Antarctica’s Seasons

Our Antarctic expeditions operate from November - March during the Antarctic, or Austral, summertime; when wildlife is active, sunlight is plentiful and temperatures are relatively mild. However, different times in the season bring different conditions and varying stages of the cycle of life. 


November - Early December

The temperature has started to rise but there is still some pack and fast ice, giving the feel of "deep Antarctica". The pristine conditions are also perfect for wildlife photography, as penguins court, nest-build and breed; fur and elephant seals give birth; minke and orca whales arrive and hunt. 

Baby fur seal

Mid Summer

December - Early February

The height of summer provides maximum opportunities for shore excursions with daylight stretching out to nearly 24 hours. King penguins and their fluffy brown chicks crowd the colonies in South Georgia, while other penguin species are ever vigilant for nearby feeding leopard seals. Elephant seals suckle their pups (weaners) while the Weddell seals moult ashore. While you're on deck, keep an eye out for arriving humpback whales and their bubble-net feeding technique.

King penguin colony South Georgia

Late Summer

Mid-February - Late March

Summer youngsters continue to grow and learn; penguin chicks fledge and run the leopard seal gauntlet while cormorant chicks learn to fly. South Georgia is alive with thousands of fur seal pups and albatross chicks hatch. Whilst the days begin to get shorter and colder, this brings with brilliant sunsets and the return of floating sea ice.

Humpback whale tail

Thank you for making a dream come true better than the dream!!
Jane Gibson, Australia - In Shackleton’s Footsteps, 2016
The breadth of knowledge of the whole team was fantastic. And the love and enthusiasm they had for Antarctica and South Georgia was so obvious.
Cheryl Ryce - South Georgia & Antarctic Odyssey, 2015
This really was a truly magical experience which will live with us forever.
R. Astridge - Across the Antarctic Circle, 2018