South Georgia Island Port Guide

South Georgia Island Port is part of the United Kingdom's South Sandwich Islands. Getting to this island is a bit of an adventure in and of itself, as the seas in this area can be a bit rough. Most visitors arrive as part of an Antarctic cruise, and passengers are tendered to a landing on one of the beaches. The island has a small number of inhabitants who only reside here for part of the year who are mostly associated with the research station. A government representative will meet arriving passengers and explain the island's regulations.

Shopping

There are no stores on South Georgia Island, as everything is brought in by ship. Visitors wishing to buy souvenirs relating to the island will need to buy from stores online who carry them.

Things to See

South Georgia Island has an amazing variety of wildlife. The newest inhabitants are herds of reindeer descended from some imported by Norwegian whalers. Other species include albatross', macaroni penguins, giant petrels, fur seals, elephant seals, gentoo and king penguins, Weddell seals, and wandering albatross. You'll certainly want to photograph some of these amazing animals.

The island has some beautiful scenery and terrain that's fairly easy to hike in the summer months. If you have the right equipment, you might even find some good places to ski. Right Whale Bay is one of the first stops for many ships, and has large numbers of penguins and seals. Drygalski Fjord is located in a steep-walled area with some beautiful scenery. Several glaciers are found in the fjord. Elsehul is a beach where a lot of fur seals congregate, so please be careful here. St. Andrew's Bay has huge numbers of penguins, and Cooper Bay has a penguin colony that's easily reached.

Several islands are adjacent to South Georgia Island that might be visited by your ship. Willis Island has penguins and three albatross species. It's somewhat difficult to access due to the steep, rocky terrain. Bird Island is a protected area that's home to several species, as is Albatross Island. Prion Island is home to the endangered wandering albatross. Several safeguards are in place to protect the fragile habitat, including a boardwalk to help preserve vegetation.

Grytviken, a former whaling station, serves as the island's government center. This is where any fees associated with visiting the island are collected. The famous explorer, Ernest Shackleton, is buried here. The South Georgia Museum, dedicated to Antarctic history is located in this town. Originally a whaling museum, it now has a broader historical focus. The museum is in a restored villa once used by the whaling station manager. A British Antarctic Survey station is maintained at King Edward Point.

Grytviken Church is in an attractive white building that was brought in from Norway in 1913. It sits in the shadow of one of the snow-capped mountains. Cruise passengers still use it for services to this day, as well as the researchers here. The building has kept is original furnishings, and has a library of its own.

Restaurants and Bars

There are no restaurants on the island. Some excursions may provide meals depending on the approval of local officials.

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