Travel to South Georgia and visit hundred of thousands of King penguins on this unrivalled itinerary to explore South Georgia and its staggering wildlife. South Georgia hosts the most wildlife per square meter in the world. On this expedition cruise, you can see 100,000 king penguins, fur seals, whales and albatross. Spend seven days in South Georgia, more than ever before to immerse into the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’.
Our October and November departures are timed to coincide with the arrival of spring, as South Georgia emerges from the long and icy winter. This marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and breeding cycles for many species. For lovers of remote, small-ship expedition cruising, this voyage ticks every box you could possibly imagine.
Please note: like any voyage to the poles nothing is cast in stone, so the itinerary below gives you an in-depth flavour of what to expect on a South Georgia in-depth voyage. Please contact us, so that we can find the perfect voyage for you.
Our journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. We meet at a central location and transfer to the airport for our scheduled service to Stanley in the Falkland Islands (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute flight we are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. There is time to explore the town, before we make our way to the ship for embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for South Georgia – and the adventure of a lifetime.
We chart a course bound for South Georgia. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on arrival in South Georgia. We hope to navigate the ship into the historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that, 100 years ago, Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat, the James Caird, after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island. This dramatic location is visited by just a handful of ships each season. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering 100,000 ing penguin adults and their young. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. History comes into sharp focus as we visit Stromness and Grytviken. Today, the rusted and ghostly remnants seem out of place in such a pristine environment. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of our landing here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.
Our next few days will take us to St Andrew’s Bay and Gold Harbor – places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colorful king penguins. We will explore as much as you desire on foot. Gold Harbor is so called because the sun’s rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It’s an exhilarating location. Drygalski Fjord at the far eastern extremity of the island is another spectacular site in South Georgia.
Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media room with our photography expert. A highlight of our return journey will be frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean.
Approaching Sea Lion Island close to the Falkland Islands, we launch the Zodiacs and go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found at this location. Three species of penguin including gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species we expect to see.
In the early morning, we navigate into the harbour of Port Stanley. A transfer will take us to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage).
Outings onboard zodiacs, or from the bow of the ship: here is the chance to see these majestic giants up close and personal as they float asleep like semi-submerged submarines, fluke, 'spy hop', breach, hunt and feed.
There will be numerous opportunities to photograph and capture truly wonderful moments. From multimedia presentations to group workshops on the outer decks or in a Zodiac, our on board photographer will offer advice and instruction.