Saturday, March 24, 2018

TAAF, Dumont d'Urville

The stamps are from last year. They commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formation of the EPF:
Expéditions polaires françaises. It was established in 1947 after Paul-Émile Victor convinced the French government to fund expeditions to Greenland and the Antarctic. The EPF was succeeded by the French Polar Institute Paul-Émile Victor, IPEV, in 1992.


Bummer Boy said...


Just wanted to know which stamps should I should use and where to buy them from for the following countries' antarctic bases:
- Brazil
- Chile
- Germany
- South Africa
- United States
- Uruguay
- Bulgaria

I also wanted to know where to find international shipping rates for all the countries (to the United Arab Emirates). Are there any ways to obtain covers from the Arctic (non-Christmas)?

Thanks a Lot

Jeff said...

Depends on the country. I usually use Ebay for stamps from places I don't normally collect. You pay a premium but that's just the way it is. Sometimes I trade with others. And for some places I buy stamps from philatelic bureaus. But for the countries in that list, I would need to use Ebay.

As for shipping rates, you should be able to find them on the websites of the postal administrations for those countries. Google translate helps. I've seen attempts at lists for postal rates but they're always out of date.

There are lots of post office above the Arctic Circle, in Canada, US, Greenland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. Also a number of Arctic research stations in Ny-Ålesund in Svalvard, Norway. There is a post office there. If you can find addresses for those bases, someone there might be willing to return a cover to you. I've been lucky just sending mail to the base managers, listing the base name and just:

N-9173 Ny-Ålesund,

Almost all of the bases in Ny-Ålesund are staffed only during the summer months.

The Netherlands operates a base in Ny-Ålesund and they will return covers to you. See their website:

Netherlands Arctic Station,
P.O.Box 1,
N-9173 Ny-Ålesund,

In Canada, the northern-most post office is at the Eureka Weather Station. They have a special postmark:

Eureka Post Office
Eureka Weather Station
Eureka NU
X0A 0G0

Heimer said...


The Netherlands Arctic Station has a new address now. They haven't updated it from their website. It's

Nederlands Arctic Station
Postboks 0
N-9173 Ny-Ålesund,

Aside from that, great blog! Your Antarctic covers are always a great feature of it.

Jeff said...

Thank you for pointing that out! I was planning to write to them again this summer. Glad you like the blog :)

Bummer Boy said...

Thanks a Lot for your help, your blog has been very helpful for me.

Bummer Boy said...

Do you know any recent Canadian Stamps with a Polar/Ice design? Norway Stamps?

Jeff said...

No recent Canadian stamps. In February, Norway issued a pair of stamps of a penguin and a seal from Bouvet Island: a sub-antarctic island claimed by Norway.

Bummer Boy said...

Thanks for Your help! By the way, do you have any advice on what to put in the letters sent to the post offices?

Jeff said...

What to write in the letter... depends on where it's going I guess. You can ask that they apply philatelic stamps and other related markings to the envelope but if it's just a post office they likely won't have anything like that.

You can tell them you collect covers sent back to you from the polar regions. If I'm looking for a specific postmark I ask for it and include an image of that postmark in my letter. Sometimes I put a small X in pencil on the cover to mark where I want the postmark applied and I mention this in the letter. But I rarely do this.

I *ALWAYS* say please and thank them at the end of the letter.

I always send my requests in English but I used to include a poorly translated paragraph as well, making the same request in whatever language would be used by personnel at the base. I really don't think that's necessary though. For Norway and Canada, and most other places, English is fine.

Something to keep in mind about pictures of covers people post to groups on the internet: some are sent back from research teams working at these bases. They may include hand stamps and other markings related to their research. And the people receiving the covers may have been part of a group effort working in co-operation with someone on a research team to prepare the covers. I have received some covers this way. Making a request to a station leader will not always get you a cover filled with these markings. But that depends on the station and the person answering you request.