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The "Polarstern" is the main German Antarctic support vessel.  It is a fully ice-strenthened icebreaker class vessel operated by the Alfred-Wegener Institute. Each year during the Austral summer it resupplies the German Neumayer Antarctic Base station as well as the Filchner Ice shelf station. In association with the South African SANAE it also helps in the resupply of the South African Bases.

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POLARSTERN  1   1999 Cover carried from German Neumayer Station to Capetown.   US$8

Note: The above cover was carried to Neumayer Station and then to the Filchner Ice shelf station before returning to Capetown in South Africa. The stamps are postmarked with the "Polarstern's" own postmark as the vessel operates its own official German Post Office on board.  The cover also bears the Capetown Paquebot datestamp of May 11th.

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   The photo at left shows the "Polarstern" in  Capetown following her Antarctic voyage.

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POLARSTERN  2   1999 Cover carried from German Neumayer Station to Capetown.   US$8

Note: this airletter has been on exactly the same voyage as the previous item and bears identical markings although in some cases they have been applied in different colours. As with the previous item because of an increase in postage while  waiting for the vessel, the airmail label has been covered over with a "Land/Economique" label and the item sent by surface mail rather than by air.

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This view shows the "Polarstern" hove to in the ice while under-going marine survey work.

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