When is the best time to go?
The Antarctic season runs during the austral summer which is late October to late March. Each month brings something different in terms of wildlife. If you have any specific interest in certain wildlife let us know and we can advise the best month. Antarctica is a very physical place, from the wild southern ocean crossing to the massive ice flows and high mountains. Nature dominates and as such, weather is always unpredictable but rarely as cold as you may think.
The climate in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) is cool and usually dry and rarely below freezing.
In October and November the peninsula will be at its most pristine and dramatic with plenty of fresh snow and huge icebergs. Photographers tend to prefer this time of year as the snow becomes less pristine later on in the season by nests and droppings and the icebergs start to reduce in size. Pack ice will prevent access to some landing sites so some shore landings may need to be cancelled and/or rescheduled.
Penguins, seals and seabirds can be seen courting at this time of year with plenty of rituals on display. The spring flowers are in bloom across South Georgia, and it is the best chance to see emperor penguins in the Weddell sea.
Days are already long as the sun rises around 06:00 and sets about 20:30 extending to around 23:00 by the end of November. Drake Passage crossings tend to be rougher early in the season, though impossible to predict at any time.
In December it's high summer and there is plenty of wildlife activity. Penguin eggs start to hatch, first in the Falklands and South Georgia, and then on the peninsula by the end of the month. Southern elephant seals can be seen guarding their pups. Seabirds are abundant. The average temperature on the peninsula rises so that days are comfortably well above freezing and night-time temperatures are only just below freezing. The sun sets for only three hours a night on the peninsula, reaching almost 24 hour daylight by the solstice.
January through to February is the peak season. Temperatures are still a few degrees above freezing during the day and darkness still falls for only three-four hours per night. January is often the peak time for penguin lovers, you'll see chicks galore, while seal pups are very active in the water.
By February you have more chance of seeing whales and the penguins start to fledge. Fledgling gentoo penguins are a particular highlight.
In March the average temperature cools a little more, though daytime temperatures tend to still stay above freezing. March is the best month to see whales and orcas as they start to migrate north. If you are very lucky you might see the Aurora Australis. Icebergs are now smaller than at the start of the season, though still very impressive and you can often explore deeper as the pack ice has broken up.