6 Reasons to Travel Late Season in Antarctica

November, 2020 | Antarctica Cruises, Planning Your Antarctica Trip

February to March may mark the so-called ‘late season’ in our roster of itineraries, but just because our time in Antarctica is drawing to a close, doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on all the glory that the White Continent has to offer. This time of year, the Southern Hemisphere offers plenty of exceptional opportunities and encounters – many of them unique to this period in the season.


As the end of austral summer begins, many species of whales come to the area to feed. Humpback, Orca and Minke whale sightings are at their peak late season, as they load up on a variety of food sources before migrating to warmer climes. Whale scientists are often conducting important research at this time, and our Citizen Science program participates when possible.


Penguin chicks are preparing to leave their nests and are feeling braver, showing great curiosity towards visitors. Chicks will chase their parents, demanding food and testing the waters for the first time. Our favorite flightless birds are getting in some last meals and preparing to migrate north. If you’re up for a good laugh, a moulting penguin with a hilarious ‘hairstyle’ provides plenty of entertainment.

whale sighting in Antarctica


As the temperature begins to drop in the late season, passengers can be treated to distinctively patterned sea ice. The night brings frosts that create new formations of ice, and snow algae begins to bloom, turning ice cliffs shades of green and pink. With the ice melt having reached its climax, our ships can go the distance and explore unique bays and channels that are otherwise unreachable.


As the austral winter approaches, the sun sits lower in the sky, providing incredible sunrises, sunsets and wonderful light conditions for guests that are photography buffs.


As the season winds down there are fewer ships in the vicinity, which provides more flexibility within our program. Guests on later season voyages are thrilled to visit any number of preferred landing sites. You might just feel like we have the place to ourselves!


One of the most wonderful displays this time of year is the rare occasion to view the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights). This spectacular light show occurs in the skies above Antarctica from March through September, but with voyages ending in March, this is the only chance we might have to see this brilliant spectacle.

While all of our voyages have an abundance of wildlife, ice and adventure, these late season voyages offer their own inimitable opportunities. Have further questions about when is the best time to travel for you? Reach out to our team or use our handy Booking Guide.

Leopard Seal