Paradise Harbour, also known as Paradise Bay, is one of the most beautiful and pristine spots in Antarctica and an important stop during an Antarctic cruise to the Peninsula with mountains and glaciers reflecting off the calm and tranquil waters. The serenity of the area is a highlight for many visitors.
The harbour is another of Antarctica’s most visited areas with the popular zodiacs (omnipresent small inflatable craft) ferrying everyone around. Surrounded by heavily glaciated mountains and ice cliffs, there are many icebergs that calve off the glacier at the harbour’s head providing fascinating infinite variety of shapes and shades of blue.
Ice floes also provide a floating resting spot for various seals and penguins that you may be able to view at close quarters if they are not scared off by the zodiac. There may be some whales swimming around too and seals may be seen reclining on ice floes. The place is home to terns, petrels, cormorants, seals, penguins, and, of course, whales.
It is one of the two ports used for cruise ships to stop on the continent. The other being Neko Harbour, another spot ideal for whale spotting and panoramic views. Paradise Harbour is a wide embayment behind Antarctica’s Lemaire and Bryde Islands indenting the west coast of Graham Land between Duthiers and Leniz Points.
The harbour was christened by whalers operating in the vicinity and was in use by 1920. Argentina’s Almirante Brown Antarctic Base stands on the coast of the bay, as does Chile’s González Videla Antarctic Base where a shelter was erected in 1950 to honour Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, the first Head of State to visit the Antarctic. The shelter is designated as a Historic Site or Monument.