PROGRAMME 2022 - 2023

South Georgia Photo Safari 23 November - 21 December 2024

Grytviken and King Edward Point

A true ocean adventure expedition to this remote destination with incomparable wildlife photography opportunities. In addition to the wildlife there is spectacular scenery and the rich heritage of the island which includes relics of the whaling industry and Antarctic exploration, including Sir Ernest Shackleton's final resting place. For this photo cruise to the Island of South Georgia the aim is to visit several places of interest, but spending enough time at each one to fully appreciate what the sites have to offer in a relaxed manner.

The trip will be on board the Pelagic 77 Vinson of Antarctica (See above and also the vessel website here and details of the Pelagic Yachts 77 here).

Relative to the larger cruise ships, because of our smaller scale it is easier to accommodate individual needs and provide a prolonged , flexible experience for our guests.

Because of the vagaries of the weather in this rugged environment, the schedule outlined below is what may be possible, but will almost certainly not be adhered to! This is an expedition in the true sense of the word whereby we take things as they come and adapt to the circumstances.  

This cruise will be led by renowned marine photographer Rick Tomlinson and one of the Pelagic Expeditions skippers with experience of the islands. Under their guidance this expedition will seek out the premier photographic locations for nature, scenic and heritage subjects with particular regard to any restrictions that may be imposed by the South Georgia government.


23 Nov - 21 Dec 2024

To find out more about the destination generally see South Georgia destinations briefing here>>

Please e-mail Skip Novak for more information or to make a booking.


This cruise will begin and end in Stanley in the Falklands Islands. The Falkland Islands (direct your travel agent to Mount Pleasant Airport) is reached via Santiago and Punta Arenas on a once per week basis every Saturday with LATAM. Therefore these cruises can only be in multiples of seven days.

There is also a flight more or less twice weekly from Brize Norton in the UK on the RAF flight, now operated by a sub contracting airline. This is an expensive, but time saving alternative. However, the flights can be cancelled or delayed without notice due to military priority.

Guests would board the vessel immediately on arrival and (weather permitting) the next day we would sail for South Georgia. Considering the traverse time there and back, circa 18 days are envisaged on the island for shore landings. It is the intention to be back in Stanley no later than the night before the Saturday flight out on Day 28 of the schedule.


We suggest that if you are arriving via Chile that you plan to be in Santiago on the Thursday night prior to the early Saturday morning departure from Santiago to Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falklands. This will allow some slack for missed connections and bags that did not make connections. Note that there is only one flight per week going into the Falklands, so this is critical. We also suggest you stay at the Airport Holiday Inn while in Santiago as it is a walk across the street to the terminal. And, you can enjoy this fascinating city on the Friday and meet up with your team mates.


The Falklands are a specialist destination. Local agents to book your flights to Mount Pleasant Airport in the Falklands and arrange for transfer to the vessel once there are: International Tours and Travel LTD 1 Dean Street Stanley FIQQ1ZZ Falkland Islands TEL: +500 22041 Contact: Dahiana Hurst.


GBP 20,000.00 per person

All inclusive of food and drink once on board. A maximum of eight guests is envisaged. This cost includes the use of Musto foul weather gear, all personal safety equipment for sailing (lifejacket, harness) and the use of the communications equipment (billed separately as used) and the 240 GBP passenger landing fee. Full details, obligations on both sides and payment terms are included in the Charter Agreement.

NOTE: Due to the fragile nature of the fauna and flora on the island and the fact that tourist impact for some areas is under study and analysis, we cannot guarantee that all wildlife sites can be visited, as government reserves the right to close off any area deemed to be under threat at short notice.


Vinson of Antarctica is run as a 'dry ship' when at sea and possibly at some anchorages when there is a real possibility of having to 'up anchor' and move off. This is at the Skippers discretion. In port reasonable amounts of alcohol can be consumed but excessive alcohol consumption that leads to situations putting people at risk, or where the harmony of life on board is disturbed to an extent that other guests are made uncomfortable will not be tolerated. If this situation arises, the Skipper reserves the right to return to port and to disembark any Charterer at an intermediary port, or disembark the entire group in a group charter if necessary.


By convention with the Antarctic Treaty, the Government of South Georgia and agreed by IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) DRONES are not allowed to fly in these regions other than for commercial purposes (professional filming) or for ice navigation. If you are intending to make a commercial film, then you will have to submit your license, equipment specification and flying CV to the relevant authority so a permit can be applied for. For amateurs this is not allowed, so please do not bring them in your luggage expecting to fly. You will be refused by the captain. For professionals there are DRONE guidelines available on request.





The charter guests arrive at Mount Pleasant Airport and take a 40 minute bus ride to Stanley to meet Vinson of Antarctica. They move on board immediately. The afternoon is spent stowing personal gear, familiarizing the team with the vessel and having "live a board" and safety briefings.

Iceberg encountered on the Antarctic Convergence en route to South Georgia

DAY 2 - 4

Weather permitting, the vessel would leave Stanley bound for the northwest corner of the island 750 miles away. In most cases this would be a fast downwind passage in the prevailing westerly winds. Passage time would be roughly four days.

Landfall South Georgia

DAY 5 -7

Landfall will be on the Willis Islands and we would continue with a passage through Bird Sound between Bird Island and mainland and anchor at Elsehul Bay. Here we would have a thorough briefing of the guidelines to follow with respect to the wildlife and take our first walk ashore. Weather permitting we would devote 2 days of possible waiting time at Elsehul in order to back track around the northwest corner of the island and enter King Haakon Bay where Shackleton and his men ran ashore. If conditions were calm, a night would be spent near Peggoty Bluff where his trek across the island began.

DAY 8 - 9

The Bay of Isles with several landing sites for hikes ashore and the second biggest King Penguin colony on the island at Salisbury Plain (below).

DAY 10 - 11

Two days would be spent in King Edward Point which is a short walk from Grytviken, the premier shore based whaling facility on South Georgia which was abandoned in the 1960s.

Grytviken views

Visiting the whaling station which has now been incorporated into the South Georgia Museum is a full day. Long walks behind the station including a possible overland trek to Maiviken Bay are possibilities.

(Left) Shackleton's grave Grytviken S. Georgia. (Right) Rail cams at work

DAY 12 - 13

Sailing to the snout of the Nordenskjold Glacier in Cumberland Bay East is a must. Continually discharging ice into the bay, this is the largest of the glaciers on South Georgia. Later, an afternoon run down the coast brings us to Cobblers Cove, a natural harbour with a dramatic entrance. Gentoo Penguins are nesting on the slopes above the cove, while Macaroni Penguins can be found up over a pass back to the north (a 2 hour walk). We would spend the night at Cobblers Cove. This is a good storm anchorage, so it would be used as a fall back in case of heavy weather while further down the coast.

DAY 14

Weather and surf conditions permitting, we would attempt the beach landing at St Andrews Bay a few hours steaming from Cobblers Cove. Behind the beach is the largest colony of King Penguins on the Island. In order reach the main part of the colony we would have to trek to the snout of a glacier in order to cross the river flowing from it down to the sea. It is a spectacular wildlife venue on a fine day.

King Penguins

DAY 15

 Further south along the coast lies Gold Harbour which is one of the most scenic anchorages on the island. Again, the landing is on an open shoreline and weather dependent. If successful we would spend the day on the beaches.

DAYS 16 - 17

Near the southern tip of the island Cooper Bay affords a rich variety of wildlife, including Fur Seals (in less concentrations and thereby the colonies more easily accessed) and many harems of Elephant Seals with the competing bulls (October cruise only). Two days in the area are required to fully explore the bay. If need be, the nights would be spent nearby in a safer anchorage at Larsen Harbour, a dramatic fjord with a glacier at its head.

DAYS 18 - 19 - 20

Most likely lost due to adverse weather, so we would in effect be spending more time in either Cobblers Cove, Larsen Harbour, Rosita Harbour or King Edward Point, all with access to the shore in bad weather.

 DAYS 21 - 22

 About this time we would need to be on standby for the return to Stanley. By Day 22, if there was a favourable weather window (considering the return is against the prevailing wind) we would be obliged to take the opportunity, in order to make sure that we arrive on time for the guests to make the plane on the Saturday, with at least a day to spare.

DAYS 23 - 28

Passage back to Stanley, arriving no later than the night of DAY 28.

DAY 29

Flight from Mount Pleasant Airport back to Punta Arenas with a direct connection to Santiago.


Interior South Georgia Museum, Grytviken


Equipment List 1 - For expedition cruises to Antarctica, South Georgia, Tierra del Fuego and all Arctic destinations.

Please e-mail for more information or to make a booking.


Fledgeling Wandering Albatross