Elephant Island is unabashedly stark, desolate and frozen. Its misty snow-capped peaks of dark rock create a mysterious air that hints at adventure. So why was it that in 1916, a group of 28 Antarctic explorers labeled Elephant Island as a "paradise"? The group of men were halfway through one of the most epic Antarctic survival tales of the 20th century. The famous explorer Shackleton and his group were forced to abandon their ship after it was trapped in winter ice. They boarded tiny lifeboats and battled extreme sea conditions to finally land on Elephant Island. Knowing their chances of rescue were slim, Shackleton left with five others to attempt to find help. Unbelievably, the group made it to South Georgia in 17 days, climbed over glaciated mountains and finally reached a manned whaling station. Four months after his departure, Shackleton returned to Elephant Island and rescued the remaining 22 men, all of whom survived. This heroic tale is why Elephant Island is still iconic to any Antarctic explorer today and cruises to Elephant Island, Antarctica will take you through the history of this place.