A month‑by‑month guide to Antarctica
Best time to visit Antarctica to match your interest
We have created an expedition guide for choosing the most suitable month to travel to Antarctica, engaging your heart, mind, and spirit throughout the journey to the icy continent down south! Are you looking to see penguins by the thousands, cetaceans, or snow-covered landscapes? We hope that our guide will help you find the most perfect time to travel and #ExperienceWithUs and match your interests!
We kick off our new season on the last days of October/early November. At this time of the year, the most picturesque white landscapes can be witnessed as the snow still settles on the ground.
We have the chance to encounter A‑76 — the largest iceberg in the world, calved from the Filchner‑Ronne Ice Shelf.
November announces the annual breeding season for Adelie, Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins, as well Weddell and Fur seals.
During November, penguins come ashore and reunite with their partners to begin their nest‑building and courting activities.
December — the start of the Antarctic summer and one of the warmer months on the Antarctic calendar. Average temperatures range between ‑2.2°C to 3.2°C (28°F to 37°F). Conditions remain cold enough to see snow and ice.
The wildlife is abundant and active during this time, with penguins and seals raising their young, and plenty of opportunities to spot whales, seabirds, and other marine life.
Seal pups can be found on the beaches of South Georgia. They are usually seen close to their mothers, who will be nursing them and teaching them the skills they need to survive.
During this time, it is also common to spot pods of whales which are often seen close to shore to feed on the krill and plankton found in the area. Humpback whales typically arrive in Antarctica between December and February.
This month is the peak of the Antarctic summer, where the temperatures can rise up and above 0°C / 32°F.
Due to the warmer conditions, the sea ice is melting, which provides maximum landing site opportunities and makes it possible to offer a broad range of optional activities, such as kayaking and polar plunging.
We can expect long days filled with +21 hours of light, and a wealth of encounters with wildlife.
Keep an eye out for the adorable and freshly hatched woolly penguin chicks in the second part of the month.
If you are lucky, you can witness orcas, even while hunting!
Spotting glaciers is less common in January due to the temperature rise, while the landscape is also more rocky than snowy.
The weather becomes somewhat more unpredictable with temperatures ranging around 0°C / 32°F, though, it’s still possible to experience up to 10°C / 50°F.
By this month, the sea ice pulls back, opening up more and more landing sites, so expedition vessels can sail to some of the most uninhabited locations (if the weather permits). During this month we also cross the Antarctic Circle at 66° South.
February is one of the best months for whale‑watching, as most of the migrating whale pods have reached Antarctica. Keep your eyes on the waters during your Zodiac tour; you might bump into whales or feeding leopard seals.
In February, it’s still possible to catch a glimpse of fluffy penguin chicks.
The Antarctic landscapes are a bit rockier, and colours are more earthy than frosty.
March remains one of the best months for whale encounters in the Antarctic Peninsula. It's also the best time to spot cetaceans in the region.
Humpback whales have been feasting on the abundant krill all summer, and by March, they're getting some of their last meals before they start their big migration north to their breeding grounds along the west coast of South America.
The sun sets earlier in March, and the weather also turns colder. The sea ice returns and creates the ideal atmosphere for an expedition adventure.
With increasing snow, you can expect plenty of icecaps alongside a wonderful white backdrop to end the season in the region.