For many, South Georgia is a not-to-be-missed destination within the Antarctic region. These sub-Antarctic islands are mountain peaks emerging from the Scotia Arc, an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the White Continent. Shaped like a long and narrow whalebone, the islands are home to:
- Four seal species – southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, and leopard seal.
- Several whale species – southern right whales, humpbacks, fin whales, sperm whales, killer whales orcas, and southern bottlenose whales.
- Antarctic seabirds, about 46% of the world's breeding population of grey headed albatrosses; northern giant petrels, white chinned petrels and Antarctic prions. Most of the world's population of the South Georgia blue eyed shags live there, some 7,500 pairs.
- Penguins – around half the world's population of macaroni penguins, along with 100,000 pairs of Gentoo penguins and about 6,000 breeding pairs of Chinstrap penguins.
- The most attractive residents of the South Georgia are King penguins with their orange-yellow crowns. The total number of King penguins is around 400,000 breeding pairs.
We spend three days among the alpine landscapes and penguins colonies. We will also visit to the historic settlement of Grytviken. With its whaling-era remnants and Earnest Shackleton’s gravesite, the one-time whaling town is one of the highlights of South Georgia.