Nowhere on the planet compares to the pristine beauty of Antarctica, the so-called ‘White Continent’ that is revered for its dramatic snowscapes, huge glaciers, sculptural icebergs, and truly amazing wildlife. The sheer size and scientific significance of what is technically a desert exceeds all expectations, and many find going on holiday to this ice-crowned wilderness with no permanent human habitation a truly soul-stirring experience.
No travellers visit Antarctica during the winter when the temperature plummets and the polar ice becomes hard to traverse. Most vessels sail from November to March.
November is an extraordinary time to visit Antarctica as it is the first oportunity to travel after the winter and visitors will see flawless snow plains. However, there is a caveat: the temperatures are cooler and the ice is as yet separating so access to certain regions might be restricted. And yet, the cooler temperature means that the icescapes are at their most spectacular...this is certainly an opportunity to go if you want to see some incredible views. Wildlife is not as bountiful, but it is a great time to see the penguins building their nests and their fascinating courtship displays.
December - Mid-February
This is when there is the most daylight (as much as 20 hours every day) so there is a lot of time to explore and is the Antarctic 'high summer', which means wildlife is at its generally dynamic. Penguins, seals and seabirds are plentiful so make sure you bring your camera. Boats tend to get booked up fast as people are eager to see the penguin chicks hatch, so we recommend that you plan well in advance if you want to visit during these months.
Mid-February - March
This time offers you the best odds of seeing whales. Keep your eyes peeled for humpbacks, minkes and, if you're lucky, an orca or two. The rookeries are still bursting with activity, however the penguin chicks are presently completely developed and are now almost fully grown and are to be found chasing their parents around relentlessly for food. You may even spy the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights if you are visiting towards the end of the season.