Explorers Connect

Sail Around New Zealand and Fiji

Join a TeamBecky Goodall

Who we are:

We are offering an affordable alternative for researchers, film makers explorers or citizen scientists to sail to their desired destination.

The vessel:

Dona Catharina is a 18m steel ketch that is well equipped to sail the world oceans safe, and comfortable with up to 10 people on board (usually not more than 8). While we are always open for suggestions of destinations, we have currently the following two voyages planned:

Circumnavigation of New Zealand

In the first week of January 2020 we will sail out of our home base, the Bay of Island in the north of New Zealand, we will turn to starboard for a clockwise circumnavigation of New Zealand, including the subantarctic islands of Steward Island, the world heritage place Auckland Islands and the many fjords of Fjordland. These three destinations will be the highlights and can only be explored by boat. They are all national parks of New Zealand, are largely uninhabited and have no road access ( exemptions are Oban on Steward island and Milford sound in Fjordland) some of them require special permits, and all have a compulsory standard of expected behaviour set out by DOC ( department of conservation). This voyage will end with a non stop run from Milford sound back to the Bay of Islands by the end of March 2020.

You can participate on the entire voyage, or pick your favourite legs as you wish. There are suitable departure or boarding spots planed about every 10-14 days. Please contact us early for exact dates and places as some might need a helicopter or seaplane). Costs are around € 600.per person, per week all included on board. No allowance has been made for your travel to and from the boat. The costs are based on a true cost share basis and include boat maintenance and wear and tear, food and and consumables, fuels and oils, harbour fees and permits.

This voyage, and particular the last two third of it, will suit people who wish to see some of the last untouched wilderness of our planet, its flora and fauna, but are prepared to experience isolation from civilisation and some harsh weather conditions ( hopefully on anchor mostly).


In August 2020 we will again depart the Bay of Island, first bound for Fiji. We will immerse into Fijian culture but also will have plenty of time for snorkeling , diving or just relaxing on beaches or under sail. From Fiji we will sail to the remote island of Tikopia. This will be our third visit to Tikopia, and we will be welcomed by its chiefs and people ,not only because we will not come empty handed, but because we have made genuine friends there. Tikopia has no ports or airports, no tourism, no internet, but a unique 3000 year old culture made up of some 1200 residents, that are capable of making a living from what grows on this tiny island without depleting ist fragile resources .

From Tikopia our voyage shall bring us to Island chain of Vanuatu. Vanuatu has it all, active volcanoes , beaches, wrecks to dive on, lush jungle to explore, sea turtles, dugons, and the happiest friendliest people on earth who make so it hard to say goodbye, every time we visited, that we keep coming back. The voyage back to New Zealand will be by beginning of November 2020.

Again, there are places to board or disembark Dona Catharina, but because of the remoteness this places are few and far, and to justify the air travel costs, I suggest, that you should look at a stay of at least 4-6 weeks. So please contact us with your preferred destination

This voyage may suit people who just want a tropical holiday, but is far more suited for those who are open to experience or even want to study a foreign culture, and are prepared to respect and immerse into these cultures. It is also ideal for those of you who have always wanted to cross an ocean under sail Costs are around €500 per person, but it is expected that you are prepared to leave some of your personal belongings as gifts on the islands ( masks, t shirts, fishing gear, or something from home like wood working tools. No cheap plastic rubbish please).

On Dona Catharina all people on board are part of the crew and team . We plan our voyages together. We all go watches, prepare meals, pull on ropes and keep Dona Catharina ship shape. While some sailing experience will make it easier for you to understand what you are letting yourself into, it is not at all required. Your skipper has more than 30 years of ocean voyaging experience and is happy to share as much knowledge as you desire.

If you’d like to join, please contact Martin at donacatharinaexpeditions@gmail.com