When Is The Best Time To Visit Antarctica? Don’t Miss Out

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There’s only a five-month window during which Antarctica is accessible by sea.

For the rest of the year, thick ice forms in the ocean and it is impossible to reach Antarctica. Read on to find out when is the best time to visit Antarctica.

The Best Time To Visit Antarctica?

Antarctica offers distinctly different phases from November to March, which provide unique opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts and travelers.

The best time to visit Antarctica depends on why you are visiting in the first place.

Planning visit Antarctica tips season
Planning to visit Antarctica

If you are particularly interested in the scenery and experiencing the magnificent views, then the best time to visit Antarctica is at the beginning of the season in November.

It is a bit cold during that time, but the icebergs are at their finest and the snow is untouched and pristine. As a bonus, the sunsets are the best during this time.

If you like to see penguins in their natural habitat, then December/January is the best time to visit Antarctica:

  • In December, you will see mating rituals and nesting, and in January you will see the same chicks hatch and make their first steps.
  • Later in January, the penguins will have their first swim which is somewhere between fascinating and hilarious.

For people interested in watching whales, February and March are the best months to visit Antarctica. The migrating whale pods are returning to the Antarctica waters.

November in Antarctica

November marks the official start of summer in Antarctica.

The sea levels are receded enough so that ships begin to access many parts of the Antarctic Peninsula.

After the long winter, the days become longer because the sun stays longer in the sky.

Antarctica travel season preparation
Antarctica travel season

During the month of November, you can see untouched snow and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 C) to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 C).

Since this is the start of the summer, the ice is pristine after a winter hiatus and icebergs are at their most impressive.

As far as wildlife, it is just starting to return as the penguin and seal mating season starts.

December in Antarctica

December is the most popular month to visit Antarctica for many reasons.

The sun pushes the temperatures up above freezing and can reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 C).

The days are even longer than the previous month. Because so many people consider this month as the best time to visit Antarctica, the prices are the highest.

Antarctica time to visit

In this month, the sea has melted enough to allow complete access to the key locations.

Wildlife is at its most active form as the penguin babies hatch and elephant seal pups play with their parents.

The migrating whales are passing through and the bird mating season starts.

January In Antarctica

January is the second most popular month to visit, and the prices are pretty high at the beginning of the month.

The temperatures in January continue to rise and the daylight is present for 20+ hours.

The extra daylight hours give you time to explore the penguin chicks and seal pups as they go into the water for the first time.

Antarctica cost expectations

The adult penguins, seals, and whales are making attempts to hunt for food and feed their offspring.

There are a lot of activities in the water as well as on the beaches. Also, in January, the ice allows for the season’s first Polar Circle trips.

February In Antarctica

February is a peak whale spotting season in Antarctica.

The migrating pods have now made it to Antarctic waters. Penguin chicks are now bigger and louder than ever as they learn to swim in the shallows.

What to Expect? The best thing about February in Antarctica is that there is a small window to reach the Polar Circle because the ice has receded to its maximum extent.

It is considered the best month to visit the Polar Circle.

March In Antarctica

March is reserved for great whale encounters, but the temperatures are returning to below-freezing levels.

As the number of visitors reduce, the penguin chicks are becoming curious about visitors and can be seen close to people.

Trip to Antarctica cost plan
Trip to Antarctica

It is a popular month for photographers due to the amazing sunsets and sunrises.

There are fewer ships around and you can really take some cool photographs of the landscape.

Also, if you are interested in heritage and history, there is a great chance to reach iconic locations like Shackleton and Scott’s expedition.

In Conclusion

The best time to visit Antarctica depends on your budget and what you really want to see. For iceberg site seeing and just having Antarctica for yourself, November is the best month.

In December, the weather is warmest and the days are the longest. January is almost the same as December, plus the increased activity in the wildlife. February is best for whale spotting while March is more for site seeing.

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