In a superb development for science and tourism in South Georgia, Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris is offering the opportunity for 7 people to join a scientific trip on the Hans Hansson surveying South Georgia’s wandering albatross.
Ted Cheeseman, who has been leading Antarctic expeditions for twenty years told MercoPress this week that Sally Poncet asked him to help create an expedition for this coming January to support a survey.
He said, “The government of South Georgia is supposed to do a complete survey of the wanderers every 10 years under their commitment to Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP) but the cost of vessel support is of course not small.”
“We are delighted to be using tourism to enable good conservation science, in this case an extremely important survey collaborating with the South Georgia government. At the same time we’re able to give the tour participants an incredibly unique experience with access to sites usually inaccessible to travellers. This is one of two science/private partnership voyages we’ve created this coming season, the other being an expedition with Tom Hart of Oxford in October and November.”
He added: “In a world where science funding is increasingly scarce, we are very pleased to create expeditions where the work of scientists is made possible very cost effectively, and at the same time creating very meaningful expeditions for a few fortunate travellers who will benefit from being in the company of scientists.”
Alongside four scientists, participants will watch, photograph and learn about the Wandering Albatross while circumnavigating South Georgia. The project has a special permit to visit islands usually off-limits to travellers, such as Albatross Island, the Willis Islands, and other remote regions along the spectacular southwest coast.
Mr. Cheeseman said, “Our expedition sails during the peak breeding season for an exceptional 18 landing days where the group can assist with surveys, learn from renowned scientists, and explore and photograph one of the most dramatically scenic and wildlife-rich island habitats on the planet.”
Such a singular adventure of course doesn’t come cheap. The price is $18,450 to $21,450 per person with shared occupancy, depending on cabin choice, plus airfare. It lasts 32 days total, including estimated travel time with 29 days onboard the Hans Hansson.
Professional photographer Scott Davis will lead the tour group, Sally Poncet leads the science team, and Dion Poncet will captain the ship.