Cruise 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’.
PHOTOGRAPHY SYMPOSIUM: On a photography symposium, you travel with a team of highly experienced photographers to improve your camera skills. Up to five professional photographer mentors with a variety of expertise offer 1 on 1 support and personal photographic critique. You will focus on ideal light conditions while having access to heightened opportunities on deck and on designated zodiacs for photographers. The program is designed for all skill levels and different camera types, no extra charges apply and participating in the photography symposium is optional. Regular programs operate through out the photography symposiums because the professional photographers are additional staff members.
Day 1: Ushuaia – Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 – 4: Southern Ocean -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.
Days 5 – 6: King Haakon Bay & Northwest Coast of South Georgia – 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.
Days 7 – 8: Fortuna Bay, Stromness, Grytviken & Central North Coast – Fortuna Bay is a majestic three-mile long fjord. It was named after the ship ‘Fortuna’ – one of the original vessels of the Norwegian–Argentine whaling expedition which established the first permanent whaling station at Grytviken – further along the coast. History comes into sharp focus as we continue west to Stromness and onto Grytviken. This area is key to the Shackleton story and it was here in 1916, that Shackleton and his companions, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, arrived after their epic mountain crossing from King Haakon Bay on the south coast. If the weather co-operates, we hope to hike in Shackleton’s footsteps, the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness. Eventually, we enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay, anchoring off Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia
Days 9 – 10: St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour & Eastern Coast – Our next few days take us to St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour – places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colourful king penguins. As with all of our landings, we will exercise every opportunity to explore on foot with our experienced guides.
Day 11: Godthul & Prion Island – Our exploration of South Georgia is not over and we navigate our way back along the northern coastline. There are a few special locations we have in mind – including the old whaling depot at Godthul. There is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. Nearing the end of our visit to South Georgia, we hope to enjoy a shore landing at Prion Island – which many consider the jewel in the crown.
Days 12 – 15: At Sea – Towards Stanley – Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media lab with our photography expert. For some, it’s a chance to catch some well-earned rest after a busy ten days of exploration. If the weather is good for our crossing we will attempt a landing on the East Falklands on Day 15.
Day 16: Arrive Stanley (Falkland Islands) Voyage Cocludes – This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end.
Please note: this is a SAMPLE ITINERARY and subject to change. Reference the full trip notes for your chosen departure details. Our 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.