Calling all fearless wanderers and animal lovers: this isolated destination promises to fulfill your wildest dreams. 

Revel in the immense vastness and immeasurable beauty of an Antarctica Cruise as you float past extraordinary landscape after extraordinary landscape on your journey to South Georgia Island from Argentina. Push your adventure-loving spirit out of its comfort zone as you take in the sea’s icy surface and marvel at the towering glaciers that rise above you from aboard the majestic Ocean Endeavour on our South Georgia Island Cruises & Tours. The only thing more impressive than the island’s scenery? The animals that call it home. From elephant seals and their pups to rookeries of King penguins, this island’s collection of fascinating animals will add another enchanting layer to an already unforgettable trip. 

Our South Georgia Island cruises & tours

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Highlights of South Georgia Island

The floating icebergs of Drygalksi Fjord in South Georgia Island

Explore the epic Drygalski Fjord

You can’t do an Antarctic exploration without seeing a fjord or two and the Drygalski Fjord might just be the best there is. Whether you’re interested in seeing vividly coloured and uniquely shaped icebergs up close or just want to watch the icy fjord itself naturally shift, prepare to have your breath taken away (and not by the cold). Taking in this captivating landscape is definitely a pinch-yourself moment. 

Two albatross birds flying over the landscape of South Georgia Island

Watch albatross soar

They don’t call South Georgia Island the ‘Galapagos of the South’ for nothing and once you watch the mighty albatross lift their incredibly wide wings to take to the sky, you’ll soon understand why. Don’t be fooled, these birds might not seem that big from the ship’s deck, but their wingspan is the largest out of any other living bird in the world, allowing them to fly for several hours without a single flap. 

Two sunbathing elephant seals on the beach at South Georgia Island

See sunbathing Elephant Seals

If watching the mighty albatross primp and preen tickles your animal-loving fancy, then observing thousands of gigantic elephant seals laying out on rocky mountains will take your excitement to a whole different level. Whether they’re simply basking in the sun’s rays or sparring with each other for ultimate glory, these elephant seals will have you reaching for your camera more times than you can count. 

A group of king penguins waddling along the shore of South Georgia Island

Marvel at colonies of King penguins

If you hadn’t guessed it already, South Georgia Island is a haven for several species of Antarctic animals including magnificent blue whales and the cheekiest of fur seals. However, nothing will prepare you for the sight of a chaotic colony of King penguins. From trumpeting and courting to waddling and whistling, there are sometimes up to 100,000 pairs of penguins on the island to appreciate and take photos of. 

Old whaling station on the coast of South Georgia Island

Visit the old whaling settlement of Grytviken

The first whaling station on South Georgia Island was built in 1904 (quickly followed by six others) but the one built at Grytviken was the largest, employing over 60 Norwegian men as whalers, engineers, and flensers. Learn about this piece of history as part of your South Georgia Island adventure and turn back the hands of time to picture the station as it would have been with rusty ships used as part of the whaling process and industrial buildings that housed workers still visible along the bay. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave in Grytviken Cemetery with snowcapped mountains in the distance.

Spend time at Sir Ernest Shackleton’s grave

Sir Ernest Shackleton may not have been the first explorer to step foot on South Georgia Island, but he was one of the principal figures during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, leading three British expeditions to the region. He suffered a heart attack during an expedition in 1922 off the island’s coast and, at the request of his wife, he was buried in Grytviken. His headstone still attracts many travellers, with some toasting the great explorer by downing a shot of whiskey (his favourite drink) when they visit. 

See Antarctica from the sky 

If you want to experience a polar adventure but aren't keen on travelling by sea, take a once-in-a-lifetime flight to the icy landscape of Antarctica. Whether you're a keen astronomer who's always dreamt of seeing the Aurora Australis or a travel enthusiast ready to check 'expedition flight' off the bucket list, embarking on a southern flight from Australia promises some pretty spectacular views. 

South Georgia Island tour reviews 

South Georgia Island FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce:  

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

There's only one way to arrive at South Georgia Island due to its extremely remote location and that's by small ship or through a larger expedition. These ships often set sail from Ushuaia in Argentina and from there, it's approximately a two-day journey to the fascinating destination. 

South Georgia Island's climate is considered to be maritime subpolar with cold summers and even colder winters. The hottest month of the year is February, but don't get any ideas about sunning yourself on the ship's top deck because the average high temperature is 6°C (43°F). The coldest months of the year are June and July and they can reach lows of 0°C (32°F) so make sure you rug up and dress appropriately when visiting. 

You can travel to South Georgia Island in spring, summer, and autumn, however, you cannot travel to the island in winter. This is because the weather conditions are too unpredictable and dangerous to safely travel to the region. The best time to travel to the island largely depends on what you want to see with many Antarctic animals preferring different seasons. If you want to do some whale watching or penguin spotting, visit the island in autumn. If it's baby animals you want to see then head to the remote destination in spring. If it's warmer weather you're craving, then summer is also a great time to go. 

The remoteness of Antarctica means that you really have to nail the packing because you won't be able to buy anything while you're over there. To ensure you have everything you need, we've put together a small list of things you absolutely need to pack: 

  • a lot of clothing layers 
  • gloves 
  • beanie
  • socks 
  • moisturiser
  • camera 

Learn more about what to pack for an Antarctic cruise

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Read more about Antarctica