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.
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 $
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
Most Army Disposal or Sporting specialist type stores.
What to buy: Hiking Stick, Mittens, Gloves, Hats, Wet Weather gear, warm clothing. Do I really need to tell you? Maybe not! But still, just shop out of season. If you are going to the Antarctic next season (November to February) do your shopping now, during summer, or once the winter is over. Every warm, wooly or water resistant thing you need, is always cheaper out of season. Expect to pay half of what you usually would.
What to pay: Less than usual/half price.
In Melbourne, Australia.
Not sure about other States, or overseas, but there's probably similar everywhere!
This is an 'upmarket' Second hand Super store, think classy Salvo's! My best friend recommended it to me and boy was she right!
What to buy: At Savers, I found the following items I needed: (All in Australian Dollars)
Ski overalls ($12) Goretex Jacket ($12) Hiking boots ($12) Scarf ($1)
What to pay: I budgeted $500 for everything I would probably need, but as you can see, some of the most important things cost me a total of $37!
As far as I heard, they do have a small shop at Arctowski Base as well. I was only told by other passengers, because the landing was cancelled after the second group was there because of bad weather conditions....
We did get a stamp in our passport, though - which is the most unusual souvenir of all!!!
The only "shop" that I got to see was at Port Lockroy. This is a closed down military base, that has now reopened as a museum.
They do have badges, T-shirts and little souvenirs like that, plus they have the only post office in Antarctica!!!
Unfortunately the shop was not opened for the season, when we were there in November, the staff was expected to come on December 15, 2003 - so no shopping for me!!!
King Edward Point, South Georgia shoot of the post office at King Edward Point, South Georgia.
All new stamp issues together with First Day Covers for the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands, and the Falkland Islands are obtainable from Sovereign Stamps, the retail arm of the Britsh Crown Agents Stamp Bureau.
Crown Agents Stamp Bureau
Old Inn House
2 Carshalton Road
Surrey SM1 4RN
Stamps may be ordered on-line from Sovereign Stamps.
Mint stamps, first day covers, and information are also available from:
The Philatelic Bureau