Join us, as we celebrate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 – 1917 Endurance expedition. Thanks to our long-term partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute of British Geographers) you can access archival material and photographs that dramatically capture Shackleton’s inspirational story of survival against all odds. Iconic images, originally on glass plates rescued from the sinking ship by photographer Frank Hurley, act as a powerful reminder of this epic feat of endurance. As you study these memorable images, securely stored at the Society for nearly a century, you’ll appreciate the heroic exploits of Ernest Shackleton and his team.
A specially curated gallery of images by the Endurance's official photographer, Frank Hurley, who documented the Endurance expedition on film and in iconic stills photography, is being created onboard Silver Explorer.
In addition, a major exhibition, "The Enduring Eye: the Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley" is being held at the Society's South Kensington headquarters from 21st November 2015 – 28th February 2016, before a UK and international tour through 2017. Silversea guests sailing on Antarctica voyages will have privileged access to the exhibition, with special tours arranged pre - or post-departure for Antarctica, led by a Society specialist.
On 8 August 1914, Endurance sailed from Plymouth bound for Antarctica. In January 1912, Roald Amundsen had become the first person to reach the South Pole. As Ernest Shackleton put it: “After the conquest of the South Pole by Amundsen who, by a narrow margin of days only, was in advance of the British Expedition under Scott, there remained but one great main object of Antarctic journeyings — the crossing of the South Polar continent from sea to sea”. A c.3000 km / 1800 mile land crossing of the continent.
However, it was not to be. In January 1915, only 200 miles from the Antarctic mainland, the Endurance was trapped between two ice floes in the Weddell Sea. The crew initially stayed put, hoping that the winds would change and free the ship. But after ten months, they were forced to abandon Endurance, and strike out across the ice in search of help. The story of how Shackleton led his men in the Weddell Sea Party over ice and ocean to safety is one of the greatest tales of survival in human history.
To mark the centenary of the Endurance’s arrival in the Southern Ocean, we’re offering our guests a unique opportunity to retrace Shackleton’s journey. You’ll be joined on Silver Explorer by historians who’ve spent decades studying the Endurance voyage. You’ll embark on expeditions to Elephant Island, where most of the stranded crew spent the winter, and into the ferocious Weddell Sea.
You’ll discover how six men travelled in a tiny lifeboat across the Southern Ocean to fetch aid for their stricken crewmates. And how the rest of the party managed to endure 138 days in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
Of course, your time in Antarctica will be much more agreeable. As always with Silversea, gourmet food, refreshing drinks and exceptional service come as standard. This is an unmissable opportunity to relive one of history’s greatest adventures, while enjoying the supreme comfort of a Silversea expedition.