5 Awesome Reasons to Cruise to Antarctica in November

When you’re planning a trip to Antarctica, nine times out of ten it’s ‘how much will this trip cost?’ be the first question that will come to mind. Yet the time of year you visit can also change when you decide to go.  The Antarctic season runs from the end of October to the beginning of March, with each month offering different landscapes, experiences and wildlife. I got the chance to visit Antarctica in November, here are some awesome reasons you should explore Antarctica in November too:

1.The Ice formations are truly spectacular

November in Antarctica: Zodiac in background and iceberg in foreground.

Check out the Zodiac on the other side of the iceberg in Antarctica, Photo Credit: Devayani Sathe

Beautiful blue iceberg in Antarctica.

Blue icebergs indicate the iceberg has originated from a glacier, photo credit: Devayani Sathe

Spectacular ice formations

The translucent nature of the iceberg on the right indicates that this iceberg is incredibly hard. Photo credit: Devayani Sathe.

The ice hasn’t quite melted in November, not only does this create spectacular ice formations but because there’s still a lot of sea ice as well you will literally see a ‘white continent’ like no never before. On every shore landing you will step onto pristine white snow where you’ll most likely be the first people to visit for that season.


2.Courtship is on display in the animal kingdom

In November, Gentoo Penguins are in full swing of finding their perfect mate, you will see male penguins rummaging through piles of pebbles to find the smoothest most perfect pebble in the hope of winning over his lady love. Courtship also means that some penguin hearts may also get broken. I was lucky enough to witness a full blown penguin fight (unlucky for the penguin in question), but to see the bloodied male penguins fight over a female was truly fascinating, definitely a David Attenborough moment.

Gentoo Penguins mating

Pair of gentoo penguins mating, photo credit: Devayani Sathe.

Blue eyed shags relaxing by a pebbled shore.

Animated pair of blue eyed shags, photo credit: Devayani Sathe

Penguins fighting

Bloodied gentoo penguins in the midst of a mate battle, photo credit: Devayani Sathe


November is the time when Gentoo Penguins tend to their nests

Gentoo Penguins nesting in November, photo credit: Devayani Bodas

3.Less penguin poo, more untouched areas

When you cruise to Antarctica in November, the stench of penguin poo you smell on each shore landing is quite bearable. Instead of seeing a sea of brown, you are able to see the distinct penguin highways over the pristine white landscapes. As Antarctica is just coming out of it’s winter months, you will get a taste of some harsh weather conditions. In saying that, most cruises normally venture to the Antarctic Peninsula which is the northernmost part of the continent where temperatures average at -2.8 Celsius.

Gentoo Penguins surrounded by clean ice

Gentoo penguins around lots of fresh ice formations, photo credit: Devayani Sathe.

Gentoo penguin passes a pile of penguin poo

Gentoo Penguins surrounded by Penguin poo, photo credit: Devayani Sathe.

4.Amazing Sunsets and awe-inspiring reflections

As we left the Beagle Channel on the 13th of November, I looked back to see the most awe-inspiring sunset ever. When you are so far south, the sunsets and sunrises are quite lengthy affairs.

Spectacular Sunset from Ship cruising through the Beagle Channel

Sunset, looking back at the Beagle Channel/. Photo Credit: Devayani Sathe.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Antarctica

Crystal Clear Reflections, Photo credit: Devayani Sathe.




5.Excellent Pricing for Flights & Cruises in November

Being early in the season definitely has it’s advantages in terms of how much you will spend. Many ships will have their first voyage of the season kick off in November, which means competitive pricing. Flights to South America, more specifically flights to Ushuaia in Argentina are also in the ‘off-peak season’.

Flying to South America

Aeroplane flying to South America

Spectacular views of Deception Island in November

Deception Island in November covered in a blanket of clean white snow, photo credit: Devayani Sathe.

Explore Antarctica in November on our very own Chimu cruise Pristine Antarctica, which departs on the 23rd of November 2019 aboard the MV Hondius. 

Not sure when the best time to travel to Antarctica is? Drop us a line and one of friendly Destination Specialists will be more than happy to talk you through all your options and what to expect in different months of the Antarctic season. Feel free to simply browse through the trips we offer on our Antarctica page. 

For more facts and all things Antarctica, check out our Antarctica Resource Centre.

Author: Devayani Sathe