Antarctica infamously has 6 months of darkness (winter) & 6 months of daylight (summer) with the lowest recorded temperature on earth -89.2˚C.
The only time to visit is from November to February which are the summer months and the temperatures are a pleasant 0˚C to 5˚C. In the wind, for the zodiac cruises & transfers, it can feel colder due to the wind factor. Ironically Antarctica is the driest place on earth, it has approximately the same amount of precipitations as the Sahara desert! The reason there is so much ice & snow is that it simply does not melt.
THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA, SOUTH GEORGIA & FALKLANDS SEASON INFORMATION
October and November
Antarctica is never crowded, but in the early season there are far fewer ships and the vastness and purity of the region is even more pronounced. For many people who work in or travel to Antarctica frequently, it is their favourite time to be there and here is why..
The pack ice begins to break up, and the landscape is pristine with plenty of fresh snow. It’s mating season for the penguins and other birds. Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins and other seabirds return to their breeding sites. You’re likely to witness courtship displays, nest building and egg tending. In South Georgia Elephant Seals and Fur Seals are mating, and King Penguins are laying their eggs. Parents can be seen “carrying” eggs on their feet so that one parent can shuffle around the colony while the other adult goes out to sea to feed.
December and January
These months are at the height of the Austral Summer and the Sun is up 18 to 20 hours a day meaning that there are many photo opportunities and beautiful sightings. Penguin chicks are hatching and you may even see them chasing after any adult penguin that is carrying food. Whale sightings of baleen and toothed whales along the Antarctic Peninsula are increased and seal pups can be sighted on the beaches in South Georgia.
February and March
In Peninsula, the sightings of whales are at their peak and there is an increase in the number of Fur seals that can be found along the Peninsula and offshore islands; young fur seals are also quite playful in South Georgia. Penguin colonies are very active within these months and the penguin chicks begin their journey to becoming an adult and therefore the parents have abandoned their chicks, and have gone out to sea to feed and fatten up for their own moulting stage. Most colonies (Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo) are nearly vacated by early March.