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

The staff and crew were excellent and all worked hard to make the trip an experience to remember.
Karen Bonthrone, UK - Weddell Sea and Antarctic Explorer, February 2016
Thanks for making a life long dream become a reality. The ship, the Drake, Antarctica, the staff, and the whole experience was better than I had hoped for. I am so glad that I finally did this trip and thanks to people like you who make small ships and small groups possible.
Wendy Smith - Spirit of Antarctica, 2015
I would like to commend the staff and crew - it was them who made the trip both a learning experience and something to be enjoyed. They were always prepared to go the extra mile.
Helen Veivers - Christmas in Antarctica, 2015