A visit to Port Lockroy is one of the highlights of any Antarctic cruise. The Port Lockroy museum features artifacts from early Antarctic exploration including clothing, food rations, and expedition equipment, and the gift shop sells Antarctica-themed clothing, books, posters, and more. One half of Goudier Island is open to visitors, but the other half is reserved entirely for the penguins.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, extra layers, and a small waterproof bag are recommended when leaving the cruise ship for Port Lockroy.
- US Dollars, Pounds, and Euros are accepted at the gift shop and post office.
- Do not feed, touch, or approach the penguins or other Antarctic wildlife and respect the island’s restricted areas.
How to Get There
Port Lockroy is also the name of the natural harbor on the northwestern shore of Wiencke Island. Almost all cruise ships from Ushuaia in Argentina stop at Port Lockroy. Cruise ships dock in the harbor and cruise ship passengers are tendered to the port on zodiac boats.
When to Get There
Port Lockroy can only be visited during the Antarctic summer which runs from November through March. The formation of sea ice the rest of the year prohibits ships from safely reaching Antarctica. Visit December or January for the warmest weather and the best chance of seeing penguin chicks and seal pups. Whale sightings are most likely in February and March.
Port Lockroy’s “Penguin Post Office” is Antarctica’s most visited spot. The post office is literally surrounded by gentoo penguins and travelers can delight in mailing a postcard from the southernmost post office in the world. A staff of four mails over 70,000 postcards each year and the proceeds help fund the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, which funds research and preservation efforts on the island.