Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia Island2014 Best Polar Trip Award

Walk in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton, relive the final dash of the greatest adventure story ever told, and explore one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet.

In 1916, after leaving the crew of the Endurance fighting for survival on Elephant Island, Ernest Shackleton, along with a handful of his crew set out on a "Hail Mary" attempt at rescue. Against all odds they successfully sailed their beaten down life boat, the James Caird, to South Georgia Island.

With its boundless opportunities to observe wildlife and breathtaking scenery at every turn South Georgia is a true Antarctic Oasis -- - the most beautiful realm of the South Polar Sea. Time and again, visitors have referred to South Georgia as "Antarctica in a Nutshell," where the wonders of the world's wildest continent are all concentrated on one magical island.

Join PolarExplorers on an expedition to explore South Georgia Island. Instead of the James Caird we will be sailing on a well-equipped and comfortable ship complete with on board naturalists and historians.

Space is very limited! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

Also check out this blog: South Georgia Island and the Shackleton Crossing Q & A


  • Itinerary
  • Qualifications
  • Dates & Rates
  • Trip Insurance
  • Testimonials
  • Blogs

South Georgia Shackleton Crossing Daily Itinerary

Pre-Expedition Day

            Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile

Day 1

            You’ll meet with your guide in Punta Arenas to review your kit and ensure that you have everything you need for the expedition. We will officially kick off the adventure with a welcome reception at 6 PM. This is a great time to meet the other participants and review the expedition itinerary.

Day 2

            Punta Arenas - We will start the day with a flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. This 90 minute flight will be followed to a transfer to the ship. There will be time to explore this fascinating town before we embark and head towards South Georgia. 

Day 3-4

            At sea. The ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. Daily lectures about wildlife, exploration and the history of South Georgia Island will keep you engaged and inspired. 

Day 5-8 

           Upon reaching South Georgia we will head towards King Haakon Bay. It was here, 100 years ago, that Shackleton and his small crew landed after their epic journey from Elephant Island. We'll go ashore with our skis and sleds and head off for our 40 km crossing of South Georgia. Our fist day we will ascend the Murray Snowfield and camp at or near the Trident Ridge. Our second day we will descend from the ridge to the Crean Glacier and traverse this spectacular glacier heading towards Fortuna Bay. Our third day we will continue the traverse, possibly reaching Fortuna Bay. From here we will complete the final stretch of the traverse to the abandoned Stromness Whaling Station. 

Day 9-10

           After being picked up at Stromness we will sail to Grytviken, the largest of the old whaling stations and the location of Ernest Shackleton's grave. Grytviken is also home to a wonderful museum. Wander around the remains of the whaling station and you'll discover that the local wildlife have taken over, making for wonderful photographs. 

Day 11-14

            We'll continue our exploration of South Georgia with landings at St. Andrew's Bay and Gold Harbor, both teeming with wildlife and massive colonies of king penguins. Enjoy hiking activities and phenomenal photography. 

Day 15-17

            As we depart South Georgia it is a great time to catch up on journal entries or download and preview photos in the multi media room. During these days we are at sea, bound for Ushuaia. Frequent sightings of albatross, petrels, and other sea birds will soar above the ship. 

Day 18

            We will arrive in Ushuaia in the early morning. A transfer is provided to the airport or local hotels. From Ushuaia, daily flights to Buenos Aires and Santiago offer gateways to most international hubs.


South Georgia Shackleton Crossing Qualifications

There are two ways to participate in this expedition. You can participate in the Shackleton Crossing (a 3-4 day ski crossing of South Georgia Island in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton) or if tents and sled hauling aren't your style you can join the cruise-only which will explore South Georgia Isalnd with shore landings and zodiac cruises with every night spent on board. For the majority of the expedition both groups will be together, only separating for the duration of the 3-4 day crossing.

The Shackleton Crossing is for people who are in good shape, and who are eager to push themselves physically and mentally. The terrain is mountainous and rugged, and weather can change in an instant.

Previous experience with glacial travel is required. If you don't already have this experience we can make recommendations for training. Please contact us for more details regarding qualifications and to find out if this is the right adventure for you. To participate in the ship voyage only you must be in good health with a eager sense of adventure. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional information!

South Georgia Shackleton Crossing Dates & Rates

2020 Dates:

In conjunction with the South Georgia Cruise.


Contact us for details


Includes group camping equipment and safety gear; voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; Free use of rubber boots; Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.

Expedition Trip Insurance

Trip cancellation insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for every PolarExplorers expedition.

Medical Evacuation insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 USD is REQUIRED on every PolarExplorers expedition.

Ensure that your policy covers your activity, destination and any pre-existing medical conditions (to cover pre-existing medical conditions you may need to purchase your policy within 14 days or less of your initial deposit).

If you are mountaineering check that the policy covers roped technical mountain travel and the elevation limit that you will have.


Ripcord Insurance (For non-US residents use the Offer Code "ripcordintl" which will enable you to receive quotes and/or purchase policies.) If your expedition is more than USD $30,000 you may need to send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call them at +1 617-307-4636

If you live in the USA you have additional options. 

Travelex Insurance - Choose the TRAVEL SELECT policy and add the ADVENTURE PLUS PAK to receive appropriate medical evacuation coverage.

Travel Guard has comprehensive policies that include trip cancellation or you can purchase a Single Trip Medical Evacuation Important! You must include the optional Adventure Sports coverage upgrade if you are climbing any mountains or traveling in rope teams. (Pre-existing medical coverage is not available with this policy.)

South Georgia Shackleton Crossing Testimonials

Thank you for such a wonderful experience. We appreciate the excellent guiding and safe crossing of South Georgia Island. The fun meter registered a 10+!

Scott Anderson, Richard & Laurie Goldsmith, and Joel Robinson

Herald HelleportI'm at home now for one week and a GREAT month lies behind me. It's amazing how intense only four weeks can be. Ten days in Montevideo, Ushuaia and buenos Aires, 10 days on a boat in the open sea and about a week in South Georgia. Thank you for your wonderful care and company during the pre-expedition phase and thank you for the "goodies" Rick gave us in Montevideo - these are really beautiful souvenirs.

Harald Helleport

Anja SchikarskiThank you all for your really good company on our trip and the expedition- I really enjoyed very, very much being on the expedition with you.

Anja Schikarski


You can help fill this blog space when you join the next PolarExplorers Expedition!

 In the meantime please see our Blog Page for the latest blogs on our most recent expeditions here.


Are you ready to join us on a polar expedition?

Here are your PolarExplorers Forms. To register please complete and return the PolarExplorers Application. We will send you an invoice for your deposit.

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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone 1.847.256.4409
Toll-Free USA/CAN. 800.732.7328