When is the best time to visit Antarctica?
The best time to visit Antarctica on an expedition cruise is between late October and late March — indeed, this is the only time when such travel is possible. These are the summer months in the southern hemisphere, with temperatures in Antarctica ranging from 39°F-46°F.
This is also the calmest time of year to take on the infamous Drake Passage — the two-day sea crossing to get to and from Antarctica.
There are some variations in what you might see, with luck playing a large part, but whenever you go, it will be the trip of a lifetime.
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Antarctica Climate Guide
|South Georgia||45°F 4"||46°F 6"||45°F 6"||39°F 6"||36°F 7"||34°F 6"||32°F 6"||34°F 6"||36°F 6"||39°F 4"||43°F 4"||43°F 4"|
Month-by-month guide to traveling in Antarctica
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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Practical tips for traveling to Antarctica, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.
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