Commonwealth Bay is an open bay about 48 km (30 miles) wide at the entrance between Point Alden and Cape Gray on the Adelie Coast of Antarctica. It was discovered in 1912 by the Australasian Antarctic Expedition under Douglas Mawson, who established the main base of the expedition at Cape Denison at the head of the bay. It was named after the Commonwealth of Australia. It is listed in both the Guinness Book of World Records and the Eighth Edition National Geographic Atlas as the windiest place on Earth with winds regularly exceeding 150 miles per hour. Mawson's Huts at Cape Denison still exist and are currently being conserved by the AAP Mawson's Huts Foundation.
At Port Martin, your ship must maneuver through a large gallery of up to 100 grounded icebergs of various sizes, making it possible for close proximity views and photography. It is the site of an abandoned French base with scattered artifacts, Adelie Penguin rookery, nesting McCormack Skuas, a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs and a snow ramp to the Antarctic Plateau.
Nearby is the French scientific base at Dumont Dúrville on an island opposite Astrolabe Glacier offering spectacular Zodiac expeditions. Emperor Penguins may be observed on some ice-floes behind the controversial and now unused airstrip. Adelie Penguins abound around the base – in fact right up to the front door of most buildings! You may have the opportunity to visit the base's Post Office for stamps.
There are no cruises currently listed for this port of call.