Shackleton’s Southern Ocean Adventure with TS Pelican

TS Pelican
TS Pelican

TS Pelican has the pleasure of announcing its role as expedition support vessel for the official re-enactment of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic crossing of the Southern Ocean. The announcement was made today by Richard Burn and The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton on board the vessel moored at West India Dock on The Thames River, London.

The Shackleton Epic expedition, which will use 1916 technology, food and equipment to recreate Shackleton’s legendary journey will set sail from Elephant Island in January 2013.

TS Pelican, will follow the voyage and play a key support role in the expedition. Expedition leader, Tim Jarvis AM said that he felt very confident knowing that the TS Pelican would form part of this historic event.

“TS Pelican is almost identical in size to Shackleton’s Endurance and the ship will provide exceptional communications, safety and a filming platform for the Shackleton Epic expedition. We envisage that TS Pelican will ‘shadow’ our boat, Alexandra Shackleton, a replica of the James Caird, as we sail the 800 miles from Elephant Island to South Georgia in January next  year,” Tim Jarvis said.

“It is the perfect sail training vessel to form part of the expedition and its presence in the Southern Ocean will provide a level of security that Shackleton and his men would have welcomed,” he said.

Richard Burn, Honorary Trustee of TS Pelican, said that “it was exciting for the ship to participate in the historic re-enactment and demonstrated TS Pelican’s reputation for first-rate sail training services.”

“We will be departing from the UK on 22nd September headed south to rendezvous with the Shackleton Epic expedition in South America at the end of December. For those wishing to head south for the winter, TS Pelican will be selling voyage crew berths to the public on the voyage south from UK to Lisbon; Lisbon to Las Palmas; Las Palmas to Salvador and Salvador to Punta Arenas in Chile. The traditional ‘Shellback’ ceremony will be carried out upon crossing the Equator.  

“The long voyage south or even the shorter legs will provide crew members with a memorable experience and give them an opportunity to experience first-hand the tenacity and thrills involved in tall ship sailing,” commented Ben Swain, Education and Training Manager at Adventure Under Sail.

At this time, TS Pelican will not be taking passengers onboard for the Shackleton Epic expedition.


Shackleton’s feat is regarded as one of the world’s greatest stories of courage, endurance and adventure.  It will be retold as part of the official centenary re-enactment of Shackleton’s history-making 1916 Antarctic voyage. The expedition will be conducted during January/February 2013 and led by renowned British/Australian adventurer Tim Jarvis.

The Shackleton Epic will set sail in January 2013 from Elephant Island, off the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing 800 miles of the treacherous Southern Ocean to South Georgia. Once there, the crew will scale its hazardous mountain peaks.

The Shackleton Epic aims to generate awareness of the importance of conserving Antarctica’s marine environment. The crew will record the ice melt in the region and Jarvis, who is an environmental scientist and works with Arup Australia, will compare climatic conditions faced by his crew with those Shackleton and his men experienced 100 years ago.

“Whereas Shackleton’s goal was to save his men from Antarctica, we now find ourselves trying to save Antarctica from man; an unfortunate irony,” Jarvis said.

The 22.5 ft (6.9m) replica vessel, The Alexandra Shackleton, named for Sir Ernest’s granddaughter and patron of the Shackleton Epic was launched in Weymouth, UK on 18 March this year. Six men, including Jarvis will depart from Elephant Island in January to attempt the voyage and the mountain crossing of South Georgia in tribute to Shackleton, a feat that has never been successfully recreated.

The Shackleton Epic has been supported to date by global engineering and environment firm, Arup, Aurora Expeditions, James Caird Asset Management, Dean and Reddyhoff Marinas and other donors.