What is the largest base in Antarctica
Well-known research stations in the Antarctic
A visit that you will never forget
Life in an Antarctic research station can be a challenge: the crew not only has to cope with the harsh polar nature, but also with incredible isolation and extreme social conditions. As a rule, applicants therefore have to pass a comprehensive psychological examination.
Fortunately, you don't stay on site for six months or even a year: you can just go and get an Antarctic cruise with Poseidon Expeditions
such an impression of life in a research station. Most of our expedition cruises include at least one station visit. Here are some of the most famous research stations to explore on your trip to the Antarctic Peninsula:
The Bellingshausen station is on King George Island, the largest of the southern Shetland Islands. The Soviet Union built this year-round station in 1968 and named it after Fabian von Bellingshausen, an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy. He led the expedition that discovered Antarctica in 1820. The Russian station consists of 15 silver and red buildings on stilts. Up to 40 people live here in summer and only 13 in winter. Compared to some other Antarctic research stations, Bellingshausen is less isolated: Various other stations are within walking distance along Maxwell Bay. These include Chile's extensive "Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva" and China's "Great Wall Station". The Trinity Church is located on the grounds of the Bellingshausen Station, making it the most southeastern Orthodox church in the world. The beautiful 15-meter-high wooden church was built in the traditional Russian style, complete with onion domes and hand-painted icons. Since its inauguration in 2004, it has been permanently cared for by a local priest.
Port Lockroy (United Kingdom)
The former whaling port and former British outpost "Base A" is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Antarctica. The United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust operates a well-stocked souvenir shop, post office and museum in the wonderfully restored Bransfield House on Goudier Island. The souvenirs can be paid for by credit card and US dollars, and the proceeds go to the museum and the preservation of other historic British sites in Antarctica. Only during the summer do three to four employees live in the station and share the tiny island with around 1,600 gentoo penguins. In order not to overload the Bransfield House with visitors, excursions are often combined with landings at nearby Jougla Point. Blue-eyed South Georgian shags nest here and, in addition to many gentoo penguins, you can also see a complete whale skeleton.
Vernadsky Station (Ukraine)
Named after the first President of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Vernadsky Station is located on Galindez Island, Argentine Islands. The station was originally established by the United Kingdom in 1947 and transferred to Ukraine in 1996 for the symbolic price of one pound. Regular measurements show that the mean annual temperature in this part of Antarctica has risen by around 2.5 ° C since the beginning. The Vernadski station consists of nine buildings and can accommodate up to 24 people. On the upper floor of the main building, visitors will find a library, a souvenir shop and a lounge decorated with flags and photos of neighboring stations and ships. With darts or billiards and the wonderful carved bar you can relax here. The Wordie House is also located on a neighboring island. The historic building was restored in the early 1950s and furnished with antiques such as Tilley lamps, old radios and sacks of coal.
Like everything in Antarctica, station visits also depend on the respective ice and weather conditions. When visiting a research station, please also remember that this is people's living and working space. A respectful and open attitude clears the view for the opportunities and challenges of Antarctic life.
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