The best time to visit Antarctica (and the only possible time) is between October and March. These are the summer months in the southern hemisphere, when enough sea ice melts to allow access for expedition vessels. There is some diversity in what you might see across this period, however luck does have a role to play.
Expedition cruises start setting for Antarctica in late October. Being a passenger on one of these early trips is a fantastic opportunity to witness the start of the penguin mating season on South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Come November the winter ice really breaks up, forming in the process some spectacular iceberg sculptures. Wildflowers bloom across South Georgia and the Falklands, wildlife courtship continues and male seals start to determine their breeding beaches.
December to January are the “warmest” months in the White Continent and has the longest days – up to 24 hours of daylight. Wildlife viewing is plentiful, with common sightings of penguins, seals and seabirds. This is peak season for cruise travel, so be sure to plan your trip well in advance.
February and March are the prime months for whale watching, when you have a good chance of seeing visiting Blue, Humpback, Minke and Fin whales amongst others. This is also the time when fledgling penguins can be observed, as well as plenty of sea birds.
Speak to one of our Antarctica specialists to learn more about travel to Antarctica.