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Best time to visit Antarctica

Month-by-month guide of when to visit.

Snowshoeing in the Antarctic Peninsula

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A month by month guide of when to visit Antarctica.

Antarctica, the frozen wilderness of unparalleled beauty, is a destination that beckons adventurous souls from around the globe.

As the southernmost continent on Earth, it offers an otherworldly experience like no other. While visiting this icy wonderland, timing is key to ensure you make the most of your journey and witness its captivating spectacles. So, when is the best time to visit Antarctica?

The Antarctic tourism season typically spans from November to March, coinciding with the Austral summer. Each month within this period offers unique advantages, and your choice may depend on your preferences and interests.

November marks the beginning of the season when the ice starts to melt, making it easier for vessels to navigate the waters. This time of the year presents an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife, as penguins begin to lay their eggs, and seals and seabirds are abundant. For photography enthusiasts, the pristine landscape with untouched snow and ice formations offers incredible shots.

In December, the Antarctic summer is in full swing. The days are long, with nearly 24 hours of daylight, allowing for extended exploration and activities. This month is particularly popular for travellers seeking to witness penguin chicks hatching, a heartwarming spectacle of new life in this frozen wilderness.

January and February are considered the peak of the tourist season. With relatively mild temperatures (by Antarctic standards), the wildlife is highly active. Visitors can enjoy thrilling experiences like kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping amidst breathtaking surroundings.

In March, the season starts to wind down as fewer vessels visit Antarctica. The days get slightly shorter, and it is slightly colder, but it is still a great time for seal and whale watching.

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  • Alistair

    Alistair

    Managing Director

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January - February

Arguably the best time with warmer temperatures, long daylight, and active wildlife. However, it's the most expensive period. Enjoy migrating whales, seal pups on South Georgia's beaches, and seabird courtship.

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March

March marks the end of the tourism season as autumn approaches, and the ice begins to re-form. This period offers a different perspective of Antarctica, as the lighting and colours change, making it a haven for photographers seeking a unique contrast.

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April - October

During the winter months, Antarctica experiences extreme temperatures and prolonged darkness, meaning it is largely inaccessible to tourists and adventurers. Only scientists and film crews remain, braving the harsh conditions to conduct research and document the icy continent's mysteries.

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November

In early November there are with limited cruises operating, visitors can enjoy lower fares, pristine landscapes ideal for photography, and the chance to spot penguins and seals on icebergs. As November progresses the Antarctica open season begins and explorers may be treated to the sight of hatching penguin chicks.

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December

Enjoy the extended daylight, witnessing penguin chicks hatching and vibrant wildlife activity. Embrace once-in-a-lifetime experiences like kayaking and snowshoeing, immersing yourself in the magic of this frozen wonderland during Antarctica's version of summer.

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  • Alistair

    Alistair

    Managing Director

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01768 603 715