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To visit South Georgia is to bear witness to an extraordinary world of biodiversity and geographical variety, often nicknamed ‘the Galapagos of the Poles’. Inhabited by just a handful of temporary researchers, this crescent-shaped island is home to a huge population of penguins and seals, who have claimed the fjords and glaciers here as part of their own glorious kingdom. South Georgia's most famous residents, of course, are the 250,000 breeding King Penguins who live on Salisbury Plain, in the shadow of Grace Glacier, along with the thousands of fur and elephant seals who live and breed on the island’s beaches.
As the final resting place of famed explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, South Georgia is a particular favourite of polar history enthusiasts, who come to the island to pay respects at his grave in the tiny Grytviken churchyard. It is traditional for a crew member give a short speech before the whole expedition raises a glass of whiskey in Shackleton’s honour.
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