When is the best time to travel to Antarctica

Travel Resources

The only time you can travel to Antarctica is in summer – – When is the best time to travel to Antarctica But what month should you travel in?

Well, that depends on what you want to see, and your expectations.

Travel in November

Some may argue that the beginning of the season is the best time to visit Antarctica, because it can be seen in its most intact form.

After the long and cold winter, the landscape is covered in a fresh blanket of snow and ice, leaving everything looking clean and pristine.

As for wildlife, it is possible to see whales, but not as much as later in the season, as the water temperatures are still too cold for the whales, they are generally seen in greater numbers in February and March.

If you visit Antarctica at this time of year, however, you will see many penguins, seals, and birds.

The main downside to traveling in November is that the temperatures are lower and the polar ice is still breaking, which means that some areas of the continent are not accessible.

High Season – December to February

The high season coincides with the short summer and is the most popular time to visit the continent.

Temperatures are at an all-time high and you get up to 20 hours of sunlight a day!

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Whales begin to navigate the Antarctic waters, juvenile penguins abound, the birdlife is incredible and you will have a much better chance of seeing Antarctica with clear blue skies.

When we say that it is the most popular time to visit Antarctica, we mean it.

While tour operators are tightly controlled as to where and when they can visit certain areas, you may see other boats around and the traffic of people in the most popular places like Deception Island is higher.

Visit Antarctica in March

The end of summer in Antarctica is the best time for whale watching, And although many of the other animals have started their migration, you will see huge numbers of humpback and minke whales in Antarctic waters.

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Minke whale

At this time of year you will have access to almost all areas as the polar ice will have largely melted.

But temperatures begin to drop slowly as winter approaches and snow storms become more frequent.

Travel itineraries

Most travel itineraries to Antarctica begin and end in Ushuaia, and last approximately 10 days. This includes 2 days each way to cross the Drake Passage, and about 5-6 days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.

Travel itinerary to Antarctica

If you have more time, and want to see additional places, we recommend that you look for a trip that visits the Falkland Islands and South Georgia as well. These types of trips usually last around 17 days.

These archipelagos have tremendous opportunities for wildlife viewing, and are full of fascinating history, such as the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

If you are looking for a deeper adventure in the Antarctic Peninsula, you can see how the Antarctic Circle is crossed, but only a few companies that travel to Antarctica do this type of expedition.

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About the author

I am Matias, born in Patagonia, and a lover of my land.

For more than 20 years I help foreign travellers to organise their trip to Patagonia.

I also manage this exotic accommodation on the Atlantic coast.

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