Best Time to Travel to Antarctica

One of the most common questions we are asked is, “when is the best time to visit Antarctica?”. Antarctica trips only operate in the summer season from the end of October – March when the days are long, the temperatures more mild and there is less sea ice allowing access to land. During this time the temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula hover around freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 Celsius). You will see spectacular landscapes with snow covered peaks, large icebergs, glaciers and penguins regardless of when you travel.

With that being said, there are some differences between the months of the season which we have highlighted below. The best time for you to travel will just depend on your specific interests, priorities and budget. Our team has travelled all throughout the season and would love to help find the best time for you to visit the 7th Continent!

End of October – November

  • Springtime in Antarctica with a lot of snow and ice around the landing sites making for very pristine conditions.
  • On the Peninsula, penguins will be busy building their rock nests and mating.
  • Great time for snowshoeing and camping in Antarctica.
  • In South Georgia, the beaches will be littered with large southern elephant seals with the bulls battling for their harems. Fur seals are starting to arrive. There is a chance of getting into the nesting wandering albatross site up until approximately Nov 20th when it closes until mid January.

December

  • Adult penguins are sitting on eggs with the first chicks hatching right around Christmas.
  • Fly the Drake trips start operating.
  • In South Georgia there are fewer elephant seals. Fur seals are arriving fast & furious.

January

  • Height of the Antarctic summer.
  • In early January the tiny penguin chicks are on the nest being protected and fed by the parents while skuas will be flying overhead searching for a meal.
  • More whales arriving in the southern ocean.
  • Antarctic Circle voyages begin operating as the sea ice is starting to break up further south.
  • In South Georgia, the nesting wandering albatross site re-opens in mid-January.

February

  • Penguin colonies are very active with the chicks running around in groups or créches.
  • Penguins chicks begin fledging in late February.
  • Excellent chances for whale sightings.
  • Fur seals more abundant.

March

  • Best time for marine mammals.
  • Penguin colonies are broken up as the chicks have fledged and are heading to sea for the first time.
  • Hungry leopard seals are patrolling the shores waiting for penguin chicks.
  • Days are becoming shorter with opportunities for scenic sunrises and sunsets.
  • In South Georgia, curious fur seal pups are exploring the beaches.