The Beachmasters of South Georgia




The Subantarctic Island Where Monsters Still Exist

You are in a Zodiac and the highly anticipated moment of your first step ashore on South Georgia is fast approaching. As the objects on land become clearer in your view, you realize they are moving. The landscape is alive. Your Zodiac pulls up to a sandy beach and you disembark. Before you is a phalanx of restless animal bodies, some rotund and blubbery, some sleek and furry. Your eye is drawn to a gigantic figure looming commandingly over the throng. A sonorous, gurgling bellow is heard above the din of groans and howls. “That’s the beachmaster,” the expedition leader says. “Stay clear of him!” This imposing fellow is the first of many huge elephant seals you will see on your Antarctic cruise to South Georgia.

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The Seasons of South Georgia


When to Visit the World’s Most Alluring Wildlife Eden

One simply must experience South Georgia to believe such a place exists on Earth. Such dense concentrations of seabirds, penguins and marine mammals exist nowhere else. In addition to incredible wildlife spectacles, the scenery of South Georgia is absolutely out of this world. If you are a lover of wildlife and pristine wilderness, then the question is not whether you should take a South Georgia cruise, but simply when.

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An Audience with Kings in South Georgia


How to Have a Perfect Penguin Encounter


A hundred thousand glossy penguin bodies riding the surf onto a broad beach, crowding onto a vast green plain, wading across turquoise rivers and climbing into grassy hills with glaciers and snowy peaks all around—your first sight of a king penguin colony is an experience never to be forgotten. In contrast with the sleek plumage of the adults, countless shaggy brown balls of fluff represent the next generation in the long line of kings in South Georgia. The hustle and bustle of this most peculiar royal court can be overwhelming at first, but a little information and guidance will help you have a satisfying and respectful encounter with these regal birds and their adorable chicks on your South Georgia cruise.

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The Top Four Things to Look For on Landings in Antarctica and South Georgia


What to Watch for When Going Ashore in Antarctica?


In Antarctica, access to most of the shoreline is obstructed by tidewater glaciers. Ice-free landing sites are highly prized by tourists and animals alike. While guidelines are in place to prevent you from encountering people from other ships while ashore, it's likely you will be sharing your landing sites with an abundance of animals! It's also likely that explorers from the Age of Discovery had previously set foot where you will be standing. When enjoying a landing in the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands or South Georgia, watch for these special features of the unique Southern Ocean environment.

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Why You Should Add South Georgia to Your Antarctic Cruise


What’s so great about South Georgia?

Frank S. Todd (1942-2016), world-renowned ornithologist and penguin expert, famously said, “If God took a vacation, it would be to South Georgia.” This subantarctic island is known throughout the world — and perhaps beyond — as one of our planet’s greatest locations for wildlife viewing. But South Georgia is a worthy Antarctic cruise destination for other reasons too. Read on to learn about the special attractions and things to do on a trip to South Georgia.

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Kings of the Southern Ocean: 9 Delightful Facts About the King Penguin


Generous, athletic, caring, and gregarious — with all their charms, it's no wonder King Penguins often serve as the quintessential image of the black and white bird.

These dapper, distinguished birds are much more than feature film fodder, though and boast some pretty impressive features.

In no particular order, here are our nine favorite facts about the King Penguin:

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South Georgia is rodent-free: How they did it and why it matters


South Georgia's birds are a bit safer this week after a years-long project to rid the island of invasive rodent species was complete.

The Scottish-based South Georgia Heritage Trust Habitat Restoration Project (SGHT) announced on May 9 the long, narrow, mountainous and glaciated island located in the southern Atlantic Ocean was free of rodents for the first time in at least 200 years.

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A Front line View of the Falklands and South Georgia

St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia © Charles and Mary Love October 21 – November 7, 2017

“The stark polar lands grip the hearts of men who have lived on them in a manner hardly understood by people who’ve never got beyond the pale of civilization.”

—Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton

After two days at sea from Puerto Madryn, Argentina, we make a morning landing to observe birds near a small settlement on Carcass Island in the Falklands. The number of species in the Falklands (over 200) is impressive. These islands, we’re told, have more striated caracaras, slender-beaked prions and pale-mantled sooty albatrosses than anywhere else in the world.

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