A virtual tour through Port Lockroy, the museum (former British station “Base A”) on Goudier Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. The whole tour consists of 12 panoramas, one from any exhibition space of the museum. You can either let it play automatically or you can take a virtual tour from room to room by clicking on the markers in the doors.
Enjoy the virtual tour, we appreciate your feedback – if you like the tour, please forward the link to this page to others who might be interested.
Port Lockroy: virtual tour / panoramic tour
Once you have entered the virtual tour, you can either use the map in the lower left corner to navigate, or the bar at the bottom, or click on symbols within the panos to enter the next one (only if the next location is visible, not always available). Or you can just let it run and it will automatically switch to the next pano after one turnaround. You can switch the sound off (upper right corner) if you wish.
You can also view this virtual tour on iPads and other tablets if they are powerful enough and have an up-to-date systems software. On desktop systems, you can use both HTML5 or Flash.
- Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
- Museum: Entrance
- Museum: Museum Shop
- Museum: Corridor (1)
- Museum: Workshop
- Museum: Corridor (2)
- Museum: Kitchen
- Museum: Radio Room
- Museum: Bunk Room
- Museum: Lounge
- Museum: Science Room
Some additional information about the individual places:
Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
Port Lockroy (64°49,5’S/63°29,6’W) is on Goudier Island, a very small island in a well sheltered natural harbour, surrounded by the glaciers and steep mountains of Wiencke Island. Port Lockroy is actually the name of the bay, but the name is often used referring to the former base, now a well-known, very interesting and charming little museum and a very popular site for visitors.
The station was built as „Base A“ in 1944 as part of the slightly mysterious British „Operation Tabarin“, which was meant to establish a British presence in an area so far unoccupied at a time when German military activities had to be feared. After the war, the bases of Operation Tabarin were turned into research stations, most of which were abandoned during the years to come. Base A was in use until 1962 and started to decay after that.
In 1996, the British Antarctic Heritage Trust (BAHT) took the place into use again by starting a comprehensive renovation and restauration process. The BAHT is now running „Port Lockroy“ very successfully as a museum and post office. Visiting the museum gives tourists a very interesting impression of a station in the 1950s, a time after the „heroic epoch“ but before modern times really came to Antarctica. Sledge dogs were part of every day life during a service period that would often last three years, but satellite-based communication and navigation and other modern technical achievements were unheard of in those days.
Additionally, Goudier Island is home to a colony of very friendly Gentoo penguins, who do appearently not mind the presence of tourists too much as long as they (the tourists) are well behaved. This is confirmed by annual studies carried out by the museum staff: Comparisons of breeding success in the visitor areas near the museum and those further parts of the island that are off limits for tourists do not show a difference. It may even seem the Gentoo penguins are doing better in the visitor area. It has been suggested that the regular presence of humans keeps Skuas away (predatory birds).
No research is done these days on Goudier Island beyond these studies, and the place has lost its status as a station in 1962. It is now a museum and post office and certainly a more interesting, more beautiful and more wildlife-friendly place than any Antarctic station I have seen.
This is where you find the postbox, an item of high importance for most visitors. Emptied every day during the season, but it may take some time before your postcards find their way through Stanley (Falkland Islands) to their destination. Especially if thrown in after the end of season of the museum …
Important: close the door behind you! Once you have got penguins inside, it is difficult to get rid of them again 😉
Museum: Museum Shop
New in 2018: Now we finally have two panoramas to the museum shop. The souvenir shop is highly popular, they have got a lot of nice stuff, and sales support the museum. The „Monroe“ on the door has become quite famous, make sure you don’t miss it.
Museum: Corridor (1)
We continue through the corridor into the museum, passing the workshop.
The workshop is actually not part of the exhibition, as it is still being used. But let’s have a curious look … it is still not too different from what it would have been like in the years following 1944.
Museum: Corridor (2)
Several doors are leading into the various rooms of the former station.
The old kitchen is definitely amongst the highlights of the museum which you shouldn’t miss, with old tins on the shelves which have been there for decades, presenting the concentrated culinary charme of mid-20th century England. 🙂
Museum: Radio Room
The old radio room. Today, a laptop connected to a satellite phone can do more than all this stuff together. There are wild stories about the use of these historic stations, which were not exactly user-friendly. Often, a pedal-driven generator had to be worked for hours before a short message could be sent or received. Disappointment was then great it it turned out to be a message already received the day before, erronously sent twice …
Museum: Bunk Room
Make sure you don’t miss the bunk room. Single rooms were obviously nothing one would have bothered with in those days – remember, Base A was built as part of a military operation. The museum staff had their accommodation here until quite recently (2011), but due to the room climate, this was neither good for the people nor for the conservation of the historic room. When the bunkroom was restaurated and turned back into its original state, several paintings of female stars of those years came out on the walls, similar to the Monroe in the shop.
The lounge has a very English atmosphere, stocked with a small library, bar and gramophone. If you are lucky and there are not too many people around, then you might even hear some 1950’s music with a very original sound, while a young Queen Elizabeth II. and her equally young prince consort are watching you from the wall. Since then, they have changed more than this once quite lively and still very lovely place.
Museum: Science Room
The science room is the furthest and the last one of our little virtual tour. Here, you can see all kinds of research equipment, the latest of its kind in the 1950s. Absolutely modern in those years, but of course only of historical value today. Next to meteorology and surveying, ionospheric studies connected to the transmission of radio waves, from which use could be drawn both for military and civilian purposes, was an important field of work for the scientists.