Questioning when to go to Antarctica? Having personally visited the White Continent 3 occasions at totally different elements of the 12 months, here’s a month by month breakdown of what to anticipate and what it’s prefer to journey to Antarctica through the summer season season of the Southern Hemisphere: November – March.
Antarctica is no doubt, the wildest and most distant place on Earth.
We’ve been all around the world, spending 15 years travelling to 100+ nations, and we will truthfully say that there’s nowhere fairly like right here.
Solely essentially the most intrepid folks make the trek right down to this frozen continent on the globe’s Polar Circle. And it’s not essentially a simple journey to make!
You shouldn’t simply e-book a visit to Antarctica on a whim. A profitable Antarctic expedition requires months and months of cautious planning and preparation.
To not point out, visiting Antarctica is pricey as a result of it’s such a uncommon and distinctive journey expertise.
So in the event you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on this once-in-a-lifetime journey, figuring out when to go is crucial to your preparation as nicely!
No matter how rugged and distant the Antarctic Peninsula is, many travellers who make this journey south declare it’s the perfect journey of their lives.
Panorama photographers, wildlife lovers, and journey seekers flock to Antarctica for a lot of causes.
There are huge, untouched landscapes stuffed with colossal icebergs, fields of pack ice, dramatic shows of sunshine, and icy Antarctic waters.
Penguins, whales, seals, and seabirds thrive within the Southern Ocean and right down to the Antarctic Circle.
READ MORE: Uncover every thing else there may be to know concerning the white continent in our detailed journey to Antarctica information!
This continent is likely one of the greatest locations on this planet to see whales breaching, fluffy penguin chicks hatching, and seal pups frolicking.
If you happen to’re prepared to start out planning a visit to the pristine snowy landscapes of Antarctica, it’s necessary to think about which month you’ll be visiting.
We’ve been in any respect the standard occasions – early season, peak season and late season – and know what to anticipate.
We additionally get a whole lot of emails yearly from folks desirous to know the perfect time to go, so we’ve lastly put this text collectively.
This text will function an final information to the perfect time to go to Antarctica! So learn on for a month by month breakdown of the wildlife happenings and climate circumstances of Antarctica!
|Month||Why Journey to Antarctica at that Time?|
|November||Pristine landscapes, sea ice|
|December||Secure climate, penguin chicks|
|January||Secure climate, penguin chicks, higher accessibility for a lot of touchdown websites|
|February||Nice accessibility for many landings, good climate, whales|
|March||Peak whale watching season, stunning sunrises and sunsets, potential for contemporary snow|
When is the Greatest Time to Go to Antarctica?
It’s tremendous necessary to analysis the perfect time to go to Antarctica earlier than you e-book a visit right down to the Polar Circle, so nicely completed for locating your option to this text!
Vacationers can solely go to through the summer season months, and it is suggested to start out planning your journey at the very least 12 months prematurely so you possibly can determine the perfect time and itinerary to go.
From November to March, Antarctica expedition cruises run regularly. However every month provides one thing a bit totally different!
One of the best months for whale watching might not be the perfect months for seeing child penguins for instance.
Cooler temperatures imply huge icebergs, however hotter temperatures imply much less sea ice and due to this fact additional exploration into the Antarctic Circle.
Make sure you try our checklist of what to do in Antarctica that can assist you put together to your journey!
We are going to give an in depth rationalization of every month in Antarctica and what meaning for wildlife actions, journey prices, and landscapes!
Some Antarctica journeys additionally embody visits to close by islands like South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, so we’ll point out a number of the necessary happenings there as nicely.
Antarctic Summer time Season – Month by Month Breakdown
This information to the perfect time to go to Antarctica will solely cowl the ‘summer season months’: November to March.
Some Antarctic cruises might start in late October, however it’s fairly uncommon. And those that do are normally on a mission into the Weddell Sea to go to the emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill, which is a really totally different and dear expedition.
We might advocate visiting Antarctica no sooner than November.
Many individuals additionally marvel about crossing the Drake Passage, and whether or not this notoriously tough patch of ocean is calmer at sure occasions of the 12 months.
Sadly, the notorious Drake Passage could be turbulent at any time of 12 months, so that you’ll simply have to overcome that impediment regardless.
Belief us although, it’s a part of the expertise and regardless of probably being seasick for a number of days, it’s a badge of honour you possibly can all the time put on proudly.
With at the moment’s fashionable ships (in contrast to Shackleton’s Endurance) and complicated security measures, crossing the Drake Passage isn’t essentially harmful, it’s only a bit rocky.
Simply pop some movement illness tablets, loosen up, and benefit from the experience! You’ll be in Antarctica very quickly!
Here’s what you possibly can count on while you arrive, relying on which month you go to.
November marks the beginning of the vacationer season in Antarctica. Meaning comparatively low costs and fewer vacationers on the continent.
Cruise ships are simply beginning to arrive, and the wildlife is simply simply beginning to grow to be extra energetic after a harsh winter.
Temperatures are nonetheless beneath freezing, snow ranges are excessive, and icebergs are big.
The plus facet of those chilly temperatures?
In November Antarctica’s panorama stays very a lot pure and untouched, with blankets of snow all over the place.
In a standard 12 months, that is the one time to see vital blocks of sea ice earlier than they begin to soften over the summer season.
The November solar remains to be fairly low within the sky, which makes for spectacular sunsets.
Due to all these details, our private ideas are, and plenty of would agree that, November is the perfect time to go to Antarctica for panorama photographers!
When it comes to wildlife, mating season is starting for a lot of species. Penguins start mating and laying eggs.
Chances are you’ll even see some females waddling round with their eggs balanced on their ft.
In South Georgia, you’ll get to see elephant seals courting, which is a particular, dramatic and confronting scene.
READ MORE: Need to see the massive king penguin colonies in South Georgia? Try our skilled information on the greatest time to go to South Georgia!
And within the Falkland Islands, November is a superb time to see wildflowers and energetic seabirds.
In late November, costs rise and tourism ramps up because the climate begins to get hotter!
If you happen to needed to choose the best possible month for visiting Antarctica, December may be it.
Temperatures heat as much as round 0 levels Celsius! But as a result of the summer season has solely simply begun, you possibly can nonetheless see some giant icebergs lingering from winter.
By late December, the summer season solar is in full swing. The solar rises and barely units, leaving round 20-22 hours of daylight the additional south you get.
Hotter climate and longer days imply ample time for exploring Antarctica. It additionally implies that wildlife turns into extraordinarily energetic, so get your cameras prepared!
Migrating whales start to go by way of the Antarctic waters, able to feed on nutrient-rich organisms within the chilly ocean.
Humpback whales are beginning to grow to be extra widespread, having completed their migration south from the tropics.
Penguin chicks are additionally beginning to hatch! You’ll be able to see child penguins in early December on the Falkland Islands, although the chicks are extra frequent in direction of the tip of the month on the Antarctic Peninsula.
In South Georgia, elephant seal pups are born and courtship rituals for seabirds are widespread.
There’s additionally an airstrip on King George Island that opens up in December in the event you’d somewhat fly to Antarctica than sail by way of the tumultuous Drake Passage.
A good warning although – climate is unpredictable and flights aren’t 100% assured, so that you do run a threat that your journey could also be shortened if the planes can’t land.
So in our private opinion, December is arguably the perfect time to go to Antarctica, because of the heat climate, lengthy days, and energetic wildlife. Take into accout, that is additionally one of the costly occasions to go to Antarctica!
January can be thought-about peak season for travelling to Antarctica.
With nearly 24 hours of daylight and temperatures round 10 levels Celsius, many would think about January to be the perfect time to go to Antarctica.
That is the perfect time for land expeditions, because the snow and ice have receded, opening up extra touchdown alternatives, and heat temperatures make mountaineering, Antarctica tenting, and exploring extra snug.
January implies that sea ice breaks across the Antarctic Peninsula as nicely. So cruise ships can enterprise additional into the continent, and the Ross Sea opens up for entry.
Cruises into the Ross Sea are very unique. They’re uncommon and costly, however those that make the journey into the elusive Ross Sea can see the historic huts of earlier explorers like Scott.
January can be the perfect time to see new child penguin chicks on the Peninsula! These lovable critters are at their fluffiest in January, and the grownup penguins are introducing their infants to the world.
It’s also possible to see penguin chicks in South Georgia. King penguins, gentoo penguins, macaroni penguins, and chinstrap penguins are widespread species to see on the island.
Seals and seal pups are additionally very energetic in each Antarctica and South Georgia. Fur seals are within the breeding season in South Georgia and due to this fact could be fairly aggressive, so many operators battle to make landings to make sure guests preserve their distance.
Whale sightings are additionally possible in January. Fin whales, minke whales, and orca whales make frequent appearances, although humpback whales are the commonest ocean giants right now.
READ MORE: Try our checklist of essentially the most fascinating Antarctica details we’ve discovered!
As February approaches in Antarctica, summer season is nearing its finish. However temperatures are nonetheless fairly excessive and sea ice and snow continues to shrink.
Sea ice is definitely at its lowest in February. Meaning cruise ships can cross the Antarctic Circle with relative ease, and the Ross Sea remains to be open for entry.
Penguin chicks are a bit older, which means they’re extra energetic and extra inquisitive! You’ll typically see mother or father penguins diving out and in of the water to search out meals for his or her rising chicks.
Lively penguins additionally imply energetic predators. Orcas and leopard seals are simpler to identify in February, as are fur seals and elephant seals.
February additionally provides wonderful whale watching. Minke, sperm, southern proper, and humpback whales are frolicking by way of the Antarctic waters, and blue whales would possibly even make an look.
Seabirds are additionally playful within the late Antarctic summer season. In South Georgia, you possibly can even go to unique albatross nesting websites.
February provides nice circumstances for crusing and water actions like kayaking, although temperatures start to drop later within the month.
One factor to think about although is that as there was hotter temperatures and little or no snow over the summer season, most of the primary touchdown websites will now be fairly rocky and muddy.
They’ve additionally had hundreds of individuals stroll there earlier than you, so the pristine really feel is beginning to fade and from a photographer’s perspective it’s not fairly so unspoilt.
That’s to not say February is a foul time to go. The additional wildlife exercise greater than makes up for it.
March marks the tip of the vacationer season within the Antarctic Peninsula.
Temperatures begin to get colder, sunlight hours shrink creating epic sunrises and sunsets, and the climate begins to shift.
That additionally means there are fewer ships in Antarctica, and tour costs drop considerably.
By March, penguin chicks are a bit older and extra curious. They’re typically not afraid to stroll proper as much as people, so wildlife photographers could have a blast.
Child penguins are molting as nicely, which means they shed their gray fluff. As a result of snow cowl is at its lowest since November, the landscapes aren’t as pristine in March as they had been earlier within the season.
However March is by far the perfect time for whale watching in Antarctica!
Whales could have been feeding closely for a few months now, so by March they grow to be extra playful and fewer centered on meals.
It’s widespread to see whales breaching, and generally whales will even come proper as much as boats and kayaks to analyze what’s taking place on the floor.
Fur seals and leopard seals are additionally nonetheless seen in March.
Sunrises and sunsets are extra vibrant as nicely as a result of the solar is dropping decrease within the sky once more.
Don’t let the late season deter you – March remains to be a good time to go to Antarctica.
Can Vacationers Go to the Antarctic Peninsula in Winter?
Although it’s not truly prohibited, vacationers can’t actually go to Antarctica within the winter.
Throughout winter within the Southern Ocean, circumstances are simply not appropriate for vacationers to go to. The hours of daylight lower quickly.
By the height of winter, the solar doesn’t rise in any respect, leaving the continent in full darkness.
Temperatures are sometimes -50 levels Celsius, and snow and ice storms are widespread. Sea ice covers all the conventional factors of entry for ships as nicely.
You received’t discover any Antarctica cruises operating till late October, and this isn’t actually a spot the place regular public transport exists! So vacationers don’t have any purpose to go to Antarctica in winter.
Greatest Time To Go to Antarctica Conclusions
Many would think about late December or early January to be the perfect months to go to Antarctica.
Climate circumstances are at their most favorable, with heat temperatures, low ranges of pack ice, and lengthy sunlight hours. Wildlife can be very energetic, each in Antarctica and on neighbouring islands like South Georgia.
Nevertheless, the early season and late season each have a lot to supply as nicely.
November is the perfect season for panorama photographers. The icebergs are nonetheless mighty, the snowy landscapes are nonetheless preserved, and the low solar makes wonderful colours at dawn and sundown.
February and March are the perfect months for whale watching! If you happen to go to within the cooler months, simply be sure to pack appropriately so you possibly can keep heat.
So irrespective of which month you go to, you will see that one thing particular in Antarctica.
What’s the greatest month to go to Antarctica?
One of the best month to go to Antarctica is dependent upon what you’re in search of. November is nice for pristine landscapes, December and January is ideal for secure climate and penguin chicks, and February and March are the perfect time for whale watching.
When ought to I go to Antarctica?
In our opinion based mostly on a number of journeys always of the summer season, it is best to go to Antarctica based mostly on what you need to see – Unspoiled landscapes in November, plentiful wildlife in December and January, and whales in February and March.