From South Georgia Website

Jump to: navigation, search

Visitors Section

Find out how to set foot upon the shores of South Georgia, one of the most beautiful islands on the planet, with some 30 million breeding birds, thousands of seals, including huge elephant and fierce fur seals, which breed on its beaches.

Sir Ernest Shackleton's Grave is in the little cemetery at Grytviken close to the old whaling station. A museum illustrates the island's fascinating history. The museum shop has books, postcards and other items. Distinctive South Georgia stamps are also available.

To preserve the island's outstanding natural environment and unique heritage, special measures are needed to avoid disturbing the wildlife. A three-year visitor environmental impact study is under way, details of which are in the visitor impact section.

"We arrived at South Georgia on Sunday morning and sailed slowly up the short, wide fjord at the end of which, tucked into the corner of a secluded bay, lay the tiny settlement of Grytviken. The approach was one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen. The island was almost entirely snow covered, broken in patches with streaks of black as the more protruding of the rock ridges nosed a rough surface above the white. High mountains rose menacingly over the glaciers on the shoreline, their peaks lost in hazy clouds that were the only blot in a clear blue sky. The sun was low in the East and reflected its light off the rounded curves of snow and ice to produce a brilliant almost dazzling effect to the scene. The island was desolate and silent and wonderfully beautiful." Journal of Nick Sheehan, 9th October 1966.

"Huge numbers of seabirds and marine mammals breed along the island's tussac-fringed shores. Save for the rusting remnants of the Old Whaling stations, the island is virtually unspoilt by man and so offers unique opportunities to observe wildlife and scenery of the most beautiful part of the Southern Ocean" SGSSI Information for Visitors To South Georgia 2001

Who Visits?

The majority of tourists visit in order to see at first hand the beauty of the island and its abundant wildlife. Perhaps some come for inspiration. As a result of reading the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton's voyage to Antarctica, the musician Elvis Costello and his wife "ended up taking a holiday to South Georgia". He described standing in the exact spot where the journey of Shackleton and his men came to an end, as ' very intense'. Some come to visit Shackleton's grave and others to see the distant graves of relatives who died during the whaling and sealing era. Naturalists, historians and scientists come to further their research. Films are made about the wildlife on the Island, the Shackleton story or the history of the whaling and sealing periods. Adventurers come to sail, canoe, climb, ski and increasing numbers are coming to explore the relatively unknown, mountainous interior of the island.

How to Visit?

Options for a visit are varied. For most it would be on a cruise vessel, about 30 vessels visit each year, carrying about 2,000 passengers from all over the world. It is possible to charter a yacht from the Falkland Islands or indeed to organize an expedition with its own support vessel. In the main, scientists, fishermen, the military, contractors and Government representatives travel with their own resources.

Where to Visit?

Most places are open to visitors although in recognition of the order to conserve and protect the wild life on South Georgia some areas have restricted access. Specific conservation measures and protected areas are covered in the conservation section.

  • © Copyright GSGSSI 2013. (Click here to read GSGSSI Disclaimer)