Port Lockroy

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The abandoned British base at Port Lockroy, 1962.
Goudier Island in 2014.
The base has been renovated into a museum.
Food rations on display at the museum.

Port Lockroy is a bay forming a natural harbour on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island in the Palmer Archipelago in front of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Antarctic base with the same name, situated on Goudier Island in this bay, includes the most southerly operational post office in the world.


The bay was discovered in 1904 and named after Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies, who assisted Jean-Baptiste Charcot in obtaining government funding for his French Antarctic Expedition. The harbour was used for whaling between 1911 and 1931. During World War II, the British military Operation Tabarin established the Port Lockroy Station A on tiny Goudier Island in the bay, which continued to operate as a British research station until January 16, 1962.[1]

In 1996, the Port Lockroy base was renovated and is now a museum and post office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust.

It is one of the most popular tourist destinations for cruise-ship passengers in Antarctica. Proceeds from the small souvenir shop fund the maintenance of the site and other historic sites and monuments in Antarctica.[2] The Trust collects data for the British Antarctic Survey to observe the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. A staff of four typically process 70,000 pieces of mail sent by 18,000 visitors that arrive during the five month Antarctic cruise season.[3][4][5] A souvenir passport stamp is also offered to visitors.[6]

Historic site[edit]

The historic importance of the site relates to both its establishment as an Operation Tabarin base in 1944, and for the scientific work performed there, including the first measurements of the ionosphere, and the first recording of an atmospheric whistler (electronic waves), from Antarctica. It was also a key monitoring site during the International Geophysical Year (1957). The site has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 61), following a proposal by the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Station A British Antarctic Survey
  2. ^ "Port Lockroy Station". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  3. ^ Peterson, Kim (2015-02-18). "Wanted: Postmaster at the end of the world". CBS News.
  4. ^ "Penguin Post Office". Nature. Season 33. Episode 9. 2015-01-28. PBS.
  5. ^ Schernthanner, Liesl (2015-01-21). "What It's Like to Live and Work Among Antarctic Penguins". PBS.
  6. ^ "Penguins and Postcards in Port Lockroy, Antarctica". Archived from the original on 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2016-06-26.
  7. ^ "List of Historic Sites and Monuments approved by the ATCM (2012)" (PDF). Antarctic Treaty Secretariat. 2012. Retrieved 2014-01-04.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 64°49′31″S 63°29′40″W / 64.82528°S 63.49444°W / -64.82528; -63.49444