Cruise to Lemaire Channel in Antarctica

March 6th, 2005

The Lemarie Channel is probably one of the most beautiful place along the Antarctic peninsula: this narrow passage separates Antarctica's mainland with the nearby islands and offers spectacular views over mountains, glaciers and icebergs. The severe icing conditions, showing a quite compact pack ice, weren't an obstacle for our hull-reinforced ship.

Antarctica cruise Antarctica cruise
Antarctica cruise Antarctica cruise
The ship is about to enter the Lemaire Channel. The icing conditions, with a 10/10th pack ice, are quite severe and I was thinking that the cruise ship was about to go back, BUT instead...

 

Lemaire channel - Antarctica Pack ice in Antarctica
Pack ice in Antarctica Lemaire channel - Antarctica
Pack ice in Antarctica Lemaire channel - Antarctica
...she just enters the 10/10th pack ice, continuing the navigation throughout Lemaire Channel.

 

Gentoo penguin Gentoo penguin
Here and there, some solitary Gentoo penguin walks on the pack ice.

 

Our position shown on the ship's radar system.

 

Lemaire channel
Pictures of Lemaire channel taken during an Antarctica cruise. After about one mile, the icing conditions are less severe, while the ship navigates in this narrow channel.

 

Antarctica
A pale sun breaks through a grey sky, illuminating the pack ice in Antarctica.

 

Pack ice Pack ice
Antarctica cruise Photos of pack ice in Antarctica. The pack ice is now less dense, but still spectacular.

 

Weddell seal
On the left picture: a whale spotted while cruising inside Lemaire channel. On the right picture: a Weddell seal.

 

Ice floe Weddel seal
The ship navigates close to an ice floe, where another Weddel seal is resting.


 

Weddell seal Weddel seal
Pictures of a Weddell seal resting on pack ice.

 

Crabeater seal on pack ice Crabeater seal
Crabeater seal Crabeater seal
Crabeater seal Pictures of Crabeater seal. It's easy to recognize it compared to Weddel seal, because of much longer head's shape.

 

A group of penguins swim in the pack ice.

 

Antarctica Antarctica
More pictures of pack ice in Antarctica.

 

Black ice
A piece of black ice containing debris from a moraine or volcanic ash.

 

Cruising Lemaire Channel
The ship is now going back, passing the pack ice of Lemaire Channel again.


 

Ship into pack ice
This is how the ship finds her way through pack ice.

 

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