South Georgia In-Depth: Photography

Falklands and South Georgia

South Georgia has rightly been called ‘the greatest wildlife show on Earth’ and after our in depth exploration of this remote island in the South Atlantic, we are certain you will agree. This seldom-visited corner of the planet is a place we know intimately and look forward to visiting every season. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys into the polar regions, cherish every visit to South Georgia. It really is that remarkable

  • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship
  • Focus on key historical locations including Shackleton's grave and old whaling stations
  • Onboard photography symposium
  • Learn about the environment, wildlife, history and ecology from polar experts
  • Early season voyage with pristine, snowy scenery.
  • Explore the quaint, British town of Port Stanley.

The right gear for your trip – included!

Expedition Clothing Gear package included

During the voyage you will have the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/ windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a Nordic trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once. It also eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear to the ship (total weight around 8kg/17lbs).

Special Offer

Book and deposit before 31 January 2019 and save a flight credit of US$1200 per person (or equivalent currency). In addition, we will include a complimentary pre-voyage hotel night combined with an onboard US$50 dining/spa credit.

Stewart's Take

This seldom-visited corner of the planet is a place even experienced expedition staff, cherish every visit!

Overview

South Georgia has rightly been called ‘the greatest wildlife show on Earth’ and after our in depth exploration of this remote island in the South Atlantic, we are certain you will agree. This seldom-visited corner of the planet is a place we know intimately and look forward to visiting every season. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys into the polar regions, cherish every visit to South Georgia. It really is that remarkable.
SOUTH GEORGIA – EXPERIENCE THE MOST STAGGERING WILDLIFE SHOW ON EARTH Traditionally, our visits to South Georgia last only three or four days and are part of a much longer itinerary that also includes Antarctica. However, after many years of careful preparation and planning, we now offer the unique opportunity to spend eight full days of exploration. This is more than double the time traditionally spent exploring South Georgia. This particular departure is timed to coincide with the arrival of spring in the Sub-Antarctic region. Early November marks the beginning of the wildlife migration and commencement of the breeding cycle for many species. Scenes of male elephant seals battling for control of the beaches (and the female harems), the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of the albatross and antics of the young penguin chicks, will have you believing you are 'on the set' of your very own wildlife documentary. While the soft light in the mornings and evenings adds to the colour palette for the photographers at this time of the season. For lovers of remote, small-ship expedition cruising, this voyage ticks all the boxes. DAY 1 / SANTIAGO (CHILE) TO STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town, or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote islands on Earth. DAYS 2-3 / AT SEA – TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of astonishing wildlife. We are joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way to South Georgia. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. History is a key theme of this voyage and the epic story of Shackleton is central to our journey. DAYS 4-5 / KING HAAKON BAY AND THE NORTHWEST COAST OF SOUTH GEORGIA Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on arrival in South Georgia. Weather permitting, we begin our exploration on the southern coastline. We hope to navigate the ship into the very historic location of King Haakon Bay. It was here that Shackleton and his men made landfall in their small lifeboat – the 'James Caird', after completing the perilous ocean crossing from Elephant Island, a century ago. This is a very dramatic place, visited by just a handful of ships each season. From here, we make our way around to the more protected waters of the north-eastern coast. We can now indulge in an in-depth exploration, navigating into the bays and harbours the entire length of the island. Elsehul Bay allows for great Zodiac cruising and will be a possible location we will launch the kayakers for a paddle. One of the most anticipated sites in South Georgia is Salisbury Plain. The black sand beaches and tussock covered dunes are home to a staggering abundance of king penguin adults and their young. The rookery is estimated to have a population of up to 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins. This is just one of several such king penguin rookeries on South Georgia. At the height of breeding season, the rookeries are believed to have more wildlife per square foot than any other place on the planet. The majestic ‘Kings’ are not the only wildlife on display as we explore the rugged coastline. Fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, the elephant seals enjoy lazing about the beach, while the skuas and giant petrels fill the skies above. Meanwhile, the albatross – our constant companion on this journey – is never far away. DAYS 6-7 / FORTUNA BAY, STROMNESS, GRYTVIKEN AND CENTRAL NORTH COAST Fortuna Bay is a majestic three-mile long 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 along the coast. History comes into sharp focus as we continue west to Stromness and onto Grytviken. From 1912 until the 1930s, 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, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, arrived after their epic mountain crossing from King Haakon Bay on the south coast. This is after having completed their 800- mile journey by small boat from Elephant Island in Antarctica. If the weather co-operates, we hope to hike in Shackleton's footsteps, the last few miles across the saddle separating Fortuna Bay from neighbouring Stromness. Eventually we enter the broad expanse of Cumberland Bay, anchoring off Grytviken – the largest of the old whaling stations on South Georgia. A highlight of our landing here is a visit to the grave site of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his loyal right-hand man, Frank Wild. DAYS 8-9 / ST ANDREWS BAY, GOLD HARBOUR AND EASTERN COAST Our next few days take us to St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour – places that are teeming with wildlife including fur seals, elephant seals and massive colonies of the colourful king penguins. As with all of our landings we will exercise every opportunity to explore on foot with our experienced guides. Gold Harbour 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 at the far eastern extremity of the island has been called one of the most spectacular sites in South Georgia and we think you will agree. DAY 10 / GODTHUL AND PRION ISLAND Our exploration of South Georgia is not over and we navigate our way back along the northern coastline. There are a few special locations we have in mind – including the old whaling depot at Godthul. There is a terrific hike here up to a beautiful lake. Nearing the end of our visit to South Georgia, we hope to enjoy a shore landing at Prion Island – which many consider the jewel in the crown. This location has been designated as a ‘Special 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), albatross spend most of their life in flight, landing only to breed and feed. Distances travelled each year are hard to measure, but one bird was recorded travelling 6000 km in just twelve days. We are exceptionally lucky to be able to attempt a landing here as the site is closed to visiting ships between late November and early January, due to the concentration of fur seals on the beaches. The boardwalks provide access to several observation platforms where we view nesting wandering albatross in close proximity. As we depart South Georgia, we pause to reflect on our time in this spectacular location and chart our return course towards the Falkland Islands. DAY 11-13 / AT SEA TOWARDS FALKLAND ISLANDS Our final days are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos at the multi- media station with our photography expert. For some, it’s a chance to catch some well-earned rest after a busy ten days of exploration. The wonderful lounges on the ship provides fantastic panoramas and are a great place to sit with a book and a hot drink. The educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. A particular highlight of our 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. Take the time to enjoy a quiet moment on the outer deck and reflect on a truly remarkable journey to the farthest reaches of the planet. DAY 14 / SEA LION ISLAND, FALKLAND ISLANDS We wake to the sight of landfall in the Falklands. Approaching Sea Lion Island, we first note the very barren and windswept landscape, exposed to the prevailing weather that originates in the Drake Passage. Launching the Zodiacs we go ashore to view the incredible diversity of wildlife found here. Three species of penguin including gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper, as well as southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are known to inhabit the area. King cormorants and striated caracaras are just some of the bird species we may see. As we cruise along the coast of the Falklands, bound for Stanley, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. DAY 12 / ARRIVE STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES – FLY BACK TO SANTIAGO (CHILE) This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with us. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship. GETTING THERE... VOYAGE LOGISTICS This trip commences in Santiago – Chile’s elegant capital city. We recommend you arrive in Santiago at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Santiago we fly south to Stanley in the Falkland Islands via a special charter flight service. We transfer into town and have time to explore or enjoy a visit to Gypsy Cove prior to ship embarkation. At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Stanley back to Santiago. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This return flight arrives in the late afternoon and onward international flight connections may be possible. Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

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Luxury Expedition Vessel: RCGS Resolute

RCGS Resolute

The purpose built polar expedition vessel RCGS Resolute provides a most capable, safe, and exclusive expedition cruise experience.  Designed for comfort, there are public spaces ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. RCGS Resolute has the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS).  Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot.  The ship is very stable and her stability and strength are features greatly appreciated in ice laden large waters.  Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate daily plans. All cabins feature outside viewing ranging from deck three traditional with port holes, up to decks 4 through 6 offering expansive panoramic windows.  Cabins all have lower berths that have the ability to be single beds, or 1 double bed depending on our guests needs. 

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Pre-voyage information package
  • Free use of expedition gear package with waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated rubber boots, waterproof backpack, binoculars and Nordic trekking pole.
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities
  • Expedition Leader and team of biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily excursions by Zodiac boat with small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks for all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and science stations
  • Photography guide
  • An emergency trained physician
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Well-stocked library with polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take-home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
Excluded
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – US$15-20 per day)
Deposit Reservations require a 20% deposit at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payment Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and can be paid by bank transfer. Balance payments may be made by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure = loss of deposit. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Pricing, Sharing and Single Occupancy Prices shown are per person on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.5 times the twin share rate (not available in the Triple category), or 2 times the rate for Suites. Family Travel and Child Discounts For youth up to and including 17 years of age there is a 25% reduction in price. For youth between the ages of 18-21 there is a 20% reduction in price with proof of educational enrolment (current student card). These youth bookings must accompany an adult booking. Permission is required for any traveller under the age of 18 years and a Child Consent form to be completed. Booking Terms Please read carefully the general Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by One Ocean Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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