Sign Up
Cruisetrend helps you connect and share with the people in your life.
  • Port Detail
  • Photo & Video
  • Ports Review
South Georgia Island  is a sub-Antarctic island administered by the United Kingdom as part of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. It is located 1390 km southeast of the Falkland Islands and 2150 km from South America. It is the home of vast numbers of birds and marine life, but its remote location and lack of access makes it a rare destination for tourists. This island is a paradise for wildlife lovers, with literally millions and millions of animals going about their lives with little concern for the handful of humans that occasionally appear. The destinations below are listed geographically from northwest to southeast.
Many of the wildlife (penguins, whales, seabirds and seals) and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are included as well as the best of these two wildlife-rich sub-Antarctic islands. These expeditions are designed to include as much wildlife viewing as possible, but also include visits to scientific bases and allow plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of icy waterways, glaciers, and icebergs.
Access to the South Georgia Island cruisers arrive on icebreakers and other large vessels as a part of a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, although a handful of smaller expedition boats also brave the rough passage to the island. Whether on a small or large boat, even the crustiest old seaman should expect to become seasick during the crossing and should bring appropriate medications.
Companies that can help to arrange travel to the islands include:
Polar Cruises. Polar Cruises offers over 30 trips each year to South Georgia. They've won the 2012 and 2013 Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist Award and have many vessels to choose from.
Bark Europa, -- A sailing ship (square-rigged) offering 53 day trip to Antarctica, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha and across to Cape Town South Africa and 22 day trips to Antarctica on a yearly basis.
Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris -- Offers in-depth itineraries that stress maximum time ashore and Zodiac cruising with an experienced staff of Antarctic veterans. They offer various itineraries on different years, including a small-group expedition with 17 days in South Georgia plus a larger in-depth expedition with 9 days around the island.
Quark Expeditions. Quark is a larger company known for travels to remote locations. They stop in South Georgia for 3-4 days as part of some of their Antarctic Peninsula trips.
Golden Fleece Expeditions- - Run by Jerome Poncet, a resident of the Falklands who has been visiting South Georgia longer than anyone else. His boat, the Golden Fleece, holds eight passengers, and must be chartered well in advance as Jerome is in high demand by National Geographic, the BBC, and various research groups.
Expedition Sail. Run by Hamish Laird, the sailboat SEAL takes 4-6 passengers and is available for private expeditions, research, filming, and sometimes offers "by the bunk" trips for individuals to South Georgia.
Antarctica Bound South Georgia Cruises,. Antarctica Bound offer South Georgia cruises with options to do the "Shackleton Crossing"
Geographic Expeditions -- GeoEx offers a 23-day expedition that crosses South Georgia Island following the famed route of Ernest Shackleton. Trip is led by noted expedition leaders Dave Hahn and Peter Hillary.
Haka Expeditions -- Run by Expeditions Leaders Sebastian Arrebola and Christian Rotger. Haka Expeditions offers trips to South Georgia and Antarctica Peninsula,in addition they offer tailor made trips, corporate and incentive trips.
Poseidon Expeditions -- Poseidon Expeditions is a company which has a solid background of operation cruises to the North Pole. Now they operate vessels in Antarctica, particularily in South Georgia.
PolarExplorers -- PolarExplorers offers a South Georgia cruise with the option to do the "Shackleton Crossing" - the same crossing Ernest Shackleton made in 1916 to save the crew of his ship Endurance.
Geting around
There are no roads on the island, so all travel is by boat or on foot. The island is mountainous and covered by massive glaciers, so travel by land requires appropriate gear and backcountry travel skills. In your cruise journey there will be opportunities for walking, hiking, kayaking, and taking Zodiac excursions. Depending on weather and sea conditions, we plan to make some or all of the following stops:

King Haakon Bay
This is the site of Shackleton's landfall after his rigorous voyage in the 23-foot lifeboat, James Caird. The untouched beaches, headlands, mountains, glaciers, and nesting wandering albatrosses are a great introduction to the wilds of South Georgia.

Grytviken/Shackleton's Grave
Wander on foot, visiting the ruins of the abandoned whaling station of Grytviken and its fine museum about whaling and the island's natural history. A host of seabirds, penguins, and marine mammals can be seen as we hike along the coast to the cemetery where Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

Salisbury Plain/Elsehul Bay
At the height of breeding season, the northern tip of South Georgia is said to have more wildlife per square foot than any place else on Earth. We are likely to be greeted by thousands of king penguins. Visit a colony of wandering albatrosses and see colorfully crested macaroni penguins, fur and elephant seals, and gray-headed and black-browed albatrosses on their nests.

Right Whale Bay
Land on black-sand beaches, inhabited by southern fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, plus dozens of other bird species.

St. Andrews Bay
St. Andrews Bay is teeming with wildlife. Hike past fur and elephant seals and a colony of more than 200,000 king penguins.

Gold Harbour
Gold Harbour is home to elephant seals, thousands of fur seals and tens of thousands of penguins, including a colony of aristocratic king penguins.

Cooper Bay
Whalers once sought shelter in this small bay. Here we are likely to encounter king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins; prions; petrels; and terns; and perhaps Weddell seals.

Stromness Bay
Stromness offers views of cliffs and glaciers that legendary captain Ernest Shackleton and his companions descended to complete their famed crossing with the Endurance in 1916. Shackleton and a crew of five men had set sail in a 22-foot wooden sailboat on a 700-mile voyage across the Southern Ocean—a journey that became one of the most incredible stories of survival at sea. Explore the glacier's ice face by Zodiac. Walk along a pebble beach, passing king and gentoo penguins, and hundreds of fur seals.  

Captcha Challenge
Reload Image
Type in the verification code above