Antarctic Adventure

A Guide to Your Next Antarctica Adventure

Are you planning a trip to Antarctica? Use this guide from LANDED Travel to find out the best time to travel to Antarctica, destination options, travel insurance options, and so much more.

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Best Time for Antarctic Adventure

The best time to visit Antarctica is during the Austral summer, November through March. This is when Antarctic wildlife is the most active, including that which is found on the islands near Antarctica. Most Antarctic cruises only operate during this time to take advantage of the season.


  • Falkland Islands wildlife watching
  • South Georgia Island birdwatching
  • View seabird and marine mammal breeding
  • Crabeater seal pups arrive from September to November. Elephant seals guard their beach territories and harems until December
  • Elephant seals can be seen guarding territories until December
  • Landing sites are at their most pristine; snow is still fresh, with little evidence of human visitation
  • As this is “shoulder season” for Antarctic visitation, landing site cancelations due to sea ice and high winds are more likely.

November & December:

  • Penguins begin mating rituals, nest building, and stone stealing
  • Penguin, cormorant, and petrel egg-laying
  • Extended golden hours at dawn and dusk, allowing for spectacular landscape and sea-scape photos long into the night
  • Some research stations are open to guests
  • Weaners (elephant seal pups no longer being fed milk) may approach visitors at landing sites.
  • Migratory whales arrive (humpbacks, minke, and southern right whales)
  • Sea ice starts breaking up, allowing navigation between ice floes
  • During November, landing site cancelations due to sea ice and high winds are more likely
  • By the end of December, penguin chicks hatch

    January & February:

    • Penguin rookeries are full of life: chicks are hatching, and parents are feeding them
    • Fur seal and leopard seal pups have arrived
    • Whales are most numerous
    • Receding ice allows for exploration farther south along the Antarctic Peninsula


    • Adult penguins molt and curious young penguins take to the seas
    • Whale watching is still in full swing. The migrating whales have mostly arrived, and the ocean is rich with food
    • Receding ice allows for exploration to the deepest points south along the Antarctic Peninsula
    • Green and pink algae blooms are visible
    • Spectacular sunrises and sunsets
    • Antarctic Circle cruises are in season

    Need more guidance in planning your Antarctic adventure? LANDED can help you cut through the options and design an itinerary that’s a perfect fit.

    How to get to Antarctica

    What’s the best way to get to Antarctica? Well, it depends on your method of travel! If you’re taking a cruise to Antarctica, you will most likely depart from and return to Ushuaia, Argentina. If you are looking into flying to the southernmost continent LANDED can arrange flights and air-cruise combinations from Punta Arenas, Chile.


    Most Antarctic cruises depart from and return to Ushuaia, Argentina. The best way to plan your departure from Ushuaia to Antarctica is to arrive two or three nights before your cruise is scheduled to leave Argentina. This gives you time to manage any delays, such as labor disputes or strikes with the airlines. If you do not arrive on time for your cruise to Antarctica, it will leave without you, so it’s imperative to give yourself extra time to get there.

    Arriving on departure day is too late, and too risky. Most flights from Buenos Aires arrive in Ushuaia after 10:00 AM, and many flights have evening arrivals. Luggage drop-off for most cruises is by 11:00 AM. Check-in and boarding is usually finished by 5:00 PM.

    LANDED can arrange private touring for your stay in Ushuaia.


    Most air cruise itineraries originate in Punta Arenas, located deep in southern Chile. Flights to Antarctica operate between the commercial airport in Punta Arenas (in Chile’s far south) and Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva (a Chilean base on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands). Arrive in Punta Arenas at least one day before your flight to Antarctica. Because flights to Antarctica are weather-dependent, passengers need to be mentally prepared for early or late departures.

    LANDED can arrange private touring or hotel extensions in the nearby Puerto Natales or the popular Torres del Paine National Park.

    Where to stay in Antarctica

    A cruise is one of the very best ways to experience the extreme environment of the Antarctic. Most cruises originate in Ushuaia, Argentina, and include two-way navigation of the legendary Drake Passage. Air-cruise options are also available from Punta Arenas, Chile. These itineraries can be as short as 10 days. Others span more than two weeks.

    LANDED has prepared a guide to help you swift through the many options and choose the best fit for you.

    Looking for a land-based option? Many people are surprised to discover there are actually no hotels in Antarctica. However, there are hotel alternatives on the continent.

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    Destination Options

    What are the best places to visit in Antarctica? Here’s a list of some of LANDED Travel’s favorites:

    • South Georgia Island
    • South Shetland Islands
    • Falkland Islands
    • Weddell Sea
    • Weddell Gyre
    • Antarctic Peninsula
    • Coastal Antarctica
    • South Pole
    • Antarctic Circle

    Whether you travel by air, land, or sea, you’ll be sure to experience some of the very best Antarctica and the surrounding regions have to offer.

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    Travel Insurance

    What about travel insurance for Antarctica? Most Antarctic tour operators require passengers and participants to obtain special forms of insurance prior to the start of travel, due to the unpredictability of the weather and other situations outside the traveler’s control. There’s inherent uncertainty when traveling off the beaten path!

    Insurance coverage is essential in this region. An Antarctic adventure carries with it a slight but inherent risk that a voyage or air-cruise may be cancelled or interrupted before or after the voyage has begun. The most commonly required types of insurance are travel insurance, medical insurance, and medical evacuation insurance.  As these three types of policies can overlap or leave gaps when purchased separated, most cruise operators recommend their passengers purchase comprehensive medical travel insurance.

    We recommend that travelers seek the advice of a travel insurance specialist when selecting the coverage that is appropriate for their specific Antarctica adventure.

    At LANDED, we do not sell insurance; however, we can help you understand the details of the policies your Antarctic travel requires. To help with this we have put together a guide to better understand what is required.

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    After Your Antarctic Adventure

    What should you do after your Antarctic adventure? There’s a whole world to explore yet, including Argentina and Chile.

    Return from Antarctica involves some uncertainty; high winds may delay return flights to Chile and a rough crossing of the Drake Passage might even push a ship’s arrival time to one day later than expected. Giving yourself time in Argentina or Chile at the tail end of your Antarctica adventure can add texture to your trip and reduce the chance of missing your return international flight.

    Consider these destinations for travel after Antarctica:



    We know each of these destinations first-hand and by heart. With so many options, it’s easy to get lost in the flood of information. LANDED can help you sort through the choices and design the perfect pre- and post-Antarctic travel itinerary.

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    LANDED has direct contracts throughout Antarctica. With so many options it’s easy to get lost in the flood of information. Speak to one of our Antarctica adventure experts today at 801.582.2100. We’ll design an Antarctic itinerary that’s perfect for you.