Best Time To Go

There is no bad time to take an Antarctic Cruise

 Many people ask us when is the best time to go to Antarctica? The first Antarctic Cruises for the season tend to leave in November with the last Antarctic Cruises finishing at the end of March. This relatively short season means the general rule of thumb is - there is no bad time to take an Antarctic Cruise!

However, taking your Antarctic Cruise at different times of the Season will mean that you will see different things and this may have an influence on the time you may want to travel. For example the best time to see the Antarctica looking at its most white and snowy is in the earlier parts of the season, however if you want to see the cute Penguin Chicks then you will want to take your Antarctic Cruise towards the middle and later parts of the season. It is impossible to see everything all in the one trip, however the great thing about the Antarctic is that all times of the season have their own interests.

Below we have prepared a list of the various highlights of travelling within each part of the season. This information should only be used as a guide and we would recommend speaking with a Latin Routes Antarctic Cruises Specialist about the best time of year to travel if you have specific requirements.


Early Season - November to December

Antarctic Cruises taken in the early part of the season will see the Antarctic most looking how you probably imagine it to look. Coming out of winter there will be plenty of snow around, huge icebergs and ice flows in the water. You will be witnessing the Antarctic coming into spring. Taking your Antarctic Cruise at this time will mean the following highlights;

  • Whales are beginning to enter into the Antarctic Area including the Humpback, Minke and Southern Right whale.
  • Penguin displaying the mating and courtship rituals
  • Penguins building their nests for the mating season
  • Classic snowy Antarctic scenery with lots of snow and floating ice
  • Good chances of spotting Seals sitting on the ice flows
  • Elephant seals establishing their territories
  • The first penguin chicks begin to hatch late December in the Falklands and South Georgia
  • Increasingly longer days and increasing temperatures

Mid Season - January to February

Antarctic Cruises taken in the mid part of the season will see Antarctica in its summer time. Longer days and warmer temperatures are a big draw for visitors to the region at this time of year. Certain parts of the Antarctica will enjoy almost 24hr daylight so the photography opportunities at this time of year are endless. Taking your Antarctic Cruise at this time will mean the following highlights;

  • Penguin chicks hatch from January and you can witness them taking their first steps.
  • Whale watching is at its best in February with lots of species in and around the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Longer days mean more time for wildlife observation and photo taking!
  • Warmest temperatures of the season (though we are still talking about the Antarctic here!)
  • Fur and leopard pup seals are becoming visible
  • Receding Antarctic ice means more channels open for exploration
  • Christmas and New Year with a difference! 

 Late Season - March

Antarctic Cruises taken in the later parts of the season will see the Antarctic coming into autumn. The light in the Antarctic Autumn becomes really beautiful particularly during sunrises and sunsets which make for some truly stunning photo opportunities. Taking your Antarctic Cruise at this time will mean the following highlights;

  • Good Whale Watching as the Whales begin to move away from the Antarctic
  • Beautiful light at sunrise and sunset times
  • Penguin chicks begin to fledge the nests
  • Antarctic micro flowers and fauna at its best, casting interesting colours and light over the landscape
  • The pack ice is at its most receded which makes for exploration further south into less explored parts
  • Chances to view the Southern Aurora Lights, which are rare but breathtaking
  • May begin to see the forming of sea ice on the surface, particularly first thing in the morning
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