Lemaire Channel

A classic route for our expeditions to Antarctica, this iconic waterway serves as the gateway to the southern Antarctic Peninsula

Lemaire Channel

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

The icily scenic Lemaire Channel

Lemaire Channel is one of our classic far-south sea routes, lying between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, a longstanding highlight of our Antarctic program. Measuring 11 km long (6.8 miles), 150 meters deep (490 feet), and 600 meters wide (1,970 feet) at the narrowest, Lemaire Channel provides excellent views as well as the chance to see exotic local wildlife.

What you’ll see on the Lemaire Channel

As we sail through Lemaire Channel, you’ll enjoy a spartan wilderness of snow and ice amid rugged peaks rising 1,000 meters high (3,280 feet). Nearby calving glaciers may send their icebergs into the channel, sometimes blocking it completely. In addition to the excess of amazing natural scenery, you may also encounter the locals of Lemaire Channel: Orca, humpback, and minke whales often appear on this dramatic waterway.

A glimpse into the Lemaire Channel’s past

Oddly enough, the 19th-century Belgian explorer after whom this channel was named, Charles Lemaire, never set foot in Antarctica. Lemaire spent the end of the 1800s exploring a strikingly different world: the tropical forests of what was then the Congo. But his countryman and fellow explorer, Adrien de Gerlache, honored Lemaire by naming the channel after him. It was Gerlache who first explored Lemaire Channel and this area of the Antarctic Peninsula in 1898.

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