When is the best time to visit Antarctica?
Travel on an expedition cruise to Antarctica (and the south Atlantic islands of South Georgia and the Falklands) is only possible between late October and late March, which are the southern hemisphere summer months. Within this window of exploring opportunity there are some variations in what you might see, but whenever you go it will be a trip of a lifetime, and luck will play a large part in what you see. As for the infamous Drake Passage - the two day sea crossing to get to and from Antarctica – there is no time of year when this is likely to be calmer.
Lizzie, Latin America and Polar Specialist
It's hard to say when the best month to visit is because any time within the Antarctica cruise season is incredible. For the best opportunity to see whales, February or March is advisable. However, if that is not your primary focus then you should just put yourself in the hands of mother nature and be blown away whenever you visit.
Antarctica Climate Guide
|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|
Month-by-month guide to travelling in Antarctica
- December - January Dec - Jan
- February - March Feb - Mar
- April - September Apr - Sep
- October Oct
- November Nov
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.
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 sea birds are still abundant.
Visiting Antarctica in April - September
Winter in Antarctica - stormy seas, freezing temperatures and no possible way to visit.
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.
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