Circumnavigation of South Georgia with the Falkland Islands

Book Now

Tour Description

Join us as we celebrate Zegrahm’s 20th anniversary in the land we hold most dear, South Georgia. Our comprehensive South Georgia adventure travel tour aboard the Sea Spirit will capture it all, from the snow-covered plateaus and cliffs draped in 15-foot icicles to the stunning wildlife: majestic king penguins, four species of albatross, fur seals, reindeer, and more. On this exciting wildlife expedition, get up close and personal with the amazing creatures that call this region home. We’ll also pay homage to the man most famous for South Georgia expedition travel, Sir Ernest Shackleton, at his Grytviken gravesite.

Circumnavigation of South Georgia Expedition highlights include:

  • Steeple Jason Island, with one of the largest albatross colonies in the world, a must-see on our wildlife adventure travel tour
  • Exploring the gentoo and Magellanic penguin rookeries on Carcass Island, and greeting macaroni and rockhopper penguins on Pebble Island
  • Strolling a volcanic black-sand beach in Right Whale Bay in search of fur and elephant seals
  • Special South Georgia tour of Grytviken by foot, the once-active whaling station and Shackleton’s burial site
  • Expert lecturers, naturalists, and Zegrahm cofounders who bring to life 20 years of discovery and the experiences of this special anniversary South Georgia expedition

What to expect:

Our South Georgia adventure travel tour requires a moderate level of exertion on most days. You will need to climb in and out of Zodiacs for shore excursions, and, to make the most of your wildlife expedition, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over rough terrain. Expect temperatures to range from 35°F to 55°F. The accommodations aboard the Sea Spirit will be very comfortable, with a variety of cuisine each day. Recommended reading and suggested clothing lists for your South Georgia tour will be sent five months prior to departure.

Itinerary

Day 1

USA / Santiago, Chile

Depart on your independent overnight flight.

Day 2

Santiago

Upon arrival in Santiago transfer to our hotel. Enjoy brunch at the hotel restaurant and spend the rest of the day relaxing or join an optional sightseeing excursion. Welcome dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 3

Santiago / Stanley, Falkland Islands / Embark Sea Spirit

After breakfast board your flight to Stanley, Falkland Islands, and embark the Sea Spirit. Before sailing this evening, we have time to explore the charming town of Stanley.

Day 4

Steeple Jason Island

Today we visit one of the largest albatross colonies in the world; we will see thousands of black-browed albatross sitting atop their nests. Also ashore are rookeries of gentoo penguins and South American sea lions.

Day 5

Carcass Island / Pebble Island, Falkland Islands

On Carcass Island we explore gentoo and Magellanic penguin rookeries and walk the beautiful beaches which are rich with seabirds. On Pebble Island we hope to spot rockhopper, macaroni, and Magellanic penguins along the coast. The island’s ponds and marshes reveal wild ducks, grebes, and black-necked swans.

Day 6-7

Cruising the South Scotia Sea

Our lecture series commences with presentations and informal discussions with our naturalists. Join Jack Grove and Peter Harrison on deck to search for the marine mammals and seabirds that flourish in these nutrient-rich waters.

Day 8-14

South Georgia

Flexibility on this expedition is a must. The expeditionary nature of this voyage prevents us publishing a day-by day itinerary, but the following is a list of places we plan to visit. Some are pending final government approval.

Elsehul Bay – This beautiful bay is home to thousands of fur seals. Listen for the high-pitched trumpeting of king penguins amid the magnificent sounds of marine mammals echoing throughout this bay.

Right Whale Bay – We land on a volcanic black-sand beach in search of southern fur seals, elephant seals, king penguins, and the other bird species known to inhabit the area.

Salisbury Plain – Thousands upon thousands of king penguins greet us, in several states of plumage. Two glaciers and rugged snowcapped ridges form a spectacular background for the huge king penguin rookery.

Hercules Bay – At this rocky bay we have the opportunity to view macaroni penguins, the most numerous of all penguin species.

Stromness Bay – Site of Shackleton’s arrival after crossing the island’s glaciers on foot. Stromness offers views of cliffs and a glacier, which the adventurer and his companions descended.

Grytviken – We explore Grytviken on foot, discovering the ruins of this once-active whaling station. The cemetery holds a special fascination, as it is here that Shackleton is buried. Hiking along the beach we can see penguins and other seabirds, as well as marine mammals.

Royal Bay – The 1882 German transit of Venus expedition conducted its research at this large bay, and remains of the party’s buildings still stand on shore. Ross Glacier forms a dramatic backdrop to the wild scenery, where 50,000 king penguins await.

Gold Harbour – Gold Harbour, at the foot of the Bertrab Glacier, is home to a colony of tens of thousands of king penguins. We are likely to see elephant seals, fur seals, and light-mantled sooty albatross.

Cooper Bay – This bay features spectacular rock headlands with sharp cleavages of metamorphosed sandstone, presenting intriguing geological perspectives. Here we are likely
to encounter light-mantled sooty albatross; king, gentoo, and macaroni penguins; prions, petrels, and terns; in addition to fur, Weddell, and elephant seals.

Day 15-16

Cruising the South Scotia Sea

Our lecturers recap our experiences at South Georgia.

Day 17

Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands

Today we walk with our naturalists along the coast of Sea Lion Island to a gentoo penguin colony and a large freshwater pond supporting an excellent variety of Falklands waterfowl.

Day 18

At Sea

Our lecturers sum up our travels as we celebrate 20 years of discovery and all we have experienced on this special voyage.

Day 19

Ushuaia, Argentina / Disembark Sea Spirit / Buenos Aires, Argentina

Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, connecting with independent flights to the USA.

Day 20

USA / Home

Early-morning arrival in the USA and connect with independent homeward flights.

Departures

Pricing Information

Sea Spirit

Aboard the recently refurbished Sea Spirit, guests will have access to five decks of passenger facilities, all with modern amenities. Your Sea Spirit cruise may find you outside on the sun deck or in the hot tub, or inside reading in the library, stocked with fiction and reference books, or in the lovely dining room, where most diets can be catered to. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, adding a convivial mood to any Sea Spirit voyage. When it comes time for exploration on your Sea Spirit expedition, you’ll find a fleet of inflatable landing crafts as well as a tender. The bridge is available for visits most times of the day. Your cabin features ocean views, a sitting area, an en suite bathroom, large wardrobes, American-style outlets and other creature comforts.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes

Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. Since many of our expeditions embark and disembark from remote destinations, the airports that serve these areas often have limited carriers and/or daily flights. As such, our air team is well-versed in planning complex routings for our travelers.