Visiting Antarctica during summertime season (November-March) means fascinating wildlife activity, warmer temperatures and up to 20 hours of sunlight allowing for optimal exploration. What makes your Antarctic experience unique however, will depend on the month you choose to travel, decided by what you’d like to see! Cruising in the Antarctic at the beginning and end of the season generally offers more accessible prices, and stark contrasts in wildlife encounters and landscapes.
So what can we expect in Antarctica during late summer (mid-February – late March)?
- Best whale-spotting encounters. Your most common sightings here are orcas, minke whales, humpback whales, as well other possible encounters including blue whales and southern right whales.
- Don’t miss the baby penguins! By this season, most of the adults have returned to the sea to hunt for food, while the penguin chicks are shedding their baby brown furs, beginning to fledge and learning the ropes of adulthood. Departures in early March may be your last chance to see Adelie and Chinstrap penguins before they disappear into the water!
- Melting polar icecaps pave the way for further exploration of the South. After months of intense sunlight and polar ice melting, you’ll have the chance to cross the Antarctic Circle reaching as far south as 66° 33′ S, which many Antarctic expeditions are unable to reach in the colder months.
- Unforgettable sunsets. Here you will have your first glimpse of the sun setting lower in the sky, giving you incredible photo opportunities. Certain cruises are designed to focus solely on wildlife and landscape photography, where professional photographers join on-board to assist you with all things photography!
Cruising this late in the season does however carry the risk of missing out on land encounters with wildlife, pristine snowscapes and icebergs. But, if you are looking to travel outside of the peak season and avoid sharing your landings with other ships, cruising in March will exceed your expectations. To top that off, your cruise price can go as low as AU$6488 on-board our Ocean Nova Antarctic Explorer.