South Atlantic

South Georgia is a 100-mile long island with mountains and glaciers that equal the grandeur of Antarctica. There is also a green fringe of vegetation that supports a greater variety of wildlife, including the magnificent king penguin and wandering albatross and many smaller birds such as the endemic pintail and pipit, as well as teaming colonies of fur seals.

For those interested in Antarctic history, several voyages visit the scene of Shackleton’s epic crossing of the island.

The Falkland Islands are different again – an archipelago of large and small islands with pristine wildlife, unspoiled beaches and cliffs providing safe-haven for hundreds of species. The Falklands’ 2,500 human inhabitants are mainly of British descent, and can trace their origins back over 150 years to the early days of settlement. Nearly all of them live in the capital, Stanley, a colourful harbourside town. Life is relaxed and there are familiar reminders of its British heritage, such as red phone boxes and very English pubs.

“The voyage was in late March, technically late in the season, but we were astounded by how much we saw, all weathers thrown at us and a superb range of wildlife and seabirds. Enormous majestic icebergs shot through with cobalt-blue stripes floated quietly by as we sailed gently through startlingly narrow channels, necks craned to catch the top of the snowy peaks on either side.”

Fiona Brijnath

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