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.

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 & maximum exploring time and all the benefits of only 73 people…

  • 10 Days
  • $15,495
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 68-passenger expedition ship…

  • 8 Days
  • $11,495
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
Express Tour of Antarctica

A cost-effective Antarctic adventure. This itinerary is also ideal for those with limited time wanting to combine Antarctica with time exploring Patagonia. Sailing one way and flying back, you get to combine two iconic places: Antarctica and Cape Horn. Note,…

  • 6-7 Days
  • $4,995
Fly-Sail Antarctica & South Georgia

This unique express trip saves time by flying to Antarctica, cutting out 2 sailing days and skipping the Falklands. Maximising your time amid the spectacular wildlife and scenery of Antarctica and South Georgia is the focus of this voyage. The…

  • 17 Days
  • $15,495
South Shetland Islands & Antarctica Voyage

A classic 10-day voyage to the White Continent. Perfect for those wanting great value and comfortable accommodation. Sail aboard a purpose-built X-bow expedition ship with an average of 175…

  • 9-12 Days
  • $6,990
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
Fly & Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula

For maximum time in Antarctica with flights both ways, this trip really stands out. An extended fly & cruise voyage spending eight full days actually in Antarctica onboard a small, state-of-the-art expedition ship. Optional kayaking & polar…

  • 12 Days
  • $14,795
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
Antarctic Fly & Sail Combination

A rare and popular voyage which flies one way and sails the other, maximising both expediency and experience. Spend 5-7 days exploring Antarctica on a small, newly-built expedition ship, with kayaking & snorkelling available. January - March…

  • 9-14 Days
  • $11,695
Antarctic Express Sail & Fly

Enjoy the best of both worlds by sailing south, experiencing the journey across the Drake Passage and the elation of spotting your first iceberg, then expedite your return to civilisation by plane at the end. In between, spend four days…

  • 10 Days
  • $9,950