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Weddell Seal, Antarctica

The best time to visit Antarctica

The best time to visit Antarctica is from December to March. The introduction of summer means the sea ice begins to melt away and it becomes possible to explore the wildlife, frozen landscapes and glacial waters.

Explore the best time to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Visiting Antarctica in January

high season

With more than 20hrs of sunlight, this is a fabulous time to visit Antarctica. Temperatures can rise as high as 15ºC. Penguin chicks are a highlight at this time of year.

The ice is starting to recede and cruises can start their polar circle voyages to 66 degrees south. With the opening of the ice comes the opportunity to access the Ross Sea and make visits to Shackleton and Scott’s huts.

Visiting Antarctica in February

high season

Arguably prime time to visit Antarctica, with substantial daylight hours and average temperatures of -6°C. The sea ice melts enough to allow access and it is one of the best times to spot whales, sea birds and fledgeling penguin chicks having their first swimming lessons. February is when having had their fill of krill, the humpback whales start to show off a little more breaching, spy hopping and lobtailing.

Visiting Antarctica in March

high season

If cetaceans are of more interest than fluffy baby penguin chicks then March is a fabulous time to travel. Before they start heading north the whales begin to congregate together, so the opportunity to see large groups together increases. Wilhelmina Bay is situated along the west coast of Graham Land between Reclus Peninsula and Cape Anna and is one of the best places to see groups of humpback whales. As the summer draws to a close and the whales are refuelled on krill they are more playful, increasing the chances of them putting on a spectacular display for visitors.

Visiting Antarctica in April

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in May

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in June

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in July

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in August

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in September

low season

Closed Season

Visiting Antarctica in October

medium season

October is the start of the Antarctica season and the first opportunities for cruises as the ice starts to break up. Penguins such as Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap start to come ashore and pair up for mating. Southern elephant seals are breeding (Aug – Nov), which means you have a better chance of seeing them hauled out on the beeches. October is a great time to see their adorable pups.

Visiting Antarctica in November

medium season

With the sun low in the sky and icebergs at their largest November can be a great time for photographers. It marks the egg-laying when the female penguins can be seen waddling around with their eggs. It is also the end of the breeding season for elephant seals.

Visiting Antarctica in December

high season

Peak season really starts to get going in December, as the penguin chicks start to hatch in the middle of the month. The summer brings with it over 20hrs of sunlight giving you the maximum amount of daylight to discover this incredible destination. Towards the end of the month popularity with travellers grows and so too prices. If you wish to travel over Christmas or New Year make sure you get in contact with us early, so as not to be disappointed. Many of our clients book with us 1-2 years in advance.

Antarctica climate guide

Drag the slider to see monthly temperature and rainfall.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov
Dec
Maximum Temperature (°C)Monthly Rainfall (mm)
Deception Island
South Georgia
South Pole

Explore

  • Deception Island
  • South Georgia
  • South Pole

Antarctica Holiday Inspiration

Our Antarctica experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started.

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Enquire

Both telephone and e-mail responses were excellent and all of Sue's expert advice was very much appreciated. She was prompt, supportive and engaging throughout and our expedition to Antarctica was spectacular.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue forewarned us that there would be no words to describe South Georgia and that our photos wouldn’t do it justice, and how right she was. All we can say is “see for yourself”. Thank you, Sue, for your indispensable advice.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue's in-depth knowledge of Antarctica, the route options and each of the vessels was invaluable in our preparation for the trip and was a strong differentiator when we were choosing a travel agent. When talking with Sue, we quickly got an honest perspective.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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