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The Seasons of South Georgia

When to Visit the World’s Most Alluring Wildlife Eden

One simply must experience South Georgia to believe such a place exists on Earth. Such dense concentrations of seabirds, penguins and marine mammals exist nowhere else. In addition to incredible wildlife spectacles, the scenery of South Georgia is absolutely out of this world. If you are a lover of wildlife and pristine wilderness, then the question is not whether you should take a South Georgia cruise, but simply when.

Early Season

The tourist season in South Georgia is during the austral summer (October to March). The cruising season starts in mid-October when winter has sufficiently loosened its brutal grip on this remote and rugged subantarctic island. This is the time when millions of ocean-going seabirds return to start their breeding season. Courtship rituals are taking place and eggs are being laid. Wandering albatross chicks are now spreading their wings for their first flights. Even more dramatically, gigantic elephant seal bulls are battling ferociously for control of harems on the beaches. Newborn pups are soon to follow.

The possibility of fresh snowfall makes for wonderful landscape photography. Also, in this early season (October and November), fewer vessels in the area means your South Georgia expedition cruise may have more flexibility of exploration.

Mid Season

December and January are the high summer months in South Georgia. This is a great time to witness fluffy penguin chicks gorging themselves on seafood regurgitated by their parents. Beaches are absolutely packed with seals and their pups. Feisty fur seals have arrived by the millions to start their breeding season. Care must be taken to avoid inciting aggressive behavior from large males. Whales have also arrived around the island to take advantage of the abundance of krill feeding on blooming plankton. South Georgia weather is now at its finest and daylight is nearly continuous.

Late Season

The late season is also a great time to experience South Georgia wildlife. As the breeding season winds down in February and March, adult fur seals leave the beaches to their adorable and curious pups. Fledging penguins are starting to test the waters. An abundance of young animals and their many predators set the stage for dramatic events and provide excellent photo opportunities. Also, whales such as minke, humpback and orca are now at their most numerous. As in the early season, fewer ships in the late season means more flexibility for you. Whenever you choose to visit South Georgia, it will be the experience of a lifetime.

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