August 3, 2015

Silver Explorer, Antarctica Exploration

To mark the centenary of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, one of the most remarkable stories of leadership, determination and survival, luxury expedition cruise line Silversea Expeditions, will be operating a series of unique Shackleton Centenary Voyages to Antarctica in 2015 and 2016.

Shackleton sailed from Plymouth, U.K. towards Antarctica in 1915 on board the Endurance, but just 200 miles from the Antarctic mainland, she 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, however, after ten months they were forced to abandon the 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 survival tales in history.

Departing Ushuaia, Silver Explorer’s Shackleton Centenary Voyages visit the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Discover how six men travelled in a tiny lifeboat across the Southern Ocean in search of aid for their stricken crewmates, plus hear how the rest of the party managed to endure 138 days in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

Silversea Shackleton imageAs well as following in the footsteps of the great explorer Shackleton, passengers will also encounter wildlife seen nowhere else in the world, including rockhopper, king, emperor and chinstrap penguins, watch for seals, dolphins, whales, albatross, shearwaters and petrels plus visit historic sites of the early explorers and remains of whaling operations, accompanied by a team of experts, which includes eminent naturalists, geologists, biologists, historians, and ornithologists.

An exclusive onboard exhibition showing a specially curated gallery of artefacts and images by the Endurance’s official photographer, Australian, Frank Hurley, who documented the expedition on film and through iconic still photography, is just one of the benefits for those travelling aboard Silver Explorer, due to Silversea’s partnership with the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers).

A major exhibition, “The Enduring Eye: the Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley” will be held at the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society in London from the end of November 2015 to the end of February 2016, before a U.K. and international tour commences in 2017. Silversea passengers sailing on Antarctica voyages will receive VIP access to the exhibition, with special tours arranged pre or post departure for the White Continent. The Society’s historical collection relating to Antarctica provides a wealth of artefacts, photographs, archives, maps, charts and books which tell the story of the Endurance and Antarctica from its beginnings to the present day with a focus on the early explorers who gave us a greater understanding of the Great White Desert.

Silversea Cruises, with eight ships across their award winning fleet, is an innovator in the luxury cruise line industry and their intimate, all suite vessels are designed to offer an atmosphere of casual elegance. The Shackleton Centenary Voyages aboard the all suite Silver Explorer include gourmet food, wine and spirits, the personalised service of a butler and all excursions including Zodiac tours, plus a special Shackleton centenary commemorative dinner.   Sandra Tiltman