Port Lockroy

Overview

Introduction

Located on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, this former British research station (Station A) was established during World War II and had a continuous presence through 1962. During the early years before the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, it was more important for nations with territorial interest in Antarctica to maintain a presence if any territorial claim was to be asserted.

Now, this former research station is only staffed in the Antarctic summer as a tourist stop for cruise ships. The station hut has been preserved as a museum with artifacts left over from the ionosphere research conducted there in the 1950s.

The hut is also a Royal Mail Post Office, where tourists can send postcards from Antarctica. Postcards are carried, often by another cruise ship, to South America and then on to the U.K. for processing and distribution all around the world. The Royal Mail Post Office also operates a small gift shop; proceeds go to the Antarctica Heritage Trust.

The post office shares its tiny spit of land with a gentoo penguin colony of around 1,000 birds. It was the subject of a BBC documentary film called Penguin Post Office.

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