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The Danco Coast along the Antarctic Peninsula

The Danco Coast is the northwestern section of the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula located between 64 ° and 65 ° South. This stretch of Antarctica coast which is part of Graham Land is bordered to the north by Cape Sterneck and to the south by Cape Renard. The Gerlache Strait separates the Danco Coast from the Palmer archipelago. Behind the Danco Coast rises the Antarctandes (Antartandes) mountain range that acts as a backbone to the Antarctic Peninsula. These mountains are the continuation of the Andes in Antarctica.

This area of the Antarctic continent was first explored between 1897 and 1899 by the Belgian Antarctic expedition led by Adrien de Gerlache. Explorers from not only Belgium but also Norway, Russia, Poland, Romania, the United States and other countries were part of this expedition. The name of this stretch of coast was given in honor of Lieutenant Emile Danco, a member of the Belgian Antarctic expedition, who died in this area in June 1898.

Paradise Harbor, Antarctica. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini
Paradise Harbor, Antarctica. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini


The Danco Coast is a coast rich in peninsulas, inlets and bays and is faced by numerous islands. These include Bryde Island, Lemaire Island, Danco Island, Rongé Island, Nansen Island, Cuverville Island and Murray Island.

On this stretch of coast are some of the most scenic spots on the Antarctic Peninsula such as Paradise Harbor (also known as Paradise Bay) and Neko Harbor. These are the only two natural harbors used by cruise ships to stop in the Antarctic continent. In this part of the Antarctic Peninsula the coast is spectacular. These bays are in fact dominated by high mountains that sometimes exceed two thousand meters in height. The landscape is characterized by vast and jagged coves with islands and icebergs.

Along the Danco Coast are some Chilean (President Gabriel González Videla Base) and Argentine (Base Antártica Brown, Base Antártica Primavera (used only in summer)) scientific bases. These bases are still used today, while others are now in disuse. This section of the Antarctic territory is claimed by both Chile as well as Argentina and the United Kingdom.

The page of the Scientific Research Committee in Antarctica.

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