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Renowned as an excellent destination for birdwatchers, South Georgia has more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

A real oasis in the stormy southern oceans, the island is home to penguins, seals, reindeer and abundant sea and land birds. With colonies of over 150,000 pairs of king penguins, this is the perfect place to view the world's second largest penguin, along with numerous other species such as chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguins.

The seas around South Georgia also have a prolific biodiversity, with a higher density of marine species than the waters around Galapagos and Ecuador.

A remote, rugged and hauntingly beautiful sub-Antarctic island, its scenery ranges from impressive mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland. This island wildlife sanctuary, once visited is not easily forgotten. Its snow covered peaks, blue glacier ice and emerald green bays, are stunningly beautiful.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: wandering albatross, elephant seal, king penguin, macaroni penguin, sperm whale, leopard seal

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Antarctic Odyssey Fly-Sail

This comprehensive itinerary retraces Shackleton’s voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and ends in the Falkland Islands. Antarctica’s scenery and ice are matched by the prolific wildlife on South Georgia, which includes 150,000 pairs of king penguins and numerous other species.

  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Duration exc. flights: 18 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £14,795 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Festival of Wildlife Photography

Rightly referred to as ‘the most staggering wildlife show on earth’, South Georgia in spring during the breeding season is like being immersed in your very own private wildlife documentary. Join us on a Festival cruise for a celebration of Antarctica's wildlife, under the guidance of expert photographers.

  • When to go: Oct-Nov
  • Duration inc. flights: 19 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £8,895 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Great Antarctic Voyage

This ultimate Antarctic experience marries the phenomenal wildlife of the sub-Antarctic islands of the Falklands and South Georgia to the pristine beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula. Explore dramatic wilderness areas and visit huge penguin colonies, all amongst hauntingly beautiful polar scenery.

  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Duration exc. flights: 19-20 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £11,900 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

South Georgia

Embark on a superb voyage to South Georgia, the remotest and wildest of the UK's Overseas Territories. After exploring the abundant wildlife of the Falkland Islands, it is a two day journey to South Georgia, where you will find snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and a huge numbers of seabirds and marine mammals.

  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Duration exc. flights: 15-20 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £10,655 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Recommended cruise vessels:

Akademik Ioffe

Designed originally for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. Carrying around 100 passengers, facilities include a fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool. Kayaking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing and skiing are available on most voyages.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov is an ice-strengthened vessel which started life in Finland as a scientific research vessel, and has since been refitted and refurbished to sail the Polar seas. The ship’s bridge is an excellent place from which to view wildlife, and the on board hot tub is a great addition!

Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius is an excellent vessel for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. With the highest ice-class notation, it offers possibilities to travel to remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

Plancius

The Plancius accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in cabins ranging from triple to superior, all with outside view and private facilities. She offers a range of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic, and the large open deck spaces offer excellent opportunities to watch wildlife.

Polar Pioneer

Small and manoeuvrable, the Polar Pioneer is an ice-strengthened vessel, capable of venturing into remote corners of the world that many larger ships cannot reach. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and you will be in the company of an experienced team of expedition experts and crew.

Ushuaia

The Ushuaia is an ice-strengthened vessel specially refurbished for Antarctic expedition voyages. She boasts 46 cabins and suites for a total of 88 passengers, and has a fantastic observation lounge designed to maximise wildlife viewing. A fleet of Zodiac inflatables is used for shore landings.