Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Classic South Georgia

The 22-day Classic South Georgia Cruise offers spectacular scenery, outstanding wildlife and history of human endeavor in a remote island group at the bottom of the world. It is easy to think “small” with islands, but South Georgia is something very different. The mountain ranges offer a beguiling landscape. There are sheltered valleys with meltwater streams, tussac grass covered moraines with close-up wildlife. Glaciers cover the mountains and even huge tabular icebergs from the shelves of the far south thump along South Georgia´s weather shore to become features of its great landscape. This is an ideal small ship cruise to experience all that South Georgia has to offer.

Highlights include the large numbers of fur seal pups on all the beaches we are going to visit. King penguins are also around. As this species has an odd breeding cycle of 14 months, there are always huge groups of king penguins involved in the breeding process no matter when one visits South Georgia. Macaroni penguins are also busy with their offspring as well. Red eyes and golden crests make these little, 28-inch birds quite spectacular. Their efforts at leaping out of angry seas onto slippery, rocky ledges and then climbing high up a dauntingly steep hillside with stumpy bright pink legs is admirable.

Black-browed albatross, grey-headed and light-mantled sooty albatross are also tending to their nests. The wandering albatross has been breeding since the previous year, so the chicks are sitting on the nest and waiting for their parents to come in and feed them. Their most important breeding sites will just be open again, right in time for your visit.

Accommodation is aboard the 90-guest Ushuaia, an ice-strengthened polar vessel originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). With a low passenger count all guests can disembark at the same time, allowing for longer landings and shore excursions.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises and South Georgia cruises.