When to go, what to see?
When to go to Antarctica?
The Antarctic winter is very dark with lots of sea ice and not much wilflife - hence the summer is the time to go to Antarctica, between October and March. This timeframe can be divided into ealry-, mid- and late season.
Early season (Oct-Nov): there is a risk of too much sea-ice so some locations will be inaccessible, however, the Antarctic Peninsula has always been accessible at this time in the past, wilflife arrives on the Antarctic continent during this time so a large variety of wilflife will be seen (often in masses) and the sites visited will still be fresh and untouched by tourists and expeditions (Tip: Penguin chickens start to hatch in November)
Mid season (Dec-Jan): this time is often considered the best time to visit, days are the longest, temperatures the warmest, rarely sea-ice blockages, penguin chickens have hatched, seals are highly active and the whales have fully migrated to Antarctica - however, prices are higher and more ships are in the region
Late season (Feb-Mar): no issues with sea-ice, just as much wildlife as during the mid season - as the seal pups grow, their parents are less protective, hence one can get closer, whales will join together in large groups to prepare for their journey back north. However, as it is the end of the season the landing sites will not be as untouched as in the start of the season
What Wildlife can be found in Antarctica?
Only a small amount of animals reside in Antarctica, most are found on the surrounding islands. Wildlife includes penguins (incl. emperor, king, royal and chinstrap penguin), seabirds, seals, Weddell seals, whales (incl. sperm, humpback, killer, blue whales).