Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands

Feb 24, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

On our last morning before crossing the open ocean towards South Georgia, we started with a spectacular Zodiac cruise on the south side of Coronation Island in the South Orkney Islands. We headed towards a large colony of chinstrap penguins. In addition to thousands of chinstraps, large numbers of Wilson’s storm petrels and giant petrels were present near the colony. There were also many fur seals on shore and in the water. We all had high hopes of spotting the leopard seal, also known as “the grizzly of the Antarctic.”

After a somewhat windy morning out in the Zodiacs, the National Geographic Explorer cruised around Coronation Island. We got close to the spectacular glaciers and also enjoyed the view of a few big tabular icebergs.

In the late afternoon our National Geographic photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes gave a presentation called, “The Dugong, the Crocodile, and the Pope.” They showed spectacular images and video clips of coral reefs and a number of colorful environments from various parts of the world. There was also a strong underlying message about our generation’s responsibility to care for the oceans and our natural environment in general.

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About the Author

Carl Erik Kilander


Carl was born in Norway and received a master’s degree in forestry and nature conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 1973. His professional experience is mainly connected to environmental issues and natural resource management on the Norway mainland and in Svalbard. A major part of his professional experience comprises planning and management of protected areas, particularly in the southern parts of Norway and Svalbard. During the period 1999-2001 Carl was Head of the Environmental Department at the Governor of Svalbard´s office. He has also been District Manager (southwestern Norway) followed by the position of Senior Environmental Adviser at the Norwegian State Forest Service.

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