About South Georgia
Set in the South Atlantic Ocean—southeast of the Falkland Islands—South Georgia rises steeply from the sea, forming a crescent-shaped landscape abundant in glaciers and sheer, rugged peaks believed to once be part of the greater Andean range of South America. With eleven mountain peaks looming above 7,000 feet and an estimated 160 glaciers peppered among them, South Georgia’s expansive and frayed coastline stands stark against the South Atlantic Ocean.
Though it appears forbidding, this wayward island set more than 1000 miles east of the tip of South America has won the allure of explorers past and present. It will forever be memorialized as the land where famed British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton perished after his first-ever crossing of the island in 1916 following the collapse his unsuccessful Imperial Trans-Arctic Expedition.
Under British rule since the 1700s—when the famed Captain James Cook first landed on South Georgia and launched its rise as a whaling outpost—the island is host to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife on Earth. It’s estimated 30 million breeding birds call the island home—from 7 million penguins to 250,000 albatrosses—and half of the world’s entire population of southern elephant seals.