When is the best season for travel to Antarctica?

Travel to Antarctica takes place during the austral summer months, from November-March, when long daylight hours, temperatures of up to 45°F (on the Peninsula) and melting pack ice draw a diverse array of wildlife to the continent. November and March are considered shoulder season and as the season progresses from spring to autumn, the wildlife and appearance of the Antarctic continent and surrounding islands changes. The following is a brief synopsis of the different months for travel:

November-December: Spring and Early Summer

Larger icebergs and pristine snow conditions are a favorite of photographers, many of which choose this time of year to travel before the ice pack is marred with nests and droppings. Crabeater seal pups are born and male Southern Elephant seals can be seen guarding their harems and offspring. Humpback, Minke and Southern Right whales arrive to feed on the abundance of zooplankton and penguins can. The many species of penguins are engaged in courtship rituals in November with eggs being laid later in the month, hatching by the end of December

January-February: Summer

Peak season, with daytime temperatures on the Peninsula reaching upwards of 50°F while the continent receives nearly 24 hours of daylight. The receding ice gives way to further passage south and many ships offer an ‘Antarctic Circle Crossing’ expedition during these months. Penguin chicks hatch and seal pups born earlier in the season are visible as they begin to take to the water. February is the best month for whale watching, with a high diversity of species seen in large numbers.

March: Fall

The sun begins to set again in the evening and temperatures drop, though remain above 0. Travelers are often treated to thin layers of uniquely patterned sea ice from night frosts and snow algae blooms turn ice cliffs green and pink. Adult penguins molt and chicks leave the nest to begin their life at sea. Whale species are still observed in large number but the best spectacle is the chance to view the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights that occurs in the skies above Antarctica from March-September.

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What are the accommodations like on an Wildland Adventures' Antarctic Cruise?

Cabin size, level of comfort and amenities offer vary by ship and cabin category but in general, all cabins are outward facing with either portholes or picture windows and contain either two berths or have a queen bed. All cabins aboard the Antarctic Dream have en suite bathrooms while Triples and Twin Semi-Private cabins on the Vavilov and Ioffe share bathroom facilities. Back to Top

What should I pack for an Antarctica tour?

Weather in Antarctica is unpredictable; in addition to the cold temperatures, the continent is often very windy as well. The vessels we use provide parkas and rubber boots for shore excursions though you should bring layers and a waterproof/wind resistant jacket, much like you would if packing for Patagonia. A detailed list of suggested items is included in your pre departure Back to Top

How much room is there for luggage?

As with any expedition ship, luggage storage is limited. Soft-sided duffels that can easily be stored below bunks are recommended. Airline luggage restrictions generally limit passengers to 33-50 lbs of checked luggage per person. Check with our Program Director about specific restrictions for your trip. Back to Top

What are the Visa/Passport requirements for travel to Antarctica?

Buenos Aires or Santiago are the typical points of entry for a trip to Antarctica. US citizens need a passport valid for 6 months beyond the dates of travel and must pay a ‘Reciprocity Fee’ upon international airline arrival into either Chile or Argentina. As of 2012, the fee for either country is $140 and is valid for ten years.

Argentina Embassy Website:
Chilean Embassy Website:

Generations Visa Service:

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Will I need vaccinations immunizations or special medications for travel to Antarctica?

No, special immunizations are not required for Antarctica, Chile or Argentine Patagonia. Consult your doctor about taking Dramamine or another motion-sickness drug to combat seasickness; the Drake Passage between Ushuaia and the Antarctic Peninsula is notoriously rough. All travelers should consult their physician or a travel health clinic and refer to the Center for Disease Control website for complete information on health considerations in your destination. Back to Top

As a single traveler, do I need to pay a single supplement if I am willing to share accommodations?

Antarctica is a great destination for single travelers due to the high possibility of finding another single traveler of the same gender to share a cabin with. All three of the ships we sell offer this option; if you are willing to share, the single supplement will be waived. Otherwise, double cabins can be reserved for single occupancy by paying 1.5 – 1.7 times the standard per person rate. Back to Top

What is the local currency on board? Are U.S. dollars accepted?

The USD is the standard currency on board all vessels. Once on board, you may have the option to set up a shipboard account with your credit card for incidental purchases. The standard varies by boat but the crew of most vessels also accept (and prefer) USD cash as a gratuity, to be distributed at the end of a voyage. Back to Top

How much should I tip?

We suggest between $10-$15 per person/per day if you are pleased with the service on board. Back to Top

What is the electrical current on the Antarctica cruise boats? Will I need a plug adaptor?

The ships we use offer 220/120 V though you should bring a travel converter and plug adaptor suitable for Chile and Argentina. Most vessels require a European two (round) pin plug adaptor. Back to Top

Is internet service available while on an Antarctic adventure cruise?

There is no internet access aboard the Antarctic Dream. The Ioffe and Vavilov can offer email access via satellite for an additional fee. Back to Top

Do your Antarctica cruise adventures include international airfare? Do you have recommendations for the best routing and airlines for travel to Antarctica?

International airfare is not included in our prices for our Antarctica cruise adventures. While Wildland Adventures does not book international airfare directly, we are pleased to provide a quote and schedule for your international air with our partners at Exito Travel, a leader in air travel to Latin America and worldwide. They offer highly competitive fares along with the knowledge to book the best airlines, routing and schedule for your Wildland Adventure. Contact your destination Program Director for more information. Back to Top