This morning our guests aboard National Geographic Explorer visited Port Lockroy, which was originally used as a sheltered anchorage by whalers in the early 1900s. The site was established as Base A by the British in 1944 as part of a secret wartime initiative code named Operation Tabarin, which was to monitor German shipping movements during World War II. The station continued operating in a postwar civilian capacity until it ceased operations in 1964.
As our guests departed the ship via Zodiacs, they were pleasantly greeted by sunny weather, warm Lockroy volunteers, and rusty historical remains of the whaling days. Our site for the morning had been recently restored and is now open to visitors as a museum, gift shop, and post office.
Once on shore, expedition guides provided a short hike to a local gentoo colony at Jugala Point and helped with directions to the local gift shop, where the only functioning post office in Antarctica gave the guests the opportunity to write loved ones back home. Curious guests walked the halls of the enlightening museum, helped by the guides.
Our afternoon was spent at the spectacular location of Neko Harbor. Surrounded by gentoo penguins, nesting skuas, and cloudless skies, we were able to hike to an incredible vantage point of a nearby glacier, from where we had the rare view of Mount Francis gleaming in the distance towards the horizon.
After dinner, we discovered our amazing day wasn’t over just yet. Our adventurous leader Lucho and legendary Captain Oliver brought the ship to the world-famous and breathtaking Lemaire Channel for an unforgettable sunset cruise to round off this incredible day.