August 2014 marks the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914–1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, an historic occasion that is being commemorated around the world. In a story of survival against all odds, every member of the expedition was rescued 21 months after Endurance was trapped. The coming months see many Shackleton-inspired events – even a tall ship re-enactment of Endurance’s departure from Plymouth, England.
Aurora Expeditions has expanded its coming 2014–16 Antarctic programs to include special expeditions that explore the natural beauty and wonders of South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. On these 18 and 20 day voyages we expect to visit Grytviken where the Endurance set sail for Antarctica. If conditions allow we will re-enact the Shackleton Walk, the final leg of Shackleton’s epic trek from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Whaling Station. Sea conditions pending, we will launch Zodiacs at Elephant Island’s Point Wild – wild in name and wild in nature. It was on this meagre spit of land that Shackleton’s men spent four months eking out an existence in upturned lifeboats. Here they waited for the return of Shackleton and five crewmen who set out across the Scotia Sea in the seven-metre James Caird, desperate to reach help at South Georgia.
Our February 2015 voyage attempts an alpine crossing for experienced mountaineers, retracing the grueling 36-hour trek made by Shackleton, Frank Worsley and Tom Crean, who crossed the glaciated interior of South Georgia after their 15-day boat epic.
The ‘Endurance’ Expedition has become the stuff of legend and competes as one of the world’s great tales of courage, survival and rescue.