Western Pacific Odyssey: New Zealand to Japan


33 Day Itinerary

Ship: Spirit of Enderby (professor Khromov)

This expedition is a unique opportunity for “birders”, “cetacean watchers” and the romantics who simply love the thrill of a cruise in the South Pacific that includes remote Islands and Atolls.

After departing Auckland we spend a day “birding” in the rich waters of the Hauraki Gulf where there are numerous endemic species including the recently re-discovered NZ storm petrel. From there it is northward to Norfolk Island and New Caledonia where we make shore excursions for the island endemics. Landfall in the Solomon Islands is at remote Rennell Island.

We plan a total of four days with a number of landings in the Solomon Islands before sailing north across the Britain Trench, an area known to be rich in cetaceans to Micronesia. We have landings scheduled at Truk in the Caroline group, before sailing top the Bonin Islands and (as close as we are allowed) to Tori Shima Island to see Short-tailed Albatross. The journey will end at Yokohama (near Tokyo) in Japan.


Day 1
Embark late afternoon in Auckland, complete formalities and depart.

Day 2
Through the Hauraki Gulf looking for recently re-discovered New Zealand Storm-Petrel, Grey Ternlet and other specialities. Evening offshore a ‘Pycroft’s Petrel’ island.

Days 3-4
At sea. Expected species include White-necked , Black-winged and grey-faced petrels, Buller’s, Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed shearwaters.

Day 5
Norfolk Island (Australia). We plan to seek three endemics - Norfolk Island Parakeet, Norfolk Gerygone and Slender-billed White-eye with time to explore around the Island and meet with some of the local people.

Days 6-7
At sea.

Day 8
Noumea (New Caledonia). We will explore the southern end of this tropical paradise island concentrating on Parc de la Riviere Bleue for Kagu. Other birds we will seek include New Caledonian Imperial Pigeon, N.C. (White-bellied) Goshawk, N.C.(Horned) Parakeet, N.C. Myzomela, N.C. Whistler, N.C. Crow, N.C. Cuckoo-Shrike, N.C. Grassbird (very difficult to see), N.C. Friarbird, Crow, Dark-brown and Barred Honeyeaters, Yellow-bellied Robin, Cloven-feathered Dove, Red-throated Parrotfinch and Striated Starling.

Days 9-11
At sea, relax in the Pacific Ocean as we sail to the Solomon Islands.

Day 12
Rennell (Solomon Islands). We shall seek a number of Solomon endemics including the five species restricted to Rennell, Rennell Shrikebill, Fantail, White-eye and Starling plus Bare-eyed White-eye. Our visit to Rennell includes meeting with the local people.

Day 13
San Cristobal (Solomon Islands), a new landing looking for more endemics.

Day 14
Honiara( Solomon Islands). A days birding excursion to Mount Austin. Island group endemics found here include Midget Flowerpecker, Ultramarine Kingfisher, S.I. Cuckoo-Shrike, Ducorp’s Cockatoo, Blyth’s Hornbill and others.

Day 15
At sea, in 2007 this was the area for Heinroth’s shearwater, we are sure to looking for this again.

Day 16
Ghizo and Kolombangara (Solomon Islands). We shall seek more endemics, Splendid White-eye, White-capped Monarch plus Solomon Sea Eagle and later in the day hope to see Roviana Rails as they come out before dark, the species being only first described in 1991.

Days 17-22
At sea.

Day 23

Chuuk (‘Truk’, Caroline Islands). Ashore we will look for Chuuk Monarch, Caroline Islands White-eye, Reed Warbler, Swiftlet and Ground Dove plus Oceanic Flycatcher.

Days 24-28
At sea.

Day 29
Bonin Islands (Japan) – we will seek the endemic honeyeater ashore, Laysan Albatross, Humpbacks and various dolphins in the island’s waters.

Day 30
At sea, new seabirds should include Black-footed Albatross, Streaked Shearwater and Tristam’s Storm Petrel.

Day 31
Torishima (Japan, landing not allowed) We will cruise off the island in the afternoon for surely one of the seabird highlights, Short-tailed Albatross.

Day 32
A final day at sea to reflect on the amazing diversity of the places we have visited.

Day 33
Disembark Yokohama, Japan, after breakfast. A transfer will be provided to the Yokohama Terminal for transfer by fast bus or train to Tokyo.


Landings at the Islands are by permit only as administered by the relevant Governments. Circumstances may be encountered during our voyage which will make it necessary or desirable to deviate from the proposed itinerary. These circumstances include poor weather and opportunities for making unplanned excursions. Your Expedition Leader will keep you fully informed during the voyage.

Map courtesy of Heritage Expeditions



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Photograph by Pete Morris/Birdquest

Bonin Petrel is just one of many species of exciting seabird that will be seen at sea.

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