When to go to Antarctica?

The absolute best time of the year to visit Antarctica are the months January and December. The wildlife is at full swing, the temperature is the highest of the year, there is the most hours of sunlight per day and this is the best time to watch penguin (chicks).

Antarctica is not accessible to tourists from April to October.

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The best time to visit Antarctica: explanation of sub-periods

The period from November to February, when Antarctica is accessible to tourists, can be divided into three sub-periods. An explanation of the advantages and the disadvantages of each period is presented below.

  • November to mid-December: late Austral spring and early Austral summer, this is the most adventurous time to visit the Peninsula. However, not all operators offer trips in November, because of the lower temperatures and the presence of polar ice, limiting access to some areas. The lower temperatures are responsible for a nice scenery, but the wildlife is not as impressive as later on in the season. This is the perfect time to see the penguins mating and building their nests. It is also the courting season for seabirds, you can see spectacular courtship rituals. Also, seals are visible on the fast ice and the shorelines. The melting ice is responsible for changing landscapes and the creation of impressive icebergs. Rates tend to be significantly lower in this period.
  • Mid-December to January: the wildlife is at full swing and this is the best time of the year to see penguin (chicks), the temperature is the highest of the year and there is also the most hours of sunlight per day (20+ hours!). Longer Antarctica days create stunning photo opportunities and you are even able to read a book on the deck of your vessel at midnight. Obviously this is the busiest time of the year, resulting in the highest prices. Bookings for tours and cruises have to be made many months in advance.
  • February to March: late summer: this is the best time of the year to spot whale's, the cruises are less crowded then in the previous period, resulting in lower rates. Areas more South are better accessible due to the melting ice, but the wildlife is less impressive then in the previous period. Beautiful Antarctica sunrises and sunsets create plenty of amazing photo opportunities.
Antarctic experience
Antarctic experience

Hightlights from Antarctica
Antarctica highlights
Antarctica Adventure Travel
Antarctica Adventure

Antarctica - National Geographic Traveler
National Geographic Traveler

Antarctica weather

Below you find an easy overview of the monthly temperature range and the average amount of precipitation that Antarctica receives. This picture makes clear at a glance why December and January are the best months to go to Antarctica!

Temperature and precipitation overview (°F) Temperature and precipitation overview (°C)
Weather of Antarctica (°F) Weather of Antarctica (°C)

Antarctica map and current weather

Drag the yellow iconStreetview iconto a location on the map for the "Google streetview" mode.
Click on the weather icon to see the forecast for the next days.
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Popular Antarctica travel activities

There are many companies offering tours, expeditions, flights and cruises to and around Antarctica.
Below you find 2 examples of amazing tourist expeditions to Antarctica, organized by G Adventures.

Antarctica Classic Antarctica Classic in Depth
Antarctica classic Antarctica Classic in Depth
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Skiing on Antarctica

There is no skiing possible on Antarctica.
However, the adventurous people can do kite-skiing on Antarctica, this is offered by some companies.

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Interactive 'best time to visit countries' World Map

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Do you have a question about visiting Antarctica? Or do you want to share your knowledge of Antarctica with other travelers? Please, visit our Antarctica forum.

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