From unique scenic beauty to a wealth of biological diversity, South Georgia is a can’t-miss stop on any Antarctic journey, and a compelling destination all its own.
1. It’s the land of a million kings
King penguins are the largest penguin species apart from emperors, and just one of these colorful, three-foot-tall birds is a memorable sight. Imagine, then, setting food amid a colony of hundreds of thousands of king penguins gathered at Salisbury Plain or Gold Harbor, their cries audible for miles around.
2. You’ll see a cornucopia of species
When people think of wildlife in the Antarctic region, they usually think penguins and not much else. South Georgia is actually one of the most biodiverse places on earth, a result of its large size and isolation from the mainland, and visitors can count on seeing a tremendous variety of mammals and birdlife, including the nesting wandering albatross.
3. Visit “the Alps of the Southern Ocean”
Known as one of the most remote islands in the world, South Georgia is actually a partially submerged extension of the Andes mountain range, and so boasts peaks topping 11,000 feet. Visitors often liken their first sight of South Georgia to seeing the Swiss Alps rising from the sea, and it makes for one of the journey’s indelible highlights.
4. Discover a surprising history of exploration.
South Georgia looms large in the history of the Antarctic region. It was the center of the whaling industry in the Southern Ocean, and visitors can tour the remnants of an old supply station used by the whaling ships. Legendary adventurer Ernest Shackleton is also buried here, and visiting groups pause at his grave to drink a traditional toast to “The Boss.”
5. Cruise through one of the region’s most scenic stretches
South Georgia’s coast is a treasure trove of glaciers and fjords that make for spectacular cruising, and Drygalski Fjord is probably the most scenic of them all, with its combination of towering cliffs and impossibly blue glaciers; this is also one of the best points in the expedition to witness glaciers calving, an amazing natural wonder.
See South Georgia on Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands Cruise.