The Argentine Antarctic Territory is a territory in Antarctica claimed by the state of Argentina. The South American country formally took possession of this part in 1942 and subsequently established the borders from 25 to 74 degrees west longitude in 1946.

About 15 years earlier, Argentina was asked by the United Kingdom government to pay various license fees for a radio facility in the South Orkney Islands. Since then, the Argentine government has assumed that this area was under its sovereignty and the demand was consistently rejected.

A formal territorial claim was not made until later, in 1946, but this part of Antarctica claimed by Argentina is also overshadowed by Chilean and British claims. None of these claims are recognized by the international community.

All emerging conflicts over various territorial claims throughout Antarctica were prevented by the Antarctic Treaty of 1961. Since then, this treaty has enabled all nations to use Antarctica for free access and all research purposes.

Any commercial use, including mining, is expressly not permitted.

The state of Argentina maintains a total of six permanent research stations on the seventh continent and seven staffed research stations only in the Antarctic summer months.

The territory of the Argentine Antarctic last had 240 residents, on all permanent stations. After the largest Marambio station, they also lived on the Carlini station, the San Martin station, the Belgrano II station and the Orcadas station.

As part of my Antarctic cruise with the “Celebrity Infinity” in January 2018, I got to know large parts of the Argentine Antarctic region. The imposing Gerlach Street or the narrow Schollaert Canal provided a breathtaking backdrop for spectacular photos.

Countless penguins and various whales danced around on the sometimes huge icebergs or in the water.

That was an impressive and unforgettable experience for me.