Snow added: “We’ll be vulnerable to bad weather, ice, storms and very cold climates, holding on like ants to the big plates of Arctic ice around us.
“This is very significant, it’s a modern and ambitious search for the shipwreck. If we do find Endurance, it will be groundbreaking for maritime archaeology.”
Operating from the South African-registered research ship, the Agulhas II, the expedition will be at sea for at least 35 days.
Underwater search vehicles will be used to locate, survey and film the wreck, which could be up to 3,000m down, without touching or disturbing it.
Donald Lamont, chairman of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, said: “The preparation has been comprehensive, although not without its challenge, including Covid.”
He said the team has remained “nimble and determined” with the plan to “locate and survey Endurance”.
Dr John Shears, expedition leader, said: “I would like to thank the entire team, both those heading to Antarctica and the many in important support functions, for their outstanding work across the past month during the final preparations, which have been suitably thorough, and we leave Cape Town on the S.A. Agulhas II knowing that we have the very best people and technology available to us.
“We are excited to keep the world up to date with progress on this remarkable Antarctic mission.”
Mensun Bound, director of exploration, said: “Embarking on this expedition to locate the wreck of Endurance is incredibly exciting for all who are involved.
“We are very grateful to everyone who has made this possible, and we will do everything in our power to shine further light on this inspiring story.
“We very much hope we can do justice to this magnificent chapter in polar exploration, by capturing images of Shackleton’s iconic Endurance to share with the world.”