King George island
Visited for the wide range of wildlife to be seen.
Rating: * *

Why Visit?

To visit Poland’s Arctowski station and to see the small colony of Adélie penguins nearby – as well as Chinstrap penguins.

Where is it?

It’s the large bay on the SE side of King George Island.


The landing at Arctowski can be very exposed.


Lichens and grasses make Point Thomas an attractive spot; the main wildlife attractions are the Adelie penguin and Chinstrap penguins, but Elephant seals and Weddell seals, as well as Leopard seals and fur seals later in the season, are also likely to be spotted.

Geography, History and Human activities

Admiralty Bay is the largest harbor in the South Shetlands, extending over 122 square kilometers (47 sq miles) and reaching depths of more than 500 meters (1,640 ft). Named by Captain George Powell in 1822, this expansive anchorage was used by whalers in the early twentieth century—icebreakers are never required to gain entry to it. Since 1996 the whole of Admiralty Bay has been an Antarctic Specially Managed Area.

Base G, the first permanent base on King George Island, was built by the British in 1947 at Keller Peninsula. Later the same summer, the Argentinians set up a hut 25 meters (80 ft) away and used it periodically. Base G closed in 1961 and was removed in 1996; only its foundations remain. Meanwhile, Brazil built Comandante Ferraz station nearby in 1984 with living quarters for 13 in winter and 25 during summer. There are Ecuadorian, Peruvian and United States summer stations here, too—the American station, quaintly known as Copacabana, lies within a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and is thus out of bounds. Polish Arctowski station, named after Henryk Arctowski, the geologist on board the Belgica, has operated at Point Thomas since 1977. Upgraded in 1998, it can accommodate up to 14 expeditioners in winter and 20 in summer.

Photos, Voting and more coming soon!

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