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Landing Spotlight: Port Lockroy

April, 2021 | Excursions, History

Port Lockroy
Expedition Leader Hannah

Port Lockroy is located in a bay on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island just off the Antarctic Peninsula. It is Antarctica’s single most visited landing site, and rightly so with its famous post office and fascinating history. A former British base built in 1944, Port Lockroy was named after Étienne-Auguste-Édouard Lockroy, a politician who funded the expedition that led to the site’s discovery in 1904.

The British base was set up in Port Lockroy in 1944 and remained operational until 1962. The main building, Bransfield House, was constructed in 1944. In 1996, the base was renovated into a museum. The building is open to visitors and you can explore exhibits that provide insight into the original science that was conducted here in the 1950s.

It might be most famously known as the location of the ‘Penguin Post Office’, where visitors can send letters and buy postcards to send through the red mailbox at Bransfield House. It may take weeks (or months) for them to arrive at their destinations, but it’s a special moment for those who travel there and those that receive them. How often does anyone get a postcard from Antarctica?! The funds raised from postcards and the gift shop fund the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT). The UKAHT is a British charity that aims to conserve certain British scientific bases on the Antarctic Peninsula and educate visitors.

As a historic site and monument, Port Lockroy is also a place of scientific interest, with researchers monitoring the local gentoo penguin colony and their breeding habits since 1996.

Interested in sending a postcard from the Penguin Post Office and visiting this amazing place? please speak with our team. Once you are onboard, your Expedition Leader will work with the crew and if weather and planning allow, you may be lucky enough to visit this wondrous place.