Antarctica Museum & Post Office

The most isolated post office in the world!



Experience

Of the roughly 70 bases and research stations in Antarctica, Port Lockroy is one of the few which is open to the public. The public being those fortunate enough to be able to make their way to it, of course.

There are no real ‘cities’ in Antarctica unless you count the massive penguin colonies scattered around the icy continent. The closest thing to a town would be McMurdo Station which can support up to 1250 residents during its peak summer research months. Port Lockroy, like most of the other stations, was much smaller and built to sustain only a few occupants at any one time.

Originally discovered more than a century ago, the harbour in which the base is now located was originally used with the primary purpose of whaling. Sadly, at the time, whaling was one of the most abundant industries in the Antarctic region. There are several places in that general region of Antarctica where you can still find artifacts, tools, ships wrecks and buildings from the whaling era. During World War II, Port Lockroy was converted into a military base for the British Army. It continued to act as a research station up until the mid 60’s when it was finally abandoned.

In 1996, when tourism to Antarctica was only just starting to become a possible reality, Port Lockroy was declared a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty. The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust renovated the base to operate as a Museum and Post Office during the Austral summer months. It has become one of the main tourist attractions for the passenger ships visiting Antarctica, as guests can mail postcards from Antarctica, get a (non-official) stamp in their passport, and get a glimpse into what life is like for those who live in the southern continent. The main building is filled with many old relics, from the original bedding to different canned goods and research equipment. On an island which is covered in cute gentoo penguins, with a nice cove and a natural harbour, this is definitely a highlight of any voyage to Antarctica. Profits from the gift shop go to the upkeep of the site, as well as assisting in funding on the research of the effect of tourism on penguins.

With only 3 staff working there at any one time, you sure better hope you get along with your co-workers. Perhaps bringing them some Sudoku or crosswords would be a nice gesture to help them through the quiet or stormy days.

Back to Top

SEE – Photos & Videos

WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy Base
Port Lockroy Base
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy Bransfield House
Bransfield House
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Gentoo Penguin Landscape
Gentoo Penguin Landscape
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy bunks
Port Lockroy bunks
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy kitchen
Port Lockroy kitchen
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy Communication Centre
Communication Centre
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Port Lockroy gift shop
Port Lockroy gift shop
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Whale Bones
Whalebones resting on the shore
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Penguin Paradise
Penguin Paradise
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Baby Penguins
Baby Penguins
WSE Travel - Antarctica - Gentoo Penguin Stretch
Gentoo Penguin Stretch
WSE Travel - Peekaboo!
Peekaboo!

Back to Top

GO – Getting There

One of the only ways to get to Antarctica (safely) is with an organized passenger vessel. It is a long 2-day journey across the Drake Passage, known as being the roughest ocean waters in the world. This comes with a hefty price tag – but I can guarantee, it is worth every single (insert the smallest denomination of your currency here). If you have any questions about travel to Antarctica, please don’t hesitate to ask!

WSE Travel - Port Lockroy, Antarctica - Map
Port Lockroy, Antarctica – Map

Back to Top

Do – Activities & Attractions

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Stay – Accommodation

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Eat – Restaurants

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Time – Seasonality & Schedules

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Safety – Possible risks

Please Note: Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle and with that, become more susceptible to fall victim to those who try to play off those unfamiliar to their local scams. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Where Sidewalks End travel advises you to travel at your own risk and to be extra aware of your surroundings (without letting it spoiling your time).

Back to Top

Pay – How much does it cost?

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Responsible Travel – Best Practices

Coming Soon!

Back to Top

Reality Check – Be Aware

Of course, given the location, it makes this off the beaten path destination a whole lot more difficult to actually get to than other spots around the globe. Getting here probably won’t be a spontaneous decision of “oh look, we’re in the neighbourhood… let’s go to that post office nearby to mail off our postcards”. Far from it, or anything else for that matter, this is a destination that will most likely come as part of a package on a large polar vessel. That being said, there are still very few who get the opportunity to make this journey, and those who do will not soon forget it! This is a highly recommended destination for anyone brave enough to try it.

Back to Top

JOIN US! WSE Travel Packages

This sounds like quite the adventure, right? We thought so too! Though we realize it can be pretty intimidating to get out there into the world on your own, especially when travelling to some of these off-the-beaten-path locations. We love it when our readers give it a shot and try it for themselves! In fact, please leave us feedback if you do!! If trying something ‘this’ adventurous on your own is just a bit outside of your comfort zone, WSE Travel is here to help!

Follow this link for our ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Tours – packages that are highly personalized and tailored at your request.

Back to Top

Have you ever been on a polar expedition? Have you ever seen snow before? What is the coldest temperature you’ve ever experienced?

Please feel free to share your stories and thoughts in the comment section below!

Like This Post? Pin it for later!

WSE Travel - Antarctica - Baby Penguins
Antarctica – Baby Penguins

8 Responses

    1. In a heart beat.. I’ve actually been trying to devise a way that we CAN go back!! How many penguins do you think it would take to pull a raft across the Drake Passage? 🙂

  1. The journey to get there sounds quite like an adventure, but when I see the pictures I am convinced it is worth it! Great post, now I have a new crazy destination in mind 🙂

    1. Hey Clay! The 2 day journey across the Drake is pretty daunting. Anti Nausea pills seem to be a staple in most people’s diet aboard the ships. This said, the serenity of the sea after finally arriving to Antarctica in incredible (and somewhat eerie in contrast). Well worth the journey! I look forward to hearing about your eventual trip there 🙂

    1. Hi J Clark, thanks for your comment 🙂 you’re probably best to contact the official website to double-check those details to make sure you have the correct information 🙂 you can find their contact page here: http://www.ukaht.org/ – hope that helps! good luck with your school project!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.