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The "Vasiliy Golovnin" is a Vitus Bering Class Icebreaking ship operated by the Far-Eastern Shipping Company of Vladivostok. She was built in the Ukraine in 1988 and is a sister ship to the "Xue Long" operated by the Chinese Antarctic Programme. She can carry in her holds the equivalent of 305 standard containers and has 5 deck cranes, a stern ramp and an aft helideck and hanger. For the 2003-04 season she was chartered by the Australian Antarctic Division to undertake their voyage 5 which was described as a Continental resupply trip to Casy, Davis and Mawson Bases. This was her inaugural Antarctic voyage.

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VASILIY 1  2004 (Jan 10th) cover from Casey Station.    Price US$5

Note: The above cover has been postmarked at Casey two days before the ship arrived on the 12th of January. Most likely the datestamp hadn't been changed for a few days.

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VASILIY 2  2004 (Jan 24th) cover from Casey Station.    Price US$5

Note: This envelope has a different selection of cachets to the previous one.

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VASILIY 3  2004 (Feb 1st) Antarctic Division Postcard from Davis Station.    Price US$6

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Note: the picture at left is the back of the Vasiliy 3 (above offered) postcard.

It shows penguins at Davis Station from a photo taken by Rob Easther.

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VASILIY 4  2004 (Feb 16th) Paquebot cover posted on arrival back in Hobart.    Price US$8

Note: this cover bears a Russian Antarctic stamp sheet issued in 2003 plus another Russian 4 Rouble stamp to make up the required 14 Rouble rate. The "Vasiliy Golovnin" which is Russian registered had arrive back in Hobart on Friday the 13th of February but because of a dispute over rubbish being brought back from the Antarctic Bases the ship was not allowed to berth immediately and so mail was delayed until  Monday the 16th of February for posting.

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VASILIY 5  2004 (Feb 16th) Paquebot Polarogramme posted on arrival back in Hobart.   Price US$8

Note: the above Polarogramme bears stamps for the required 8 Rouble rate.


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VASILIY 6  2004 (Feb 16th) Cover posted on arrival back in Hobart.    Price US$8

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Note; The picture at left shows the Captain of the "Vasiliy Golovnin", Aleksandr I. Ushakov (seated) autographing one of the above envelopes while his first officer looks on.

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VASILIY 7  2004 (Feb 16th) Polarogramme posted on arrival back in Hobart.   Price US$8

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Note: The above polarogramme is also available in mint (unused) condition for US$2.

The picture at left shows the "Vasiliy Golovnin" tied up at Hobart on the 16th of February after her Antarctic trip.

She went off hire on February 20th after off-loading but is expected to be used again next season by the Australian Antarctic Division.

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