Port Lockroy, Antarctica
One of the few ports of call on most Antarctic peninsula cruises is Port Lockroy, a former British military base that was a research station until 1962. It’s also said to have been a decoy during WWII to distract the Germans from the fact that the British had cracked the Enigma coding machine. Today, the base stands as a tourist outpost in a land that’s so unlike anything on Earth, it may as well be on another planet.
What We Love
Sending Letters From Antarctica: The site's "Station A" building was restored to its original condition and now serves as a museum and a working Post Office operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust. And yes, you can send mail from Antarctica — and have your passport stamped if you’d like.
Best Known For
The Iconic Red “Station A”: You can’t miss this cabin — literally one of the only buildings on the rocky outcrop known as Goudier Island — which can be seen through the fog and haze even in low visibility.
Penguins: Roughly half the island can be explored by the 18,000 tourists who come here by ship annually, but the rest of the island is reserved exclusively for penguins. You’re not allowed to approach the animals, but if you sit still and wait, they’ll come waddling right up to you.
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Who It's Best For
Polar Nuts: A home at the edge of the world, Port Lockroy is one of only a few settlements on the famously harsh "White Continent.”
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Weather Changes Instantly: Fog and ice can sometimes make tendering here practically impossible, so don’t absolutely count on being able to visit — even if the port is listed on your printed itinerary. In Antarctica, everything is subject to change.
Aaron Saunders is a Calgary-based contributor to ShermansCruise.com.