The RRS Ernest Shackleton is also the name of one of the icebreakers run by the BAS, (Bristish Antarctic Survey) to transport scientists and technicians to the various bases around Antarctica, as well as for running supplies to the various Antarctic Islands.
The ship was built in Bergen, Norway, in 1995 and named the Polar Queen, but was bought in 1999 by the BAS and had her named changed in honour of the famous British explorer. She can normally be found cruising around the Antarctic from October to May (Late Antarctic Spring - Autumn) dropping off supplies, and will be located in Grimsby in the UK from May untll October when she once again returns South.
In 2001, rather embarrassingly, the Ernest Shackleton became trapped in the ice on her way to the Halley Ice Station. Her faliure to reach the ice station meant that many scientists were prevented from carrying out their work, and also those with scheduled trips out to Antarctica had to postponed until the next year. It goes to show the immense power of the ice floes around the Southern Continent, and that we are still at the mercy of the elements, just as Shackleton was, despite our more modern equipment and vehicles.
For more information about the ship see: