South Georgia Island

British sealers were the first to arrive at South Georgia in 1786, and by 1909 the seal population was almost wiped out. Whaling began in 1904 and lasted until 1964. The Grytviken whaling station was the last to close and today is a museum. The whaler’s cemetery at Grytviken is the last resting place of the renowned polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, who died there in 1922. South Georgia is 864 miles (1390 km) east-southeast of the Falkland Islands. Its size is approximately 106 miles (170 km) by 18 miles (29km). Most of the island rises steeply from the sea with rugged mountains forming its backbone. At higher elevations the island is permanently covered with ice, snow, and glaciers. This stunningly beautiful and rugged island is a world class wildlife sanctuary. The shear numbers of birds and animals are not easily forgotten. It is truly an “oasis” in the stormy southern oceans.