Drygalski & Cooper Island

Nov 03, 2017 - National Geographic Orion


Guests awoke as the ship navigated around to the southern tip of South Georgia and into Drygalski Fjord. Despite windy conditions we were treated to spectacular views of steep cliffs and towering mountain faces descending from the cloud as the ship was positioned at the foot of the Risting Glacier for a breakfast vista.

Next stop was Larsen Harbor where brave guests took to Zodiacs in conditions typical for the south of the island. Within the harbor we observed the most northerly breeding population of Weddell seals who, unlike most of the population, opt for South Georgia’s beaches rather than the Antarctic pack ice for breeding. There were also great birdwatching opportunities as cruisers observed both pintado and snow petrels from close range on the waters.

As guests rewarmed with the help of some fine Swedish cuisine and liquor, National Geographic Explorer made her way to Cooper Island. The afternoon’s activities presented a dilemma for many of us—should we take a Zodiac tour with the chinstrap penguins and leopard seals or hike to panoramic vistas and macaroni penguins. Life on board can be very challenging!

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About the Author

James Coleman

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Jamie is from England. He grew up in Oxford, about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, yet somehow decided he would work in marine biology and conservation. Ever since he reached his teens, he has dedicated time to this passion, working and volunteering in various roles on nature reserves and in aquariums. It was no surprise that in 2007, he left home to study marine biology at the University of Newcastle.

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