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King penguins on South Georgia

Antarctica Cruises: When to Go?

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Antarctica’s winter months are during the northern hemisphere’s summer months. During this time (roughly May through September) there is no travel to Antarctica. Ship traffic is blocked by polar ice and the temperatures rarely ever reach above zero. Most travelers visit Antarctica from the months of November through March.

November: This is surely the most adventurous month to plan an Antarctic voyage. It is colder than later months, and access to some of the Peninsula may be compromised due to breaking polar ice.

As the world's southern-most continent, Antarctica has unique weather conditions and climate. There are a number of factors that provide it with such a cold and extreme environment. Antarctica has a higher average elevation than the rest of the continents on Earth. Almost completely covered by ice and snow, its surface reflects the sun's solar energy back into the atmosphere, rather than absorbing it. Heat is also lost due to the lack of precipitation. With limited water vapor in the air, there is little to capture the sun's warmth. Antarctica's weather also contributes to its unparalleled beauty. In Antarctica’s winter months the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights) appear dancing along the horizon in glowing greens and pinks as the solar winds meet with atmospheric gases.

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King penguins on South Georgia

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