King George Island

Where is it?

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands and lies 75 miles off the coast of Antarctica.

About King George Island

The island was first claimed by the British in 1819 and named after King George III, however the following years were turbulent with many disputes about who owned the island.  In some form or another, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, South Korea, Poland, Russia, Uruguay, the Netherlands, Ecuador, Germany, Peru and the US all have a presence on the island. In so doing, these countries earn the status of a consultative party, or full member, of the Antarctic Treaty.

King George Island now serves as an aerodrome for flights to Antarctica, and is known as the unofficial capital of the continent because of the numerous research stations there. Aside from the scientific significance, the island is a haven for wildlife, and is home to many marine mammals such as Elephant, Weddell and Leopard seals, and colonies of Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins.

How to Visit:

Antarctic Peninsula cruises often start with a visit to King George Island as it is the first major outcrop of land after navigating the Drake Passage.

Fly-and-Cruise expeditions land / take off from the runway at King George. Fly across the famous Drake Passage from the town of Punta Arenas in southern Chilean Patagonia, saving 2-3 days of time at sea - an important consideration for those either short on time or avert to sea-travel. Travellers then board their cruise ship when in Antarctica, thereby sailing across the Drake only once.

Map of King George Island

Nearby landmarks

Trips that visit King George Island

Flexibility is the key to success in Antarctica. All voyage routes take advantage of the ever-changing opportunities provided by nature, crafting a unique and extraordinary experience each time.

Special Offers:Swoop has access to the widest range of offers and can help you find the right trip, cabin, & price.

Antarctic Fly & Cruise Safari

If you’re keen to fly to Antarctica instead of sailing, this 8-day trip is ideal, with a choice of dates in December and January. Travel on outstanding modern expedition ships with a maximum of 140 passengers. Active adventurers can enjoy…

  • 8 Days
  • $11,995
Luxury South Georgia & Antarctica Fly & Cruise

Combine the spellbinding wildlife spectacle of South Georgia with the White Continent's jaw-dropping landscapes on this luxurious time-saving expedition. Cut out two days at sea by flying between Antarctica and South America in just two hours. If you're seeking seamless…

  • 16 Days
  • $28,700
66 Degrees South Fly Cruise

By offering time saving flights, extended time in Antarctica and the chance to reach the Polar Circle, this 10-day voyage maximises the polar experience. Minimum travel time and maximum exploring time and all the benefits of only 76 people…

  • 10 Days
  • $15,495
Original Fly & Cruise Luxury Adventure

Fly over the Drake Passage in just 2 hours, both to and from Antarctica. ​Ideal for those ​wanting a high comfort level, but ​who have limited time or ​are ​anxious sailors. ​An outstanding program, successfully operated for over 15 seasons.​…

  • 8 Days
  • $12,995
Original Fly & Cruise Expedition Cruise

Travel with the pioneers of fly & cruise Antarctic voyages, flying in both directions and bypassing a 2-day sail on the Drake Passage. Regular departure dates (Dec - Feb) to choose from. Explore Antarctica aboard a trusty 67 passenger expedition…

  • 8 Days
  • $11,495
Antarctic Fly & Cruise In-Depth

Save time travelling to Antarctica by flying there in just 2 hours. With an impressive 5-6 full days to explore the wonders of the White Continent, you’ll be accompanied by a highly experienced expedition team and National Geographic certified photographer.…

  • 9 or 10 Days
  • $10,975
Antarctic Express Fly & Cruise

Fast-tracking your arrival into Antarctica by flying and skipping the Drake Passage means a compressed journey of only 2 hours before embarking on your spacious and well-appointed 148 guest expeditionary ship. Touches other travellers have appreciated include the onboard National…

  • 8 Days
  • $9,975
Fly & Cruise Polar Circle

This impressive voyage combines all the comfort and speed of flying in both directions with extended time in Antarctica (7 full days), allowing you to head south towards the remote Antarctic Circle. Explore from the comfort of your outstanding purpose-built…

  • 10 Days
  • $14,295
Fly & Sail Antarctica in Style

If you’re undecided between sailing or flying to Antarctica, why not choose both with this combination trip? A two hour flight south provides fast access to the White Continent, then after four incredible days of exploring, you’ll sail back across…

  • 10 Days
  • $16,195
Sail & Fly Antarctica in Style

By sailing south across the Drake Passage then flying north in just two hours, this itinerary blends the adventure of arriving in Antarctica by ship with the speed of a quick exit. The risk of weather-related flight delays is removed…

  • 10 Days
  • $16,795
Antarctic Sail & Fly Combination

Get the best of both worlds on this time-efficient Antarctic adventure. Sail south on a thrilling journey across the Drake Passage, then take a swift two hour flight back to civilisation at the end of your voyage. In between, spend…

  • 12 Days
  • $17,195