 2012?
We are going to operate a voyage along the coast of Kamchatka, working with researchers on the breeding ground for the threatened Spoon-billed sandpiper. We have just lent our support as a species champion with Birdlife International, wish us luck on saving this beautiful rare endangered bird

Life on board the Spirit of Enderby

What type of meals do you offer?
The Spirit of Enderby offers a hearty fare from pure New Zealand grass-fed livestock and fresh locally grown produce.

Do you cater to vegetarians and special diets?
Of course.

What are the dress codes on board the Spirit of Enderby?
Casual, as we are off the ship as much as possible on our fleet of five inflatables the order of the day is water-proof gear, we recommend pure New Zealand wool clothing.

How should I tip on board staff?
An optional collection is taken when closing accounts at the voyage end.

What entertainment is on board the Spirit of Enderby?
The great outdoors explored in-depth followed by a informative sessions presented by several of science’s best in their respective field lecturers.

Orcas - spot these on a Heritage cruise
Orcas – spot these on a Heritage cruise

What is inclusive of the price of booking, and what would I need pay extra for?
We pride ourselves on inclusive pricing – the only extras you should expect to pay for are alcohol and laundry and communication services and maybe a woolly hat from the gift shop when the winds pick up.

How can I stay in touch with friends and family?
Email and satellite pone capabilities form the ship are available.

Is Internet access available from the Spirit of Enderby?

Are hair-dryers provided in the cabins?
Available on request

What electrical voltage is offered on board the Spirit of Enderby?
220 European sockets.

What is your smoking policy?
No smoking anywhere except in one designated outside deck area

Do your cabins have soap, shampoo, and conditioner?

Do you offer room service?

Are ATM machines available onboard?
No need

Can I bring my own alcohol?
A fully stocked bar is available on board.

How can I celebrate special occasions (Birthday cakes etc)?
We will entertain all reasonable requests.


Do you allow children and young families on board the Spirit of Enderby?
Yes but to fully appreciate and enjoy the nature of an expedition, children should be 8 to 10 years old.

Can babies cots and cribs be provided in my cabin?

What facilities are available for entertainment of young children?
Their parents time and the great outdoors exclusively

Getting there

Which ports does the Spirit of Enderby leave from?
Invercargill, NZ; Anadyr, Russia; Petropavlovsk, Russia, Nome, Alaska;

How do I get to the ship?
All of our ports are serviced by international air flights.

Safety & Insurance

What safety features do you have on board the Spirit of Enderby?
We are a fully equipped polar expedition ship with all the features required to take you, literally to the ends of the earth.

Medical care

What if I get sick on board the Spirit of Enderby?
We maintain a field emergency clinic on board

Is there licensed medical staff onboard?

Will I get seasick or motion sickness?

Can I store insulin in my cabin?

Is the water on the Spirit of Enderby safe to drink?

What facilities are available for disabled and handicapped passengers?


Can I change my cabin?
We operate at full capacity so changing requires a passenger swap but has been known to occur.

Can my itinerary change? If so, what happens?
Yes most certainly will, we follow the wildlife.

What if my flight is delayed?
We will hold the ship departure for a reasonable time with final decision left to the Expedition leader.

David Bowen is General Manager of Heritage Expeditions.  He has been with Heritage for two years – which is really only a short while compared to the founders and their sons who have been at it since 1985.

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