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Sending letters and parcels to Antarctic stations and ships

When and how mail is delivered to BAS Research Stations and Ships

Mail should normally be sent to Stanley in the Falkland Islands (see addresses below) where it will be collected by the two BAS ships, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton (or occasionally by tourist or Royal Navy ships and aircraft), and delivered to the bases.

BAS ships may also call at other ports in South America or very occasionally South Africa. Depending on the ships’ itineraries, it may be possible to send mail via our agents in other ports of call.

Halley, Rothera and Signy:

Mail is only delivered between October and April (the Antarctic summer).

Bird Island and King Edward Point (KEP):

Mail can be delivered throughout the year, but in the Antarctic winter deliveries will be very sporadic.

RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton

Mail can be delivered throughout the year, but in the UK summer we cannot guarantee when the post will get to the ship.

Ship itineraries

Ship itineraries are provided to let you know when the ships are due to leave ports of call on their way to the bases (usually this will be Stanley in the Falkland Islands). Please check the itineraries so that you post your mail in time to catch the ship on a particular date. We suggest that you write on a regular basis numbering your letters in sequence; this saves any disappointment if you miss one of the departure dates.

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Sending letters and small packages (less than 2kg)

Small packages should contain no more than one or two paperback books, CDs or DVDs, individual magazines or newspapers. Please ensure that you attach a customs declaration, available from the post office, to any small packages you send.

Air Mail usually takes approximately 14 days, and the weight limit is 2kg

Letters and small packages for Halley, Signy, Rothera, Bird Island, KEP and other Antarctic sites:

All letters and small packages to personnel based at Halley, Signy, Rothera, Bird Island and KEP should be sent by Airmail to the appropriate base using the following address:

Contact Name (forename and surname)
NAME OF BASE e.g. Rothera Research Station
British Antarctic Survey
Stanley
Falkland Islands
South Atlantic
FIQQ 1ZZ

Letters and small packages for personnel on RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton

All letters and small packages to personnel based on or travelling aboard the above vessels should usually be sent by Airmail to the following address:

Contact Name (forename and surname)
NAME OF VESSEL e.g. RRS Ernest Shackleton
British Antarctic Survey
Stanley
Falkland Islands
South Atlantic
FIQQ 1ZZ

Mail will be collected from Stanley in the Falkland Islands by the two BAS ships, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton (or occasionally by tourist or Royal Navy ships and aircraft), and delivered to the bases. Please check the itineraries so that you post your mail in time to catch the ship on a particular date.

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Sending parcels (more than 2kgs)

Parcels must be addressed to our agents at the address given below in the ports where RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS James Clark Ross call. Parcels must be sent in time to arrive by the dates given in the itinerary for each of the ships.

PORT STANLEY
Contact Name (forename and surname) and Base/Vessel
British Antarctic Survey
Port Stanley
Falkland Islands
South Atlantic FIQQ 1ZZ

Parcels will be collected from Stanley in the Falkland Islands by the two BAS ships, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton (or occasionally by tourist or Royal Navy ships and aircraft), and delivered to the bases. Please check the itineraries so that you post your mail in time to catch the ship on a particular date.

If possible we consider it best to use the Falkland Islands for parcel post. This is a surface only service (no airmail facility for larger parcels to the Falklands is available) and takes about 12 weeks. It is a tried and reliable route. However the cost of sending parcels can be very high and you pay for the type of service you want — the more expensive the better the service.

Parcel post to any South American country is unreliable at the best of times and parcels do not always get through. You should check with your local Post Office about regulations and delivery times. The system in Uruguay is that parcels are not delivered to the agent; our agents are notified of their arrival at the Post Office and have to collect them. Please, therefore, make sure that you allow plenty of time for parcels to arrive.

You are strongly advised to insure any parcel sent and you can obtain an advice of delivery certificate from the Post Office at the time of posting.

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Sending mail to BAS ships during the UK summer months

During the UK summer months, mail should be sent to BAS Cambridge for forwarding on to either ship.

Contact Name (forename and surname) and Vessel
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
CAMBRIDGE
CB3 0ET
United Kingdom

RRS Ernest Shackleton operates in the North Sea during the summer. RRS James Clark Ross varies what it does each year. It could be on a scientific cruise in the northern hemisphere or being refitted in dry dock.

We are unable to issue an itinerary for the ships during this time as movements may change at short notice. Because of the uncertainty of when they will be in port, we are unable to guarantee when the post will get to the ships.

Friends and family members serving on the ships can be contacted by email and fax during this period.

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