DOCUMENTARIES > ADVENTURE > The Island at the End of the World

THE ISLAND AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a 45-minute special, documenting a journey over and around the awesome sub-Antarctic Island of South Georgia, made famous by the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Our modern-day expedition sets out to follow the same route over South Georgia, as taken by Shackleton after his ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic in 1915.

What our cameras find is an island of phenomenal beauty, likened to a slice of the Alps stuck straight into the ocean. And crowding its shores, some of the densest concentrations of wildlife found anywhere in the world.

Producer/presenter Greg Grainger joins an expedition led by Antarctic veteran climber Greg Mortimer, with fellow climbers including Tony Wheeler, founder of the Lonely Planet guide books, and Brenda Shackleton, married to a distant relative of the great explorer.

The expedition begins in the southern tip of South America, aboard a Russian ice breaker heading first to the British colony of the Falkland Islands, from where Shackleton organised the rescue of the sailors left stranded on Elephant Island. The next leg of the voyage sees their ship cross the Antarctic Convergence, where icebergs as big as large cities block their way.

On South Georgia, the expedition encounters abundant wildlife, such as vast colonies of king penguins and magnificent Wandering Albatross nesting on remote outer islands.

They also meet South Georgia's other inhabitants, the Carr's, who've lived in this remote wilderness for ten years, restoring parts of the now abandoned whaling station.

Finally, Grainger and a group of 14 other climbers set off to follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton, attempting to re-trace one of the greatest stories of survival of all time. What they're confronted by is a fierce blizzard that challenges their quest.

The programme concludes with a poignant scene at the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, when Brenda Shackleton places a stone from the grave of Shackleton's climbing companion, Tom Crean.

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