Wednesday 13 September 2017

1081. 🇮🇴🇬🇬 New BIOT Corals Miniature Sheet; Guernsey Post And GoCruise Ships Issue.

  🇮🇴 The postal service of the British Indian Ocean Territory issued a miniature sheet containing 6 different stamps on 5 September 2017 on the subject of Corals of the territory. Although the face value of the sheet is a little high I like the issue very much - the photographs used in the stamp designs are well chosen and are colourful and interesting. Rating:- *****.

  🇬🇬 Guernsey Post Philatelic Bureau has sent out its series of Post and Go stamps dispensed from kiosk GG01 situated for the summer season in Smith Street post office which are in the form of the "Lighthouses" designs with various additional inscriptions to welcome the passengers on board a number of different cruise ships on the days that they were visiting the island. The set is made up of 26 strips but does not include the first strip for the visit of the Caribbean Princess which was issued on 21 April 2017 and was sold separately to collectors. Unfortunately I cannot say how many additional strips were issued for the repeat visits of some of the ships.
  Some repeat visit inscriptions are included in the set for the days when 2 ships were in port with the inscriptions naming the 2 visiting cruise ships. Presumably the logistics of loading the kiosk with 2 different strips each with their own inscriptions was too daunting especially as the kiosk was also dispensing the "Guernsey Flag" stamps at the same time. For collectors this at least meant that they were only having to buy one strip instead of two.
  Excluding the first Caribbean Princess strip, the total cost of the 26 strips is £117.12p (£104.12p face value plus 26  x 50p handling charge for each strip). For that you get 156 stamps. I think it's an interesting issue aimed at meeting a justifiable need - that is - addressing the potential postal and souvenir needs of cruise visitors to the island. Quite Collectables, I think.

  21 April - Caribbean Princess:-

  22 April- Azura:-

  28 April - Marco Polo:-

  29 April - Saga Sapphire:-

  8 May - Celebrity Eclipse:-

  12 May - Oriana:-

  18 May - Queen Elizabeth:-

  23 May - Norwegian Jade:-

  30 May - MV Albatros :-

  1 June - Vision of The Seas:-

  3 June - Britannia:-

  8 June - Arcadia:-

  17 June - Celebrity Eclipse and Saga Sapphire:-

  21 June - Adonia:- 

  22 June - MV Ventura:-

  23 June - Silver Spirit:-

  27 June - Columbus and Silver Spirit:-

  1 July - Caribbean Princess and Azura:-

  12 July - CMV Magellan:-

  13 July - Queen Elizabeth and Caribbean Princess:-

  14 July - Columbus:-

  20 July - Celebrity Silhouette and Azamara Journey:-

  10 August - Oriana and MV Ventura:-

  11 August - Crystal Symphony:-

  16 August- MV Prisendam:-

  21 August - Mein Schiff 1:-

  24 August - Queen Elizabeth and Marco Polo:-


  1. Given that you have quite strong opinions about design and issuing policies I am surprised that you keep praising BIOT issues as as far as I can tell there is no real need for these steeps to exist at all. It is practically impossible for anyone (outside the military) to use them and as such I can't see their purpose. (Except as revenue raising) South Georgia etc. is almost in the same category. While IOM/GG/JE issue a lot of stamps I can visit their post office almost every day of the year and place their stamps on real pieces of mail and have them delivered.

    1. Thank you. My understanding of the reason for a BIOT postal service and therefore postage stamps is that it is provided for the use of a fairly large number of civilian workers on Diego Garcia. They are not entitled to use the postal service of the British Forces Postal Service.
      I presume that there is no need in the territory for an internal postal service which would explain why most stamps have quite high values - that is - they are needed for postal services to addresses abroad.
      BIOT stamps are issued fairly infrequently by modern standards and are well designed and produced and usually feature subjects which are highly locally relevant. Being a military base in the middle of the Indian Ocean the territory can justify issuing stamps on a number of varying themes - military, ships, aircraft, birds, marine life as well as the more usual themes of British territories including royal themes. This diversity of justifiable subjects makes for an interesting one country collection.
      A second reason for the territory to have postage stamps is propaganda-related. The existence of postage stamps helps to publicise and promote a state's sovereignty over a territory and this is quite important in the case of BIOT since Mauritius claims that the Chagos Islands is Mauritian territory. This question of establishing sovereignty with the use of postage stamps applies to other disputed British dependencies such as South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and The Falkland Islands.
      The current new issue programme of BIOT is much more modest than Jersey, Guernsey and Isle Of Man. Here in Britain, it has been many months since I've received a letter with a current "commemorative" stamp attached to it. We have to understand that most stamps produced now are not primarily produced for postal usage whether or not they are produced for a country with a population of 60 million or a territory with a population of a few hundred. For these reasons I am, at present, very happy to buy the stamps of BIOT and add them to my collection.