Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

National Geographic South Georgia & the Falklands

Why South Georgia and the Falklands? History, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s gravesite, tens of thousands of king penguins, the world’s densest example of biodiversity…take your pick. Many travelers speed past this unique southern archipelago, eager to arrive at the Antarctic continent, but they are missing some of the most robust, beautiful and interesting aspects of the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

South Georgia is known for its overwhelmingly large population of king penguins: over 100,000 breeding pairs, as well as the largest macaroni penguin population in the world, with three million breeding pairs. There are also chinstrap and gentoo penguins, which makes South Georgia Island a must-see for those eager to meet and photograph penguins. Additionally, Antarctic fur seals, southern elephant seals (the largest seal species in the world) and wandering albatross make South Georgia their home.

The Falkland Islands, which consist of two main islands and about 776 smaller islands, is a lesson in topographical beauty: white sand beaches, vaulting cliffs, windswept moors, yellow and green tussock fields, thousands of gentoo, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, as well as magnificent albatross and fur seals. If history intrigues, share a cup of tea with the men and women who live on the Falkland Islands. On South Georgia, visit a variety of sites including Grytviken, the final resting place of Sir Earnest Shackleton, and Stromness Harbour, where Shackleton, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley finally reached aid at a whaling station. Walk the beaches and hike cliffs where early explorers found salvation and kayak or Zodiac alongside shipwrecks whose only tenants are now sea creatures.

Choose between three itineraries. The main itinerary begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina, embarks in Ushuaia, Argentina, and ends by disembarking in the Falkland Islands and flying to Santiago, Chile; it features a full week exploring South Georgia Island. An alternate itinerary begins and ends in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with round-trip charter flights to and from Ushuaia, Argentina for embarkation and disembarkation. Or choose to begin and end in Santiago, Chile, with round-trip charter flights to and from the ship in the Falkland Islands. Finally, a longer 24-day itinerary aboard 126-guest National Geographic Endurance embarks in Buenos Aires, Argentina, cruises the whale- and wildlife-rich Argentinian coastline and ends via a charter flight back to Buenos Aires.

On the 19-day itineraries, explore South Georgia & the Falklands aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, staffed by expert Nat Geo naturalists and designed to maneuver polar passageways with ease. Small enough to access remote locations yet large enough to provide a taste of luxury, Nat Geo Explorer offers endless entertainment for her guests while on board and ashore. AdventureSmith Explorations expert crew has traveled to Antarctica and can speak to the beauties of this unique small ship cruise destination. Contact us to discover more about why South Georgia Island and the Falklands should be on your cruise checklist and what other options we have to suit your travel interests and timeline.

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