• Midnight sun landscape, Antarctica

Highlights and main attractions of the Lemaire Channel

Highlights and main attractions of the Lemaire Channel

The Lemaire Channel is well known as one of the most photogenic straits in Antarctica, and it is visited on most trips to the Antarctic Peninsula The channel is often referred to as the ‘Kodak Gap’, a reference to its popularity as a photographic highlight. Discovered by a German expedition in the 1870’s, the channel wasn’t traversed until 1898. Belgian explorer Adrian de Gerlache was the first to sail the Lemaire Channel, and unusually (since most explorers named new destinations after themselves) he chose to name it after another Belgian explorer – Charles Lemaire, who was famous for his exploration of the Congo 

Where is the Lemaire Channel?

Journey through the Lemaire Channel

The Lemaire Channel is located between the Antarctic mainland and Booth Island. With steep glacial cliffs on either side, the waters are usually very still and calm, creating beautiful reflections. At its widest point, the channel is just 1600m (5250ft) wide, and at about 7 miles in length, takes most ships around an hour to sail through if conditions are clear. Occasionally, the icebergs in the channel are so large that they block the passage of ships, meaning the captains have to backtrack and sail around, although this is generally only a problem early in the season. 

Towards the end of the season (late February and March), whales are sometimes seen in the channel, and for those lucky enough to spot one, the photographic opportunities are spectacular.

Most travellers will spend the duration of a trip through the Lemaire Channel out on deck taking photographs. It really is a destination that needs to be seen to be believed, and since it’s almost impossible to take a bad photograph, even the most amateur photographers will enjoy a trip through the strait. 


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