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Both McMurdo and Scott bases have a souvenir shop. The photo shows you examples. Postcards, clothes (T-shirts, sweaters, caps, hats, gloves), magnets, mugs, wine and shot glasses, stationary, calendars... typical souvenir shop stuffs! Only at Scott base are there bottles of wine from New Zealand with an Antarctica label (see photo). The McMurdo store has all sorts of other more practical goods like a small American pharmacy, plus alcohol (limited choice: American and New Zealand cheap wine, Glenlivet whiskey, Kahlua, Baileys, Sailor Jerry rum, margarita mix are the ones I remember). You can pay cash or credit card.
Although I have never been to South Pole (Amundsen-Scott station), I know there is a souvenir shop there too. They take only cash.
McMurdo staff sometimes organizes fairs where "locals" sell their handmade goods. This generally takes place in the cafeteria a few times during the summer season. Lots of cool stuffs, and unique: hand knit hats, custom-made magnets and T-shirts, ... Fun atmosphere!
Finally there is a Wells Fargo ATM in McMurdo (also in the blue building).
What to pay: T-shirts are $15 or more, sweat-shirts are more. Average prices for the US.
Updated Feb 21, 2013
Port Lockroy has its own british postoffice and that postoffice is inside the well-sorted souvenirshop of the British Antarctical Thrust, who had rebuilt that station again and runs it more as a heritage-site than a real research-station.
This place is british, BUT only US $ are accepted in the shop and postoffice !
What to buy: They have lots of great books, postcards, T-shirts, fridge-magnets etc. but their most favorite souvenir are the local stamps of course, because you will get them only on this small island inhabited by these 3 people working for the thrust.
What to pay: 2 US $ is what you pay for each stamp, no matter where you send your postcards, the great postcards will also cost 2 US $
Updated Jul 31, 2012
Inside of the Ukrainian Research-station Vernadsky Point you will find the southernmost souvenirshop on earth, it is quite small and you will find it in the 1st floor (USA: 2nd floor) of the mainbuilding of the scientific station.
What to buy: The shop offers some badges, handmade clothings,and even a Matrioska Doll made like a penguin. That was 70 US $ and I did not want to spend so much money, although it looked quite nice.
A funny souvenir might be also the shirt that had lots of stamps of various antactic stations on it. These guys in Vernadsky obviously have a lot of time besides of their jobs and have to search for some way to make some extra money.
Updated Jul 31, 2012
Internet shopping - you don't need to be in the Antarctic.
What to buy: In 2004, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Mawson Station in February 1954, the Australian (Perth) Mint issued a very limited edition of a special $1 coin. The total production run was limited to 7500 and they were made available only as high quality proof coins. The coins are 1oz of 99.9% pure silver with colour incorporated into the reverse side. They are 40mm across and come in a sealed clear plastic container, itself within a velvet lined metal case, that in a cardboard box (second photo). Now that’s packing! The coins come accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity and (to the best of my knowledge) are the first 'Antarctic' coins issued anywhere.
It seems the initial “Mawson Commemorative” coins were so popular that further 'Antarctic' coins have been produced in 2005 (a leopard seal and pup) and 2006 (Edgeworth David Station). The following website is for the official sales outlet for the Perth Mint, where the coins can be ordered, though they may sometimes be found on Ebay, where I obtained mine. You will need to scroll down the webpage in the link to find the 2004 coin.
What to pay: The price of the 2004 Mawson coin has doubled since its initial release to a current $150A.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Where there is a tourist--a souvenir shop will follow-- true even for Antarctic souvenirs
The Chilean President Frei Base and their neighbor the Russian Bellinghausen Station and more South, the Great Wall Chinese Base, all have a place to buy souvenirs.
T shirts, hats, cups, stamps.
I now am a proud owner of the Chile Antarctic flag for my bedroom.
What to buy: a beautiful photo, post card to mail from Antarctica. or Antartica t shirts in Spanish Russian or Chinese. I found you could use dollars to pay for things at every one of the country's bases which made it easy also euros are welcome.
If you like to collect passport stamps like I do you also get your passport stamped (free) at all the bases which is great. It seems some countries still claim part of the Antarctica and like to thing things like passport stamps and postage stamps make the land claim more valid.
And, you can send a card or letter from say the Chile Antarctica, Russian Antarctica or Britsh Antarctica. You should send a card to VT for the wall had I only known.
What to pay: Oh about $10.85
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Chile Antarctic Research Station shop Frei Base
The Vernadsky Station (a Ukrainian research station) also has a small gift shop. Selection is more limited than at Port Lockroy, but you might find a treasure. There are some items from the Ukraine as well as Antarctica merchandise.
Written Dec 14, 2009
Address: Vernadsky Station, Antarctica
Port Lockroy is now a Historic Site and museum, and the gift shop is run by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Profits from the gift shop go toward upkeep of the site.
What to buy: They had a good variety of souvenir items for sale. I got a great penguin mug and a Port Lockroy cloth tote bag.
There is a post office, and you can mail a postcard to anywhere for $2. Send one to yourself too.
What to pay: Prices were fairly high, but where else can you say "I picked this up in Antarctica." (and it was cheaper than the ship's gift shop!" The tote bag was $10, and I think I paid @ $15 for the mug. Everything is in U.S. dollars, and you need them.
Updated Dec 14, 2009
Address: Port Lockroy, Antarctica
Shopping onboard the ship and at base stations can be very expensive, so pack well and be prepared for the weather conditions ahead of time. (Refer to my other Packing Tips regarding appropriate clothing)
My one regret was not buying the postcards onboard the Orlova. Instead, I waited until we landed at Port Lockroy, the British base station but their postcard collection is much more limited and are the same price. So buy your postcards and stamps beforehand, write them all and all you have to do is pop them in the red mail box at Lockroy. Now all you have to do is start the Amazing Antarctic Postcard Race by telling your family/friends to notify you as soon as their postcards arrive! (Anywhere between 2 weeks to 8 months!)
Updated Mar 5, 2009
The only shops on my trip(excluding the Falklands) were the Ship's Shop, Port Lockroy Post Office and Grytviken Museum Shop.
Ship's Shop sells a good variety of clothing items, souvenirs, soaps toothpaste etc also large bottles of water approx £2 handy for your cabin.
Port Lockroy Post Office sells good quality clothing, fluffy penguins, maps, souvenirs etc not cheap but proceeds go to the restoration of buildings in the area.
Grytviken Museum similar also sells stamps as combines the post office with the Museum.
Great fun shopping in the middle of nowhere.
What to buy: Postcards to get franked and sent home, they arrive a month or so after you.
Port Lockroy fluffy gentoo penguins.
What to pay: Fairly expensive but goods have to travel vast distances for you to buy them justifying the cost.
Written Apr 19, 2008
MS Explorer has a mall souvenir store.
You can get T-Shirts, pullovers, fleeces...etc. with the Explorer logo.
Postcards are available (but you can get nicer ones in Ushuaia)
and so are maps (very popular) and books.
The ship store does not sell stamps nor does it have a post office (makes sense)
Also, they don't sell convertes...memory cards...and such....
The bar (besides drinks) sells - Snickers and Bounty ($1 usd) and Toblorone (4$ usd)
If you want munchies - Ushuaia has the best chocolate of South America (mmm, they do).
What to buy: Postcards.
What to pay: ...it's Antarctica.
Updated Mar 14, 2007