South Orkney Islands

Reward your inner nature photographer

Cruises to the South Orkney Islands

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica

Meet at least six penguin species!

HDS21-20. A cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit some of the most beautiful arrays of wildlife on Earth. This journey will introduce you to at least 6 species of penguin and a whole lot of Antarctic fur seals!

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

1 Nov - 21 Nov, 2020

Price:

12600 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctica

Meet at least six penguin species!

PLA21-20. A cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit some of the most beautiful arrays of wildlife on Earth. This journey will introduce you to at least 6 species of penguin and a whole lot of Antarctic fur seals! Including photography workshops with Neill Drake and video...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

1 Nov - 21 Nov, 2020

Price:

12600 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Meet at least six penguin species

PLA23-20. This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

2 Dec - 20 Dec, 2020

Price:

12850 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Meet at least six penguin species

PLA24-20. This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Cruise date:

20 Dec, 2020 - 7 Jan, 2021

Price:

13500 USD

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Antarctic Peninsula

Meet at least six penguin species

OTL27a21. This Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctic Peninsula cruise is an animal-lover’s dream come true. The expedition explores one of the last untamed areas on Earth – a land of ruggedly beautiful landscapes and amazingly varied wildlife.

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Cruise date:

13 Jan - 31 Jan, 2021

Price:

14750 USD

Video

Customer stories

Antarctica: the Trip of a Lifetime

Edith joined Oceanwide Expeditions for a 21-day polar expedition cruise through the Falklands, South Georgia, and the South Orkneys to Antarctica....

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Blog

11 South Orkney Animals: Whales, Seabirds, and Penguins Aplenty

The South Orkney Islands are frequently forgotten as an Antarctic travel option. But they shouldn’t be: Forming part of the Scotia Sea Islands...

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Wildlife

See the impressive array of wildlife you may encounter::

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Map of South Orkney Islands

South Orkney Islands cruise reviews

rating reviews

Overall rating based on 13 votes

Todd DiCello

Although it's impossible to sum up our Oceanwide trip on Hondius from Ushuaia to The Falklands/Malvinas, South Georgia, South Orkneys, Elephant Island, South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula below the...

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Michael Sewell
Fulfilled a lifetime dream
by Michael Sewell on Antarctica

This trip fulfilled a lifetime dream for my spouse, Pat and I. We cannot say enough good things about Oceanwide Expedition's Leaders, Adam Turner and Sara Jenner.  These two individuals are extreme leaders...

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david gabbott

excellent throughout we had a wonderful time and found all the staff helpful and knowledgeable . our cabin was very clean and comfortable and had all we required. the condition of the entire ship was really good...

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Shannon Farley

This trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and Antarctica was amazing! I honestly had no idea how fabulous it would be. I am so glad my mom suggested it! Our expedition leader, Ali, and her expedition...

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Susanne Dinten
Unglaublich schöne Reise
by Susanne Dinten on Antarctica

Wir haben schon sehr viel von unserer wunderschönen Erde gesehen. Was wir auf dieser traumhaften Reise kennen lernen durfte, war unglaublich. Die super gute Reiseleitung unter Ali war herrlich. Dazu die...

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Linda Krugman
Life-changing experience
by Linda Krugman on Antarctica

This 18-day expedition was an amazing, life-changing experience. Everything about it was more than I could have ever expected. The entire crew and expedition team were fantastic, the educational talks were very...

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South Orkney Islands FAQ

What is the Temperature and Weather Like in the South Orkney Islands?

The climate in the South Orkney Islands is typically windy, wet and cold. Summer lasts from December to March, and individuals who participate in an expedition cruise to the South Orkney Islands can expect an average temperature of 3.5 degrees Celsius...

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What Wildlife Can I See in the South Orkney Islands?

Bird enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the South Orkney Islands because of the prevalence of penguins and seabirds. It is common to spot Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap penguins, and you may also see Snow petrels, Pintado petrels, Kelp gulls, Sheathbills,...

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Who Owns the South Orkney Islands?

The South Orkney Islands are part of the Antarctic Treaty System, which means that they are not technically owned by any country. However, Argentina and the U.K. have both made claims upon these islands in the past. This region was first discovered by...

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What Unique Features Do the South Orkney Islands Have?

Coronation Island has the region’s highest point with Mount Nivea, which is located on Sunshine Glacier and stands 1,265 meters (4,050 feet) tall. This combined with the high percentage of glaciation and diverse mixture of seabirds and penguins...

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How long has Oceanwide Expeditions been running expeditions?

Even though Oceanwide Expeditions was founded in 1996, we look back at 32+ years of experience in expedition cruising with a thorough knowledge of the areas visited. The Dutch Plancius Foundation (1981-1996) was the predecessor of Oceanwide Expeditions.

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Who owns the ships that the expeditions of Oceanwide Expeditions are on?

Oceanwide Expeditions owns its own ships. We have 5 vessels on our disposal; m/v Hondius, m/v Ortelius, m/v Plancius and s/v Rembrandt van Rijn. The vessel s/v Noorderlicht is a charter vessel. 

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About South Orkney Islands

South Orkney Islands Weather

The overall climate you’ll experience on your South Orkney Island expedition is cold, wet, and usually quite windy. During the summers (December through March) temperatures hover at just a little bit over 0°C.

During the winter (around July) the average temperature falls to around -10°C.

Facts about The South Orkney Islands

  • The South Orkney Islands sit about 600 kilometres to the northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • The only inhabitants are the people working at one of the two research stations (one British, one Argentinian).
  • Despite the cold of the region the South Orkney Islands do support some plant life – algae, lichen, and mosses.
  • The South Orkney Islands are considered to be an archipelago (chain of islands). There are four main islands – Coronation Island, Laurie Island, Powell Island, and Signy Island. The rest of the archipelago is made up of smaller islands such as the Saddle Islands and the Robertson Islands.
  • Almost 90% of the South Orkney Islands surface area is covered in glaciers.
  • The South Orkney Islands were originally called “Powell’s Group” after George Powell a Brittish sealer joining the  American Nathaniel Brown Palmer, who discovered them in 1821.
  • The oldest ongoing research station in the whole Antarctic region was established on Laurie Island in 1903 by Scottish Oceanographer William Speirs Bruce. He sold the station to Argentina in 1904. Orcadas Station is still operational today. 

Travel to the South Orkney Islands

A trip including South Orkney Islands takes you into the heart of one of the most important breeding grounds in the world for Adélie and Chinstrap penguins. Your South Orkney Islands expedition affords you the chance to take in some incredible bird watching, say hello to a variety of seals, and make friends with the local penguin populations.