South Georgia, Antarctica Cruise Port

North of Antarctica within the South Atlantic Ocean is the British overseas territory and cruise port known as the South Georgia; the much smaller South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) are also included within this territory. Of this remote collection of islands, South Georgia is the largest and was first sighted in 1675 by English merchant Anthony de la Roché. It was famed British explorer Captain James Cook who made the first landing in 1775, naming it "the Isle of Georgia" after King George III. By 1843, Great Britain claimed the island as its own, although other Europeans came to explore and use South Georgia as whaling base. One of the island's major claims to fame: Explorer Ernest Shackleton found help for his crew (stranded on Elephant Island) after arriving at King Haakon Bay on South Georgia’s southern coast. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to South Georgia, Antarctica:
 
  • Learn about the island with a visit to the South Georgia Museum, located in Grytviken within a former whaling station manager's house. Here you'll learn about the whaling industry, along with tales of the many exploders who roamed South Georgia. Of course, the travels of Earnest Shackleton are a highlight, along with other maritime history.
     
  • Earnest Shackleton's grave is also in Grytviken, found within a small whalers’ cemetery. Anyone fascinated by all he accomplished during his lifetime will want to visit his final resting place, marked by a relatively simple stone inscribed with a Robert Browning poem.
     
  • Between Cape Best and Robertson Point on the north coast is Fortuna Bay, a fantastic place to visit the island's seal population – along with thousands of King Penguins. Many cruise lines will offer excursions to visit these fascinating creatures, a truly once in a lifetime experience.
     
  • The historic neo-Gothic Norwegian Lutheran Church in Grytviken was also called Whalers Church (as its construction was led by a group of whalers). Built in 1913, it's also where Ernest Shackleton's funeral service took place. Animation fans may also recognize the church for its cameo in the penguin-centric Happy Feet.

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