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Got $30,000? Retrace the 'Epic' Antarctic Survival Voyage of Sir Ernest Shackleton

Where: Antarctica
September 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM | by | ()

Shackleton's original voyage

Imagine taking nearly two months off to sail some of the most exotic seas on the earth. If you're picturing a cruise, with its midnight buffets and tinkling atrium piano and sunning on the Lido deck, then STOP. What we're talking about is a serious voyage, one that requires a bit more preparation than having the post office hold your mail and a bit more clothing than tank tops and flip flops.

We're talking about sailing the route of Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica, on the T.S. Pelican tall ship that's nearly the twin of his original ship, the Endurance, while shadowing a team of 6 who'll complete the second portion of Shackleton's journey in a replica 22.5' whaler boat.

It's been four years of planning for the journey—from Punta Arenas, Chile to Elephant Island, then 800 nautical miles on to South Georgia Island and Shackleton’s grave at Grytviken, before ending in Rio de Janeiro. In alliance with Intrepid Travel, the Pelican has made 10 berths available for regular travelers to join the trip, provided you're willing and able to embark on a 56-day epic and shell out $30,000 for the opportunity.

In fact, it's being called an Epic—the "Shackleton Epic," a project conceived by adventurer Tim Jarvis. Tim will serve as leader, traveling onboard the T.S. Pelican as far as Elephant Island, where he (plus five crew) will then launch the whaler for the stretch to South Georgia, just as Shackleton did. And, continuing the mirroring of Shackleton's voyage, the whaler of six will only make use of the type of navigation, provisions and clothing/gear used by the Shackleton crew 100 years ago, including a 20-yard section of rope and pickax that allowed them to traverse the Antarctic landscape to reach a whaling station for rescue.

No worries—you'll still be onboard the tall ship, in warmth and eating warm meals, observing while Jarvis reenacts the Shackleton survival and, all together, you'll become the "first people to replicate what Shackleton achieved--a heroic journey of necessity."

Check out the full itinerary here and mark your iCal—the trip begins in mid-January, 2013 and will happen on social media while being filmed for a documentary. If you're onboard, then you're part of the cast (bonus!).

Having heard the official spiel ourselves, we admit that had we $30K to spare, our name would already be on the manifest. Already two of the ten berths have been sold. If you consider yourself a "hearty soul with good sea legs," then have at it.

The T.S. Pelican

The whaler

[Photos: Shackleton Epic]

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