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The best time to visit Antarctica is between late October and late March, which are the Southern Hemisphere summer months. Temperatures range between 4°C and 8°C. This is the only time when an expedition cruise there is possible. The Drake Passage — a two-day sea crossing to get to and from Antarctica — is calmer at this time.

There are some variations in what you might see within this window of exploring opportunity, with luck playing a large part in it, but it will be a trip of a lifetime.

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Month-by-month guide for travelling in Antarctica

Gentoo penguins

Visiting Antarctica in December - January

High summer in Antarctica. Days are long, the temperatures are at their ‘warmest’ and the penguins, seals and seabirds are active everywhere. Christmas and New Year is a very busy time for Antarctica cruise travel, so if you wish to travel at this time please plan well in advance.

Humpback whale

Visiting Antarctica in February - March

These are the best months to see whales such as humpback, sperm and orca. Fledgling penguin chicks can be seen and seabirds are still abundant.


Visiting Antarctica in April - September

Winter in Antarctica — stormy seas, freezing temperatures and no possible way to visit.

Lemaire Channel, Antarctica

Visiting Antarctica in October

Some cruises start to operate in late October, and the advantage of being a guest on one of the first trips of the season is seeing the start of the courting and mating season of the penguins of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Down near the Antarctic Peninsula you will need to push your way past the winter sea ice.

Gentoo penguins, Antarctica

Visiting Antarctica in November

This time of year sees the winter ice further break up into stunning icebergs and sculptures. Wildlife courtship rituals continue, including male seals establishing their breeding beaches, and wildflowers are in bloom in South Georgia and the Falklands.

Antarctica Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
South Georgia 7°C 103mm 8°C 147mm 7°C 152mm 4°C 162mm 2°C 169mm 1°C 151mm 0°C 145mm 1°C 145mm 2°C 142mm 4°C 111mm 6°C 102mm 6°C 92mm

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