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The "Italica" has served as the main Expedition vessel for the Italian national Antarctic research programme since the V1th Expedition in the 1990-91 season. It is ice strengthened and each year carries south a number of helicopters as deck cargo. It calls into Lyttelton (Christchurch's port) both on the way south and north to exchange cargo and personnel with the Italian Antarctic base depot at Christchurch Airport.

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ITALICA 1  1999 Ross Paquebot envelope with "Italica"  X1V Expedition cachet etc.   US$5

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ITALICA 2   1999 Polarogramme featuring "Italica"  in the ice with Paquebot cancellation.   US$8

Note: The above and below items have at left the rarely seen ships cachet held under lock and key by the "Italica's" Captain. This is not normally found on Expedition or philatelic mail and is only obtained by a personal approach to the Captain who will apply it himself.

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ITALICA 3  1999 Polarogramme with Australian/AAT stamps and "Italica" cachets.   US$8

Note: The "Italica" had called into Hobart prior to arriving in Lyttelton to pick up supplies for the French Antarctic Base at Dome C which they share with the Italians. Vessels arriving in New Zealand are accorded Paquebot privileges at their first port of call entitling them to use stamps of their Country of Registry or their last Country (Port) of call.


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Rear view of Italica berthed in Lyttelton

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Italica being escorted by tug out of the outer harbour at Lyttelton on her way to the Antarctic.

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ITALICA 4  1999 Paquebot cover with Cape Roberts Programme and "Italica" cachets.   US$5

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This photo shows "Italica" berthed in the inner harbour at Lyttelton in February 1999 after her return from Terra Nova Bay.

**************  1999-2000 SEASON   ( XV EXPEDITION)   **************

pointer.gif (216 bytes) To see photos and read about the "Italica's" 1999-2000 Antarctic Expedition click here 

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ITALICA 5  1999 (December 31st) Postcard with ships cachet and cachet of Italian XV Expedition   US$5

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Note: The picture at left is the view side of the postcard offered above.

It shows construction of the Italian/French joint base at Dome C called "Concordia".

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ITALICA 6  1999 (December 31st) Postcard with ships cachet and cachet of Italian XV Expedition   US$8

Note: The above postcard after postmarking was carried on board the "Italica" from Lyttelton to Terra Nova Bay where it was cacheted at the base and then returned on the return voyage to Lyttelton.

Note: The "Italica" returned to Lyttelton from Terra Nova Bay on the 23rd of February and the above polarogramme has been posted on ther ships arrival. It has an Italian Expedition sticker on the reverse.

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The view at left shows the main Italian Antarctic Base at Terra Nova Bay.

This view has been taken in summer after most of the snow has melted.

2000-2001 SEASON

This season the "Italica" arrived at Hobart on December 27th, 2000 to offload supplies for trans-shipment via the French "L'Astrolabe" to the joint French-Italian "Concordia"  Base. After two days in Hobart the "Italica" left for Lyttelton arriving in the early hours of 2nd January 2001 after a stormy trans-Tasman crossing. She took on board considerable supplies in Lyttelton plus her scientific party and left for Terra Nova Bay in the Ross Sea in Antarctica on the 5th of January.  She will return to Lyttelton on 27th February. Click here to see photos of her 2001 visit to Lyttelton.

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ITALICA 7  2000 (December 28th) Paquebot cover from Hobart, Tasmania.  US$5

Note: the "Italica" called into Hobart on 27th and 28th of December mainly to offload supplies for Concordia Base which would be taken to Dumont D'Urville  by the French vessel "L'Astrolabe". Following a rough trans-Tasman voyage the "Italica" arrived at Lyttelton in the early hours of the 2nd of January, 2001.

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ITALICA 8  2001 (January 4th) Paquebot cover from Lyttelton.  US$5

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Picture side showing Weddell Seal & penguins

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Postcard side with 3 Italian Expedition cachets

ITALICA 9  2001 (January 4th) Paquebot postcard posted from Lyttelton.  US$5

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ITALICA 10  2001 (January 5th) Autographed envelope posted from Lyttelton.  US$8


Note: The above cover has been signed by both the Expedition secretary Angela Campagnoli and the scientific programme leader Doctor Andrea Pellegrini.

The Expedition Secretary Angela Campagnoli is shown at right in her office on board the "Italica" autographing covers. Dr Andrea Pellegrini can be seen in our other Italica visit photos here.

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Postcard side with 2 signatures

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Picture side showing sea lion

ITALICA 11  2001 (January 5th) Autographed picture postcard posted from Lyttelton.  US$8

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ITALICA 12  2001 (February 28th) Postcard from Terra Nova Base postmarked Paquebot.  US$8

Note: The above postcard was posted in Christchurch when  "Italica" returned from Terra Nova Bay to Lyttelton.

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ITALICA 13  2001 (December 19th) Paquebot postcard posted at Lyttelton.  US$5

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Note: this postcard bears an Australian stamp because "Italica" had just arrived from Hobart in Tasmania where she had off-loaded cargo for the French Dumont D'Urville Base for the overland traverse to the joint French/Italian Concordia Station.

The picture of the "Italica" at left at Lyttelton was taken on the 19th December, 2001.

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ITALICA 14  2001 (December 19th) Postcard posted Paquebot  at Christchurch.  US$8

Note: This postcard has an australian stamp and is correctly posted Paquebot in Christchurch which is the nearest Paquebot Post office to Lyttelton.

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ITALICA 15  2001 (December 19th) Postcard posted at Lyttelton with New Zealand Penguin stamp.  US$5

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ITALICA 16  2002 (February 28th) Envelope from Terra Nova Bay.  US$5

Note: This envelope bearing a Ross Dependency stamp was brought back on board the "Italica" and posted at the Ross Dependency Agency in Christchurch.

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ITALICA 17  2002 (February 28th) Envelope from Carbonant Expedition.  US$5

Note: The "Carbonant" Expedition was a research project taking Ocean floor sampling in the Ross Sea to help understand the sea bed marine ecosystem. It involved the "Italica" for a number of weeks. The envelope has been posted when the vessel returned to Lyttelton through the Ross Dependency Agency.

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ITALICA 18  2002 (February 28th) Signed Envelope from Carbonant Expedition.  US$8

Note: Charles P. Hart who designed the Carbonant cachet and who has signed the envelope was one of the co- leaders of this project. He is an American marine biologist.

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ITALICA 19  2002 (February 28th) Polarogramme from Italica to the South Pole.  US$8

Note: the above polarogramme was posted through the Ross Dependency Christchurch Agency and has been cacheted (undated) on arrival at the South Pole.

The view at right shows the "Italica" working with a New Zealand helicopter.

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ITALICA 20  2003 (March 6th) Signed Envelope from Terra Nova Bay.  US$8

Note: We have a variety of expedition member signatures on these envelopes which the expedition brought back on board the "Italica". The postage stamp used was issued by a approved New Zealand alternative postal issuer called "Posties Choice".

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ITALICA 21  2004 (March 5th) Envelope from Terra Nova Bay with various cachets.  US$5

Note: This has been posted through the Ross Agency in Christchurch the same day the vessel returned to Lyttelton.

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ITALICA 22  2004 (March 5th) Paquebot envelope from Terra Nova Bay.  US$8

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ITALICA 23  2004 (March 5th) "BIO ROSS" envelope from the Ross Sea.  US$5

Note: the Bio-Ross programme was a joint New Zealand and Italian project to both map and sample the marine life in both the Ross Sea and in the area around the nearby Balleny Islands. It involved the "Italica" and the New Zealand vessel "Tangaroa" with several scientists from each nation working on each others vessel. The Project discoverd several new marine species. The Italica is pictured at right working on Bio-Ross.

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"Italica" back in Lyttelton on 5th March, 2004

**** 2004-05 SEASON  XX SPEDIZIONE ****

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The "Italica" arrived at Lyttelton on December 27th, 2004 to start the XX Spedizione or 20th Italian Antarctic Programme Season.

The vessel is shown above and at right arriving in lyttelton on 27th December, 2004.

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ITALICA 24  2004 (December 27th) Special Italica postcard posted at Lyttelton.  US$8

Note: the above postcard bears a New Zealand Post DIY $1.50 postage stamp featuring the "Italica". The postcard is backstamped on arrival in Chile on 14 January, 2005. Note the new XX Spedizione circular cachet as well as the new style map type cachet applied in green at top left.

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ITALICA 25  2004 Booklet with pane of 6 Italica $1.50 DIY stamps unused.  US$12

Note: the above booklet stamps are fully postally valid and can be posted in any NZ Post letterbox. They pay airmail postage for a postcard to anywhere in the world.

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ITALICA 26  2004 (December 27th) Postcard posted at Lyttelton with special DIY stamp.  US$8

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The above picture is the view side of the previous item. It shows Lyttelton Harbour with the Italian Expedition ship "Italica" in the centre being assisted to her berth by 2 tugboats.

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ITALICA 27  2004 (December 27th) Postcard posted at Lyttelton with 90 cent Antarctic stamp.  US$5

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ITALICA 28  2005 (February 7th) Postcard from Mario Zucchelli Station with special DIY stamp.  US$8

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ITALICA 29  2005 (February 28th) Postcard from Italica with special DIY stamp.  US$8

Note: the above postcard has been posted in Christchurch on 28 February, 2005, the first business day after the vessel returned from the Antarctic. The red cachet belongs to the ship's captain.

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ITALICA 30  2005 (February 28th) Postcard from Italica with Ross Dependency stamps.  US$5

Note: The above postcard also bears a 4 lined cachet of Mario Zucchelli Station. Earlier in the season the Italian main station in Terra Nova Bay had been officially named Mario Zucchelli Station in honour of the programmes previous leader who had died in 2004.

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ITALICA 31  2005 (December 28th) Envelope from Italica during her Lyttelton Port call  US$5

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For the 2005-06 season the "Italica" sported a new paint job.

This time her hull is over-all red which is perhaps more in keeping with her Antarctic role.

She is shown at left berthed in the Lyttelton Inner Harbour.

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ITALICA 32  2005 (December 29th) Postcard from Italica during her Lyttelton Port call  US$5

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Note: the above postcard has the same picture on the reverse as the postcard listed as Italica 26.

The view at left shows "Italica" departing Lyttelton.

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ITALICA 33  2006 (February 27th) Postcard from Italica during call at Cape Hallett  US$5

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During her trip back from Terra Nova Bay, the "Italica" called into Cape Hallett to pick up a New Zealand team which had been there for several weeks. She is shown at left with her bows into the hard ice off Cape Hallett.

Cape Hallett is an old joint NZ/USA base established in the 1950's but abandoned in the 1960's.

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ITALICA 34  2006 (February 27th) Postcard from Italica during call at Cape Hallett  US$5

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