Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ South Georgia 2023

Antarctic Heritage Trust’s ninth Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ will provide an opportunity for 22 young New Zealanders aged 18-30 to explore South Georgia Island, connect with the legacy the Trust cares for and embrace their spirit of exploration.

It will honour the centenary year of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final expedition (Quest 1921–1922) which journeyed to South Georgia and marked the end of the heroic-era of Antarctic exploration.

Antarctic Heritage Trust is the guardian of Shackleton’s only expedition base in Antarctica. On this expedition, participants will embrace the same spirit of exploration as the early polar explorers on their own remarkable journey to commemorate 100 years since the death of legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Presented by respected operator Antarctica21 and booking agent Wild Earth Travel, this two-week ship-based expedition is timed to visit South Georgia in early Spring, at the beginning of the wildlife migration and breeding cycle for so many of the island’s species. With estimates of 30 million breeding birds including 7 million penguins, 2 million fur seals, and 50 percent of the world’s southern elephant seals, it has the reputation for the greatest density of wildlife on earth.

This expedition is dedicated solely to visiting South Georgia Island and the Inspiring Explorers™ will participate together as a group. Experiences include cruising in inflatable Zodiac boats, visits to vast king penguin rookeries, seal covered beaches, and the many important historic sites, several of which are forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

A highlight will be King Haakon Bay, located on the wild southern coastline, and landing place of the James Caird — Shackleton’s famous 23-foot boat, navigated by Captain Frank Worsley, after having made the epic 800-mile voyage from Elephant Island in Antarctica in 1916 following the loss of the ship Endurance. We will also visit the museum and the site of Shackleton’s final resting place, the small cemetery in Grytviken following his death on the 1921–1922 Quest expedition.

A small team of four Inspiring Explorers™ will be selected to join Trust Emeritus Executive Director Nigel Watson and two professional mountaineering guides, Lydia Bradey and Dean Staples for an attempt at the first New Zealand ascent of Mount Worsley, named after Shackleton’s captain, Frank Worsley.

The Trust’s Inspiring Explorers™ will be joined on this expedition by paying passengers who are supporters of the Trust.

Two adult king penguins stand between large elephant seals on a black sand beach on South Georgia Island during breeding season. ©
Close up of turquoise colored glacier ice in Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia Island. ©

We are delighted to welcome Inspiring Explorers™ Programme Partners MetService and Royal Society Te Apārangi

king penguins gather on the shores of south georgia

While in South Georgia four Inspiring Explorers™ will attempt at the first New Zealand ascent of Mount Worsley.

Our Inspiring Explorers™ team will be joined by Trust Emeritus Executive Director Nigel Watson and professional mountaineering guides Lydia Bradey and Dean Staples.

The Trust would like to thank the following companies for their outstanding equipment support for the Inspiring Explorers Expedition™ – South Georgia 2023

Ampro Sales LTD

TrackMe NZ

Manawatu Knitting Mills

Mountain Adventure

NZ Alpine Club

Ousland Explorers

Small Planet Sports

Southern Approach NZ

Southern Lakes Helicopters

Spelean NZ Ltd