King Haakon Bay

An historically rich location featuring seals, penguins, and exotic seabirds against a stunning sub-Antarctic background

King Haakon Bay

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: South Georgia

The majesty of King Haakon Bay

King Haakon Bay is a long, narrow inlet on the southern coast of South Georgia. An Antarctic cruise here truly is a visit into uncharted waters, as the area has yet to be fully mapped out and sea depths officially measured. This area is also called King Haakon Sound.

The bay is home to a variety of seabirds like petrels, prions, skuas, South Georgia pipits, and wandering albatrosses. Also present are Antarctic fur seals, king penguins, and elephant seals. It is sometimes possible to walk around the seals here, but beware of mothers with pups or males defending their territory!

King Haakon Bay’s legendary history

Named after King Haakon VII of Norway, King Haakon Bay was the beginning of the legendary Shackleton Traverse, the route British explorer Ernest Shackleton hiked in 1916 to reach Stromness and find a rescue team for his crew stranded on Elephant Island.

Nearby Peggotty Bluff received its name after Shackleton’s men overturned one of their ships to turn it into a makeshift shelter. The name comes from the Charles Dickens novel, David Copperfield, in which a family named Peggotty made their house out of an overturned vessel.

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