The Majestic Landscapes of the Lemaire Channel
The Lemaire Channel is one of the highlights of Antarctica, known for its imposing scenery and eerily still waters. The area is extremely photogenic, earning it the humorous nickname of the "Kodak Gap."
Its spectacular scenery and calm, mirror-like waters make it an ideal location for tourists. Unlike other parts of the region, which can be hard to navigate due to high winds, colossal amounts of ice, and glacial subzero temperatures, the Lemaire Channel is relatively mild and temperate.
Where is the Lemaire Channel located?
The Lemaire Channel in Antarctica lies between the Kiev Peninsula in Graham Land and Booth Island. On a map, it is located directly below the tip of Argentina, where most heading to the channel depart from. Despite being one of the most majestic and impressive places in Antarctica, the channel is only 6.8 miles long . However, its raw beauty and diverse wildlife remain unmatched on the continent.
While a channel normally suggests a wide chasm between two landmasses, like between Great Britain and France, the Lemaire Channel is more modest: at its narrowest, it is a mere 5,249 feet across and much narrower at certain points.
Why is it called the Lemaire Channel?
This Antarctic channel was named after an intrepid Belgian explorer. While there is nothing special about this per se, it is a little odd that Charles Lemaire himself never set foot in Antarctica or made any attempt to visit the continent. He was, however, much revered for his work in the Congo, with which Belgium had strong political and social ties. Such was his acclaim that fellow Belgians who discovered the channel decided to name it in his honor.
What are the landscapes surrounding the Lemaire Channel like?
The landscapes surrounding the channel are unbelievable. Snowcapped cliffs jut out over pristine waters, and rugged mountain peaks soar into the sky. The serene waters act like a mirror, reflecting the towering landscapes in the channel below, adding to the grandeur of one of Antarctica’s wonders. Despite being in the extreme north of the continent, the channel is prone to icebergs, which float serenely by as visitors admire the natural beauty of the surroundings. A photographer’s dream, this incredible scenery isn’t the only thing that attracts visitors to the Lemaire Channel. There is a huge variety of wildlife. Whales and seals are often spotted along this well-traversed route. Although it's possible to see whales all year round, the best time to catch them is February and March – summertime in the Antarctic. Despite the Lemaire Channel being one of the most remote places on earth, thousands make the trip to see this undeniable marvel every year. With Petermann Island, the Palmer Research Station, and an abundance of picture-perfect vistas, a trip to the Lemaire Channel alone makes visiting Antarctica, the end of the earth, worthwhile.