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When Is the Best Time 

Expedition cruises to Antarctica are only possible during the southern summer between late October/November and March. This is the time when the ice break ups, which allows cruise ships to pass. Depending on the month, there are slight variations in what you’ll see and which antarctic animals you may spot:

November (Icebergs, Seals)

Iceberg in Antarctica at sunset

Best time to see the ice breaking into large icebergs and amazing sculptures. Wildflowers are in bloom, and it’s a great time to spot breeding elephant seals. However, it’s still very cold. Temperatures are way below freezing.


December (Warmer, Seals, First Penguins)

Seal in Antarctica

Days are long, with 20 hours of sunshine. Still a great month to spot seals and already some active penguins. It’s also getting warmer with temperatures around freezing.


January (Warmest Month, Penguins)

Penguins in Antarctica

The perfect month for wildlife viewing, with plenty of penguins active, as well as seabirds and a few whales. Days are still long. It’s also the ‘warmest’ month with temperatures slightly above freezing.


February - March (Whales)

Humpback Whales in Antarctica

The best time for whale watching such as humpback, sperm, and orca. You can also spot fledgling penguin chicks, especially in February. It’s getting a lot colder again in March.


April - September (Winter) 

Winter in Antarctica. The temperatures are freezing (up to -30°C). No possible way to visit, as the polar ice blocks the ship traffic.


A Great Place
Antarctica, Punta Arenas, King George Island
Review and Tips 

Antarctica: Stunning and dramatic landscapes, as well as superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are like no other place on earth.

Normally you have to cross the Drake passage by boat, which takes 1-2 days with really rough weather. But now there is a new company called "Antarctica XXI" which flies over to King George island within 2 hours. We were very lucky to make a stop at Deception Island which is very rare due to bad weather conditions.

  • Around Christmas and New Year is a busy time for Antarctica cruise travel. Plan well in advance and book ahead of time
  • More useful tips: Antarctica Cruise Guide

Trip ideas, inspirations from a tour operator: Penguin viewing, kayaking, climbing polar peaks, snorkeling, scuba diving

Recommended Tour

G Adventures offers a stunning and affordable adventure tour (11 days): Antarctica Classic Tour

Pictures provided by Chris



Aug 13, 2015

Looks amazing. Thanks for the stunning photos!!

Oct 22, 2015

Hi Chris, not that travel is a competition - but you win! ;) Wonderful images you've shared with us. Looking forward to spending more time looking through all of the photos.

Nov 26, 2015

Stunning shots!