The "World Discoverer" was a specialist eco-tourism vessel which specialised in taking small parties to the Antarctic during the Austral summer mainly from South American ports to the Antarctic Peninsula region. The 3,153 tons vessel was operated by a German crew and registered in Liberia.
DISCOVERER 1 1999 (November 22nd) postcard posted at Punta Arenas Southern Chile US$4
Note: The postcard above is shown with the picture side at left. At right can be seen the address side which has two ship's cachets including one in German detailing that the vessel was on a cruise to the Antarctic, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Punta Arenas is on the Magellan Strait and along with nearby Ushuaia in Southern Argentina is the main port of departure for the "World Discoverer". The chilean stamp is a $360 value issued for Alexander Humboldt and shows antarctic penguins.
DISCOVERER 2 1999 (November 22nd) envelope posted at Punta Arenas Southern Chile US$4
Note: The cover above has two ships cachets and also the Chilean boxed "Linea Rapida" cachet of Punta Arenas for the "X11 Region de Magallanes y Antartica Chilena".
DISCOVERER 3 1999 (November 22nd) envelope posted at Punta Arenas Southern Chile US$6
Note: This cover bears the special cachet of the Captain of the "World Discoverer" and is personally signed by the captain "Karl-Ulrich Lampe".
This photo shows the "World Discoverer" about to tie up at Punta Arenas on the 22nd November, the day that the items above were posted.
DISCOVERER 4 1999 (December 20th) envelope posted at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands US$5
Note: The "World Discoverer" had arrived in Port Stanley on the 19th of December but as it was a Sunday the mail from the vessel was not postmarked until the following day.
DISCOVERER 5 2000 (January 15th) Envelope from Vernadsky Base posted at Ushuaia. US$5
Note: the cover above bears at bottom center the "MS WORLD DISCOVERER" cachet without lines applied in black. It comes from the Ukrainian Antarctic Base Vernadsky as shown by the cachet at top left in red.
The view at right showsVernadsky Base.
DISCOVERER 6 2000 (January 15th) Envelope from Vernadsky Base posted at Ushuaia. US$5
Note: This cover differs from the previous one by having the alternative "MS WORLD DISCOVERER" cachet which has lines above and below the vessel's name.
DISCOVERER 7 2000 (January 15th) Envelope from Palmer Station posted paquebot at Ushuaia. US$5
N.B. The above covers originates from the American Palmer Station on Anvers Island and has US stamps which have been posted paquebot on arrival at Ushuaia. The cover is backstamped at Christchurch 24th January 2000
DISCOVERER 8 2000 (January 15th) Envelope posted paquebot at Ushuaia. US$5
Note: this cover has a Falkland Islands stamp and has been treated as Paquebot mail on arrival at Ushuaia. It is backstamped at Christchurch on 1st February, 2000.
These three photos show the "World Discoverer" berthed at Ushuaia on the 15th January, 2000, the same day the previous 4 covers were posted.
The other vessel in the photo at top left is the "Bremen" while the view at right shows the city of Ushuaia under the bows of the "World Discoverer"
During the Antarctic off season the "World Discoverer" operated a number of adventure cruises to small isolated islands and in April 2000 this saw her demise when in the Solomon Islands (Central Pacific) the vessel hit an unchartered coral outcrop and had to be run ashore on a nearby beach to save her from sinking. All passengers and crew got off safely and plans were made for refloating the vessel. However a local tribal uprising saw the vessel subsequently "trashed" and eventually the "World Discoverer" was declared a total loss.
We have for sale the following postcards produced in limited edition print run of 500 cards only
DISCOVERER 9 Picture Postcard (Unused) showing vessel at Whalers' Bay, Deception Island. US$2
Note: Deception island is in the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula.
DISCOVERER 10 Picture Postcard (Unused) showing vessel off Deception Island. US$2
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