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Cruise to Elephant Island, Antarctica: This tiny island in the Weddell Sea of Antarctica plays a role in one of seafaring history's most legendary exploits. When the brave crew of the Endurance, led by intrepid explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, was trapped in the ice during a 1914 polar expedition, they took refuge on this island until help arrived. And, even though they spent the entire winter waiting for rescue, not a single crew member was lost.

Located in the Southern Ocean near the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands, Elephant Island has claims from not only Argentina and Chile, but also the United Kingdom. Brazil also has two shelters here that contain up to six researchers that work during the summer months.

Check out the island's wildlife on your Antarctica cruise. The island is covered with elephant seals, hence the name Elephant Island. At Cape Lookout, a bluff on the southern coast where various penguins (chinstrap, gentoo, and macaroni) call home. Other birds of note include sheathbills, cape petrels, and stormy petrels; it's also a great place to spot the elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals. The truly adventurous can explore the moss colonies, which are thought to be thousands of years old. The moss bank is not terribly far from where the Shackleton party was marooned, and is considered one of the oldest living things in the world. Your cruise to Antarctica will truly be an experience of a lifetime.

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