Visitors arriving in South Georgia will first pass through Stromness Bay and will be met by a rugged land of glaciers, mountains, and fjords, as well as growling fur seals, slumbering elephant seals, and plenty of penguins. The island spans over 3,755 sq km and around half of it is covered permanently by ice, although, as a result of climate change, its glaciers are drastically melting.
The very cold and remote subantarctic Island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic Ocean is a British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. Even though it has a human population of 15 to 30, it abounds with animal life both inland and in water including several million penguins.
The island’s only human inhabitants are represented by a small number of scientists, government officials, and support personnel that maintain British Antarctic Survey stations at Grytviken on King Edward Point and at Bird Island, off the northwestern tip of the island.
The island used to also serve as a base for whaling and scientific expeditions during the 19th century. The whaling station used to be at the far end of the bay, the iron buildings that were a century ago part of a profitable industry are now left in ruins with huge sections of the roofs and walls missing and filled with asbestos as suggested by warning signs.
It is also known as the place where British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who first crossed South Georgia Island in 1916, died after his epic 1,300 km escape from Elephant Island, one of the South Shetland Islands that lie just north of the Antarctic Peninsula after his ship was trapped and later crushed by pack ice.
South Georgia is one of the most remote islands on the planet and is located approximately 2,100 km off the coast of South America, 1,400 km east of the Falkland Islands, and 4,790 km west of Cape Town, South Africa, with the only way of accessing it being by expedition ship from Argentina going down to Antarctica. That being the way it is visited each year by about 18,000 people. Would you like to venture in the far lands of South Georgia?