Antarctic Endurance 2016

Eleven members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines will follow the legendary route followed by Sir Ernest Shackleton over the winter of 1915-16 to tackle the challenges of sailing in the Southern Ocean and climbing over the mountainous central spine of South Georgia.

The Expedition party is made up of a combination of males and females, officers and other ranks and from a variety of specialisations, including RN Reserves, with both experienced and inexperienced sailors and mountaineers.

The expedition

The plan is to:

  • Follow Shackleton's route through the southern ocean with a crew of 11 Royal Navy and Royal Marines, during January and February 2016 over 6 weeks.
  • Sail and mountaineer in some of the most arduous conditions in the world.
  • Be represented by all ranks, branches and genders with a strong emphasis on novices in their first 5 years of service.
  • To investigate team optimisation and performance forecasting.

The themes for the Expedition are summarised by ‘ICE’:

  • To Inspire - Opportunity for all in regular service, including Reservists to participate in highly demanding Adventurous Training.
  • To Celebrate – Centenary of Shackleton’s escape from the ice.
  • To Educate – Major scientific research project will be conducted into team performance and development.

to lead an expedition like this that commemorates such an historic human achievement is a great privilege

Commander Tim Winter, Expedition Leader

Follow the team

Keep up to date with the team's progress as they share their experiences of this amazing sailing and mountaineering expedition on this blog.

The Route

The Expedition will follow the outline route, depending on conditions at the time:

18 Jan - Join Xplore in Port Stanley, Falklands
20 Jan - Sail from Port Stanley
26 Jan - Arrive as far south as prevailing conditions allow
26 Jan - Conduct environmental and hydrographic studies
03 Feb - Depart
05 Feb - Arrive Cape Valentine, Elephant Island
05 Feb - Conduct environmental and hydrographic studies
10 Feb - Depart Point Wild, Elephant Island
15 Feb - Arrive King Haakon Bay, South Georgia
16 Feb - Transit team of 9 depart for Stromness;
[3 remain on board sailing round to provide safety cover for exit points]
19 Feb - Both teams arrive in Stromness
20 Feb - Sail from Stromness to Grytviken
21 Feb - Visit Grytviken and Shackleton’s grave
22 Feb - Sail from Grytviken
28 Feb - Arrive Port Stanley
29 Feb - Leave Xplore and return to UK

Route Map


Royal Patron

  • HRH The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

Principal Patron

  • The Hon Alexandra Shackleton, the grand daughter of the great explorer*

Senior Service Patrons:

  • Admiral Sir George Zambellas GCB DSC ADC
  • Lt General Gordon Messenger DSO* CB OBE RM
  • Vice Admiral Simon Lister CB OBE
  • Vice Admiral Duncan Potts CB


  • The Gosling Foundation
  • Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity 
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Thomas Mercer
  • NSSL Global

The Antarctic Endurance team are enormously grateful for the invaluable assistance of ALL the sponsors who have helped turn this concept into a reality. 

*Information about Sir Ernest Shackleton can be found at

The Research

Antarctic Endurance aims to inspire a new generation of sailors and marines to seek adventure but will also provide the Navy and Ministry of Defence with research into team dynamics and leadership.

Data is also being collected on climate and  environment on behalf of British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge and Plymouth Universities and the UK Hydrographic Office.

Learn more

The Team

Find out who the team members are and learn more about the expedition and research project.


We can be found on Facebook at This should be used for engaging with the project team leaders and other prospective participants.

Our Twitter tag is @Antarctic2016

The team can be contacted by e-mail at or


Royal Marines Commando

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Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering)

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Ex-regular Reserve

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