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Celebrate Shackleton’s Centenary With A Silversea Expedition

Anyone who knows their Antarctic history will know that the years between 2014 and 2017 mark the 100th year anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s journey to Antarctica. And Silversea Expeditions are offering a range of cruises to celebrate this. After Roald Amundsen had become the first person to reach the South Pole two years earlier, Shackleton knew that the only feat left to conquer was a land expedition from one side of the continent to the other. And so, in 1914, the crew set off from Plymouth in the legendary ship Endurance, in the hope of returning heroes.

Ernest By Name, Earnest By Nature

Endurance Expedition Map

Image attribution: Luca Ferrario, DensityDesign Research Lab

And that they did; although not in the way that they would have expected. Instead of being a tale of success in achieving this fantastic polar first, the men’s story turned out to be one of fantastic endurance and bravery against the odds. This is because, after leaving South Georgia, Endurance was trapped in heavy ice on January the 19th 1915. As the ice melted the following spring, causing great damage to the vessel, the crew had to abandon ship and watch as she disappeared beneath the waves.

After surviving on ice floes for some time, the men had no choice but to head into the lifeboats and try to get themselves to safety. However, what followed was a gruelling 138 day wait on Elephant Island before they could be rescued. Shackleton, being the brave expedition leader that he was, took it upon himself to ensure his crew were brought home safely. And, after rowing through tumultuous waters, walking across much of South Georgia and battling frostbite on his fingers after he gave his gloves to the ship’s photographer, he finally led successful rescues with only a minimal loss of life.

Following In Frozen Footsteps

Elephant Island

This is a story that you will learn much more about should you sail on one of Silversea’s centenary cruises. There are 11 sailings in total, with varying itineraries, which will enable you to learn about what Shackleton and his men had to go through. Not only will you be visiting the places that they landed, such as South Georgia and Elephant Island, you will also be able to hear about their ordeal from expert historians who have studied the events of the Endurance expedition.

What’s more, Silversea have partnered with the Royal Geographical Society to give guests an exclusive look at some rare footage and photographs taken by Frank Hurley, the Endurance’s photographer, during the expedition. Along with this gallery on board Silver Explorer, anyone sailing on these special Antarctic cruises will also be able to visit a land-based exhibition entitled ‘The Enduring Eye: the Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley’ in South Kensington. This will be offered as either a pre or post cruise tour.

Contrasting Conditions

Silversea Expeditions Food

Obviously, the conditions that you will encounter during your trip will be vastly different from those Shackleton and his crew had to endure. As with every Silversea expedition, the five-star dining, impeccable service and comfortable accommodation on offer will leave you feeling in the lap of luxury. Nonetheless, you will forge a great affinity with these brave souls, as you sail the waters they did and recall detailed accounts of their fateful adventure.

We have listed some of the centenary cruises below, but for more information about further dates and what these itineraries will entail; speak to our knowledgeable team today.

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