Exclusive South Georgia Voyages

South Georgia is one of the most remote islands on the plant. Accessible only by chartered ship, it is rare to be able to offer a voyage solely dedicated to its focussed exploration rather than in combination with Antarctica.  The overwhelming abundance and variety of wildlife, combined with the rich and fascinating stories of South Georgia’s whaling, military and epic human history makes this island one of the highlights of this experience.

The island is also incredibly beautiful. Sweeping plains and jagged mountains mould together, punctuated by huge glaciers which pour down the mountains calving icebergs to the sea. Long tussock grasses cover vast areas of the lower flanks, providing excellent nesting grounds for birds including the majestic wandering albatross and the endemic South Georgia pintail.

Penguin Colony in Salisbury Plain, South Georgia - Dieter Denger

Lying north of the Antarctic Peninsula, summer in South Georgia starts earlier and lasts longer than at its icy neighbour. As such it is a vital breeding ground for huge concentrations of seals, penguins and other birdlife which take seasonal residence along its shores.

The waters here are extremely cold and contain large supplies of oxygen and nutrients that support the abundant wildlife for which this Island is renowned. More than half the world's population of southern elephant seal reside on South Georgia and territorial males guard harems of up to 100 females in the breeding season. Half a million pairs of King Penguins form the spectacular feature of Salisbury Plain, one of the largest breeding colonies in the World. With around 105,000 pairs of Gentoo Penguins and 6,000 pairs of noisy and boisterous Chinstraps, the abundance of wildlife along these shores can be truly overwhelming.

The great success story of South Georgia is the fur seal. Although once thriving in numbers, these seals were brought to the edge of extinction as a result of indiscriminate hunting with only 25 animals remaining by the 1950's. Today they are thought to number over 3 million.

Fur Seals and King Penguins in South Georgia

For many visitors, this spectacle of wildlife provides emotional and never to be forgotten memories. But this wild and remote island also has a strong human history: being able to stand and reflect on the anchorage of Scott's Discovery or to remember the feats of Shackleton at his grave side is indeed a humbling experience.


Sample 15 Day Itinerary (Sea Spirit)

This is a sample only based upon a 15 day voyage. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Team and is influenced by local conditions, like ice and weather.

Day 0: Arrival to Santiago

We strongly recommend that you arrive in Santiago de Chile a day earlier to mitigate against any potential flight or baggage delays, and to ensure you are well rested before setting off on your adventure tomorrow.

Day 1: Flight to Stanley, Falkland Islands. Embarkation

Your expedition will start in the early morning in the airport of Santiago de Chile where you will take a transfer flight to the Falkland Islands. Minimal days at sea means more days for photography with World Photo Travels Guides Mike Reyfman, Dimitry Arkhipov, Marco Grassi and Svein Wik.

After a short landing in Punta Arenas in Patagonia, you will arrive at the starting point of your cruise: Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands! Take your time to explore this amazing city where you can visit the Falkland Islands Museum, the Governor’s house, a cathedral with impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs and views of shipwrecks in the harbour.

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where you will be warmly welcomed aboard the deluxe expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come.

Day 2-3: Aboard M/V Sea Spirit

As you sail east towards South Georgia, you will be able to witness incredible wildlife. You will also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Don’t lose your time aboard! Attend the most interesting briefings and lectures from your onboard expert staff and prepare yourself for the arrival in South Georgia.   

This cruise is designed for amateur photographers of all skill levels, so use this chance to make new friends, exchange your photo experience and attend photography master classes. Discussing ISO and exposure is always better in the cozy bar, restaurant, or lounge.

Day 4-12: Exploring South Georgia

South Georgia is the best place on Earth for wildlife and landscape photographers. You will explore great locations for the best light. The archipelago is the home to hundreds of thousands of king penguins, which makes South Georgia the best spot to photograph these wonderful creatures. You will plan to visit the most picturesque sights such as Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord and other great places. For example, the beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, where over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins.

The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.

However, your route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions you encounter. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to you by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the world. You will take every safe opportunity to go ashore in this amazing place and take the best wildlife photos.

Day 13-14: Back to the Falkland Islands

It is time to head back toward the Falkland Islands. However, your adventures are not over yet! You will pass the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way (get your cameras ready!) There is also time for festivities such as the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slide show. You will share your impressions, review all the great photos taken on the trip and enjoy a friendly atmosphere of like-minded fellow travellers.

Day 15: Disembarkation in Stanley. Flight to Santiago

Your adventure finishes in Port Stanley. You will disembark after breakfast and be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Santiago, where we strongly recommend you spend at least one more night, giving to time to relax and reflect on your voyage, but also to allow a buffer-night in case of delays before your international flight home.

Sample 15 Day Itinerary (Plancius & Hondius)

This is a sample only based upon a 15 day voyage. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Team and is influenced by local conditions, like ice and weather.

Day 1: Embarkation in Ushuaia

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 – 3: At Sea

En route to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

Day 4: Shag Rocks

This small group of 6 islands on the South Georgia Ridge in shallower waters. The nutrient-rich waters in this area offers a lot of food for birds and whales. The islands are named after the South Georgian Shags, known for their bright blue eyes and yellow patch on their beak.

Day 5 – 10: South Georgia journey

Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.

Sites you might visit include:

Prion Island
The home of the great wandering albatrosses. The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea.

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour
These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here.

Fortuna Bay
A beautiful outwash plain from Fortuna Glacier is home to a large number of king penguins and seals. You may have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.

Leith Harbour, Stromness, Husvik
These sites remind us of the scale of the whaling industry in the early 20th century. Elephant and fur seals breed and moult here. Gentoo penguins also occupy the landing sites. Antarctic prions and South Georgia dive petrels may be observed, especially in the area of Husvik.

In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

Cobblers Cove, Godthul
At Cobblers Cove we aim for Rookery Point to see macaroni penguins. Light-mantled sooty albatrosses nest along the coastline and giant petrels can be observed as well. Godthul (Norwegian for “good cove”) was named by Norwegian whalers and seal-hunters and remains such as bones can still be found along the shore line. Beaches are the home of gentoo penguins and seals.

Royal Bay (Moltke Harbour, Will Point & Brisbane Point)
Moltke harbour in Royal Bay was named by the German International Polar Year Expedition in 1882 and some of the remains of their dwellings are still visible. The scenery of Royal Bay is beautiful, dark sandy beaches, followed by the green tussock colors and finally dominated by the snow and ice covered Ross Glacier. Royal Bay one of the windiest bays on the island, zodiac cruising is spectacular. Approx. 30,000 pairs of king penguins live here.

Cooper Bay
Offers the largest chinstrap penguin population and gentoo and also macaroni penguins are present. Antarctic terns, white-chinned petrels, blue-eyed shags and light-mantled sooty albatrosses can be spotted too.

Drygalski Fjord
Offers spectacular landscapes as the ships sails the narrow fjord, with ca. 2 kilometer high mountain peaks at a very close distance.

King Haakon Bay
British explorer Ernest Shackleton reached King Haakon Bay during his journey of 800 sea-miles by open boat “James Caird” from Elephant Island. From here he crossed to Stromness to ask for help to rescue his party at Elephant Island after they had left the Weddell Sea where their ship got crushed by ice. Elephant seals dominate the beaches. Birdwatchers will look out for South Georgia pipits, Antarctic prions as well as common diving and blue petrels.

Day 11 – 14: Westward bound

There may be sea ice on this route, south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds such as albatrosses and petrels trailing the vessel. Eventually you will reach the Drake Passage and you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south.

Day 15: Disembark in Ushuaia

You will disembark in Ushuaia today.


Enquire / Book 09 - 25 Oct 2024 - from US$ 9,845

Punta Arenas - Falklands - South Georgia - Punta Arenas (17 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 76 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking

Enquire / Book 19 Oct - 02 Nov 2024 - from £ 9,945
from US$ 11,445

Special Photography Voyage 
Santiago - Stanley (Falklands) - South Georgia - Stanley (Falklands) - Santiago (15 Days)
Luxury expedition ship: 114 passengers
Includes: return flights Santiago-Stanley & free Expedition Parka
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary 

Enquire / Book 27 Oct - 13 Nov 2024 - from € 10,400

Ushuaia - South Georgia - Ushuaia (18 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers

Enquire / Book 13 - 27 Nov 2025 - from € 9,750

Ushuaia - South Georgia - Ushuaia (15 Days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 20 Mar - 04 Apr 2026 - from US$ 12,745 US$ 10,825

Save up to 15% on new bookings!
Ushuaia - Falklands - South Georgia - Montevideo (16 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 169 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Offer expires 21 June 2024


Our prices include:
- Voyage as indicated in draft itinerary
- All meals, snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced
  expedition staff
- All miscellaneous services taxes and port charges throughout the programme
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Polar boots for trip duration
- Aqua-Firma automatically offsets the Carbon Emissions of your polar voyage

Prices exclude
- Airfares except where stated
- Fuel surcharge where applicable*
- Optional activities (e.g. kayaking, diving) unless stated
- Pre and post land arrangements (unless otherwise stated)
- Transfers to and from the vessel.
- Cancellation and personal insurance.
- Passports and visas.
- Arrival and departure tax.
- Meals ashore.
- Items of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry etc).
- Tips.

Activity Level: Low unless you select an adventure activity such as kayaking.

Single supplement: Single occupancy price is between 1.7 times the per person cabin price. However this does not apply if you are prepared to share a cabin with another passenger of the same gender.

*Fuel surcharge:
The cost of fuel is currently volatile, so a fuel surcharge may be applied by the ship without notice. We will let you know if this applies to your booking and send you an updated invoice.


  • Macaroni Penguins in South Georgia
  • Drygalski Fjord in South Georgia
  • Elephant Seal in King Hakkon Bay, South Georgia
  • King Penguin Colony in Salisbury Plain
  • Drygalski Fjord in South Georgia
  • Fur Seal and King Penguins in Salisbury Plain
  • Grytviken Church in South Georgia

South Georgia

  • King Penguins in South Georgia
  • Elephant Seal in Goldharbour Bay
  • King Penguin Chicks in Fortuna Bay
  • Hiking in Godthul Bay
  • Wandering Albatross in Prion Island
  • King Penguins in South Georgia
View all
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