Elephant Island

Named both for its elephant-head shape and the seals populating its shores, this icy-peaked island lies near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula

Elephant Island

The appropriately named Elephant Island

Elephant Island is located 245 km (152 miles) from the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip and can be a good location for spotting migratory gentoo penguins, nesting chinstraps, and seals. Named after the elephant seals seen along its coast by the First Russian Antarctic Expedition in 1821, its name is also attributed to its eastern shore, which (to some) resembles an elephant trunk.

View of Elephant Island

Elephant Island, Ernest Shackleton, and the Endurance stowaway

After Shackleton’s ship Endurance sank in 1916, he and his crew made a grueling journey to Elephant Island. Stowaway-turned-sailor Perce Blackborow was the first to set foot on it. Shackleton and five men sailed to South Georgia for help, while the 22 others lived on Elephant Island for over four months until their return. Point Wild, where they built their hut, is now a certified historic site.

Passengers in a Zodiac near Elephant Island

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