Tailor-Made Holiday

Cruise around South Georgia

An in-depth cruise exploring the wildlife on South Georgia

17 days

from £7,925pp

The highlight on any southern ocean voyage in terms of wildlife, is time spent at South Georgia. It has been described as “the most staggering wildlife show on earth”. This voyage offers an in depth exploration of these incredible islands. 

  • Marvel at the wildlife on South Georgia - king penguins, fur & elephant seals and albatross
  • Seven days of exploration on S.Georgia, double the time most boats spend in this wildlife haven
  • Travel in Spring, the start of the breeding cycle and wildlife migration
  • Perfect time of year to view penguin chicks and watch the elephant seal males sparing 

Start this trip in the Falkland Islands, offering the opportunity to see as many as 60 species of migratory birds and the rare rockhopper penguin. Visit the capital Stanley, with its coloured houses and local pubs reminiscent of rural England.

From here travel on to South Georgia, the real highlight of the trip, with its abundance of wildlife.  Spend seven full days exploring these islands with the naturalist guides in small groups. At this time of year South Georgia is emerging from the long Winter, the breeding cycle commences and courtship rituals begin with huge elephant seals battling for control on the beach. Fur seals can be seen swimming off the coast, massive colonies of king penguins with their large fluffy chicks and many sea birds including the wandering albatross with chicks ready to start fledging.

As well as the wildlife, this area also has relics of old whaling stations which now seems out of place in this pristine environment. Find the graves of Sir Earnest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man Frank Wild, it was here in 1916 that Shackleton and his companions arrived after their epic crossing from King Haakon Bay. On board historians will be able to bring the past alive.

Departures: 28 January - 14 February 2016 and 28 January - 11 February 2017 

There are also polar summer departures when days are long, wildlife relaxed after the breeding frenzy in spring and perfect for hiking.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Transfers as detailed
  • Voyage on a full board basis

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Santiago overnight

Day 2

Fly Santiago to Punta Arenas


Situated at the foot of The Andes with striking views across the Straits of Magellan to Tierra Del Fuego, Punta Arenas is Patagonia's liveliest and most interesting city. Made rich by the wool boom following the importation of sheep from The Falklands in the 19th century, vestiges of the town's heyday remain today in the form of fine colonial architecture and interesting history. The town itself is compact with everything within walkable distance. A visit to the extraordinary Palacio Sara Braun and the manicured cemetery are strongly recommended.


You will be staying at Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Punta Arenas to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
The journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. Fly on the scheduled service to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. After a short 90-minute flight arrive in Stanley and be met and transferred to the pier, embarking the expedition ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov. After settling in to the cabins and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Have a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for South Georgia.


You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 4

Two Days Travelling Between the Falkland Islands & South Georgia
Chart a southeasterly course bound for South Georgia. Days at sea are never dull this stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife.. Much of the time is spent on the outer decks, scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. A profusion of seabirds delight as they wheel and spin above the ship. Spend plenty of time with the onboard polar experts who will be educating on the wonders of the South Atlantic Ocean and Sub-Antarctic eco-systems. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Shackleton is central to the journey.


You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 5

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 6

Spend the Next Seven Days Around South Georgia
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet on arrival in South Georgia. Begin cruising the protected waters of the northeastern coast on the lookout for landing spots such as Elsehul Bay and Salisbury Plain. The highlight of both of these areas is the staggering abundance of king penguin adults and their young that live in these locations by the hundreds of thousands, covering every inch of the shore. At the height of breeding season this area is believed to have more wildlife per square foot than any other place on the planet. Joining the majestic 'Kings' are fur seals who can be seen poking their heads above the water, the elephant seals will enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels swoop and weave in the skies above.

Meanwhile, the albatross - the constant companion on this journey - is never far away.

Continue the journey deeper into the heart of South Georgia where the next expected stop is Prion Island, in the beautiful Bay of Isles. This island has been designated as a 'Specially Protected Area' by the South Georgia Government, due to the breeding wandering albatross colonies at this location. Boasting the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 m (8ft to 11ft), they spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed.

The adventure next goes to Fortuna Bay, a majestic three-mile long and one-mile wide 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 down the coast. Here at Fortuna Bay expect to see king penguins, elephant seals, fur seals and there is an excellent opportunity for hiking excursions.

History comes into sharp focus at Stromness and Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930's, Stromness (and nearby Leith and Husvik), operated as whaling stations and the rusted and ghostly remnants of these old stations seem out of place in such a pristine environment. This area is key to the Shackleton story and it was here, in 1916, that Shackleton and his companions, Worsley and Crean arrived after their epic crossing from King Haakon Bay on the south coast. If the weather co-operates, a hike is possible across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighboring Stromness, in the footsteps of Shackleton and his men.

Journey further to the southeast and enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay. At the head of the bay lies Grytviken - the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of the landing here is a visit to the gravesite of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right hand man, Frank Wild.

The next few days will visit St Andrew's Bay and Gold Harbor - places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colorful king penguins. Gold Harbor is so called because the sun's rays make the cliffs yellow with their light in the morning and evening. It's an exhilarating location.

Drygalski Fjord has been called one of the most spectacular sites in South Georgia. If it is calm enough hear the glacier calving large chunks of ice, reminders of what early sealers, whalers and vessels needed to pay close attention to.


You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 7

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 8

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 9

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 10

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 11

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 12

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 13

Three Days Travelling from South Georgia to Ushuaia
A particular highlight of the return journey will be frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Southern Ocean. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in the soft evening light, have a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.


You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 14

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 15

You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board

Day 16

Disembark
In the early morning, arrive into the city of Ushuaia, Argentina and disembark.

Situated on the southern shore of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is the most southerly town in the world. Founded in 1884, the town was a penal colony until 1947. The location is fantastic, with views over the Beagle Channel and across to the Chilean Island of Navarino. Ushuaia can be either the jump off point for Antarctic cruises or the base from which to explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park and The Beagle Channel.

Fly Ushuaia to Buenos Aires

Fly Buenos Aires to Madrid overnight

Day 17

Fly Madrid to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov was built in Finland for the Russian Academy of Science in 1989 and was designed to be exceptionally stable, manoeuvrable, fast, quiet and functional like her sister ship the Akademik Ioffe....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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