Eating Penguin with Ernest Shackleton in Scotland

Travel Blog  •  David Farley  •  04.09.09 | 1:02 PM ET

Photo by DanieVDM via Flickr (Creative Commons)

In March 1901, the RRS Discovery set sail from Dundee, Scotland, its crew pointing it toward largely unexplored Antarctica. The ship was a wooden three-masted sailing vessel and, as it turned out, the last of its kind to be made in Britain.

But that’s not exactly what makes the RRS Discovery significant. Ten months later, the crew members definitively found what they were looking for. In fact, the ship was stuck, frozen in ice, leaving captains Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott with no choice but to wait it out until the spring when the ice would thaw. The next few months were harrowing ones, the crew eventually having to munch on seal liver and roasted penguin (described as tasting like “leather steeped in turpentine”).

The ice eventually let the ship go, and the crew made its triumphal return to Scotland. Today the RRS Discovery is docked in Dundee, a tourist attraction for historic ship aficionados and fans of roasted penguin. Whatever category you fall into, the Discovery has just launched a new feature: now you can have dinner on the ship. Yes, if you missed your chance to eat Shackleton-style in London, the ship can be rented for a lavish dinner party. Intrepid diners can feast on haggis in whisky sauce and rib eye. And while roasted penguin is not on the menu, if you use your imagination with the haggis, anything is possible.


David Farley

David Farley is the author of An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town and co-editor of Travelers' Tales Prague and the Czech Republic: True Stories. Hes a contributing writer at AFAR magazine and his writing appears in the New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic Traveler, and Gadling.com, among other publications. He teaches writing at New York University.


1 Comment for Eating Penguin with Ernest Shackleton in Scotland

iain00 04.15.09 | 5:18 AM ET

ive actually done this its a great evening, then we alwent on t london stayed in a beautiful hotel id highly reccommend it 1 Hilton Olympia Deluxe Room Hotel, fantastic weekend away.

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