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Swoop says

2023 dates and prices are now available for those who like to plan ahead, which we always recommend when it comes to Antarctica. There's a wide range of voyages to choose from on 27 different expedition ships.

High Season Antarctic Cruises 2023

Between December and February, Antarctica's wildlife and weather are both at their best. December has warmer temperatures and longer days with the austral summer being in full swing, which means more sightings of seals and the arrival of humpbacks. In January, penguin chicks chase their parents along the shoreline, where baby seals are enjoying the 'warmth'. Great numbers of humpback and minke whales and orcas also frequent the waters. February is also a very active month, with penguin chicks learning to swim, leopard seals predating, and whale spotting season at its height.

Antarctica in January

Emperor penguin & chick, South Georgia - Antarctica trip cost

January is the peak of the Antarctic summer, so you'll enjoy magical 20+ hours of sunlight each day.  These extra daylight hours gives you more time each day to explore,…

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Antarctica in February

Majestic iceberg in the Crystal Sound, Polar Circle, Antarctica

February's the time for sailing all the way to the Polar Circle, the Sun's rays through December and January having weakened the pack ice significantly enough to allow for …

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Antarctica in December

Viewing humpback whales off the Melchior Islands, Antarctica

The summer sun bathes the continent in 20-24 hours of daylight in December, making it a popular time to visit. It's also a busy time for the penguin rookeries as the chicks begin …

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High Season Antarctic Cruises 2023

Shoulder Season Antarctic Cruises 2023

November is an exciting time of year to be in Antarctica as it's the start of summer when everything seems to be waking up from the long and dark winter. Penguin rookeries are a hive of activity whilst elephant seals are busy battling on South Georgia Island. Come March, as the winter draws closer, you can expect the closest encounters with whales. Watch waddling groups of penguin adolescents and experience an increase in predator activity.

Antarctica in March

Taking a Zodiac ride to Pleneau Bay, Antarctica, in March

March marks the end of the travel season to Antarctica. You'll be able to enjoy the mesmerising colours of blooming green and pink algae against the water and ice, as well as …

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Antarctica in November

Viewing Antarctica from the expedition ship's bow

In November Antarctica opens its arms to the season's first visitors. You'll not only enjoy the excitement of walking on virgin snow, but you'll also appreciate its beauty as you …

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Shoulder Season Antarctic Cruises 2023

When should I start planning my Voyage?

  • When are departure dates normally released?

    ​Polar​ operators ​typically release their ​forthcoming departure dates ​and prices at least 18 months ​or so in advance, some even earlier. This is great news for travellers who like to plan ahead and get their cabin reserved early on​, particularly if you can take advantage of an early booking incentive.

    Given that there is only a finite number of places available on each departure, it really is a case of 'the early bird gets the worm' - or in this case the best dates and the widest choice of cabins - so early booking is strongly recommended.

  • When should I start to plan my Fly & Cruise trip?

    Trips which include time-saving flights to Antarctica and avoid the Drake Passage are incredibly popular and are the earliest of all voyages to become booked up.

    Due to strong demand and the relatively modest number of ships, particularly during High Season, to be confident of securing your first choice we would strongly urge that you begin planning at least 12 months in advance. December and January are particularly busy times and typically are fully booked up 10 months ahead.

    For the most popular Fly & Cruise trips or those incorporating South Georgia, 18 months ahead isn't too early.

  • Is it less expensive to travel in November & March?

    Yes it's true, the Shoulder Season months of November and March tend to be priced approx. 10-15% less than during the High Season (December - end February) and as a result are a good place to look for the budget-conscious or bargain-hunter.

    The reason for this is partly the less predictable weather and slightly lower wildlife numbers, but it's also simply the case that many who live in Northern Hemisphere countries like to holiday during their worst winter months.

    In our opinion a great time to travel is in early December when it's still Shoulder Season pricing but you get all of the benefits of High Season.

  • Are there any advantages in booking early?

    ​There certainly are: as well as securing your first choice, with many of the ships offering really quite generous early booking incentives of up to $1,500 per person to those willing to commit early, getting organised can really pay dividends.

  • Can I wait until the last minute for a late deal?

    Given the ​strong ​demand for Antarctic cruises​ ​boat ​operators rarely need to ​resort to offering any ​late availability discounts - particularly on the more popular ships and voyages - as ​cabins ​are normally all booked months ago in advance.

    Any remaining unsold cabins tend to be left on the shelf for a reason and choice will be poor at best, so it's not an approach we advocate.

    However, if you're flexible on dates and don't mind paying a last minute premium for your flights,​ ​there are normally odd cabins available.

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What our customers think of Antarctica Cruises 2023

Customer Image

We are back and are slowly getting back to earth! As for the Polar expedition it was "Wow!" everyday. Truly an experience of a lifetime. We were blown away by the calibre of the people taking us around, so very knowledgeable and yet very approachable. Even the captain of the vessel was amazing, turning around the ship to allow for a closer view of whales!!!

Travelled: January 2018

Lucien & Marie-Eve - South Africa

Customer Image

Seeing astounding small blue crevasses among the vast white background, watching sea-ice form, witnessing icebergs calving and crashing into the sea, unexpectedly coming across lush green algae and blue copper staining on the rocks are all experiences that we will never forget.

Travelled: March 2017

Graham and Angela - UK

Most memorable moment? My partner proposed to me at Orne Harbor as chinstrap penguins wandered by, and then we got to see a group of humpback whales on the zodiac cruise right after! Read the full review

Travelled: February 2023

Leanne Matthews - USA

Each trip on land or on a zodiac offered us different views of the continent. We explored each landing site for 1 to 2 hours, and this included hikes and glaciers, visiting penguin colonies etc. The briefings on board the ship gave us a really good understanding of what we were visiting. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Isabella Kornas - UK

The most exciting moment was being lucky enough to see all of the orcas surrounding our ship. They were everywhere, and so beautiful. We all jumped up from dinner and ran outside without our jackets (note: worth carrying your jacket for these sudden surprise viewings!) and it was truly magical. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Leah Rumbough - USA

Our overall experience was outstanding. We learned a lot from the interesting lectures, exploring out in the field, and getting to experience such vast beauty. Such a knowledgeable and positive team worked beautifully together and took great care of us. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Leah Rumbough - USA

Be prepared for awesome - landscapes, critters, like-minded people, staff and crew. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Mary Engebreth - USA

No material items are equivalent to the joy of an incredible experience Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Timothy Sieck - USA

10/10 - It was a profound experience that is very difficult to explain. It has to be experienced. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Nathalie Spencer Weiss - USA

10 / 10 - Swoop coordinated my trip in expert fashion…every step along the way. The ship team was extraordinary…experienced, knowledgeable and fully capable. 11 out of 10. A+++ Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Gene Piper - USA

Travelling to such a remote area of the planet made me realize that there is so much more to life than our way of life in human society. I gained a better appreciation for untouched nature and feel more inspired than ever to help conserve these wild places. Read the full review

Travelled: January 2023

Maricela Alaniz - USA

The colours in icebergs, the complete lack of fear of penguins (they have to be the only animal on the planet that doesn't run and hide from humans), the active volcano, the whales and their incredible curiosity and playfulness, the moment I set foot on Antarctica it was one memorable moment after another. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Marg Macleod - Canada

What can one say - to see whales, dolphins, seals penguins, gulls, albatrosses etc etc in their natural environments is just magical. To stand on the rear of the ship and watch the giant petrels, albatrosses, prions etc soar for hours without flapping a wing. To see spouts and then look and look for the next and then the whale - well part of them - it has to be seen. Words can not express the feelings, sense and wonder that fills you. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

John Parker - UK

10/10 - The trip had a lot of 'moving parts', new opportunities, experiences and activities, new gear, new procedures, new requirements, and Swoop did a great job of making it available, accessible, understandable, and ultimately successful experiences. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Michael Cox - USA

We learned a lot about the animals in Antarctica, the geopolitics, the whaling history and the expedition histories. Very interesting. This makes us more closely connected to Antarctica and appreciate all its beauty and complexity. The animals are just adorable. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Cindy He - Switzerland

The scale of Antarctica is far more than any photo or documentary can show. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Adam Patton - UK

10/10 - Swoop was instrumental in showing me Antarctic cruise options that I didn’t even know existed before calling, and they thoroughly explained the pros and cons of each option to make sure it was right for me. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Joseph Gabriano - USA

I could have never expected such a special trip as the one I had! The voyage was magnificent, the team made the experience unforgettable, there was not a single moment I would change, our guides were so passionate to provide us all the opportunities they could to spot wildlife, enjoy breathtaking landscapes and get as close as possible to this frozen land, never compromising safety. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Viktoria Tsvetkova - Bulgaria

Our tip? Just do it! Even though it's quite expensive it's the best trip we've ever been on and we will remember it for the rest of our lives. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Chris Waters - Canada

10/10 - Very happy with Swoop. Trip was well organized. Great communication. Helpful people. Company also cares about the environment - something which anyone who goes to Antarctica will likely become a bigger focus in their life. So great company, cares about its clients, its people and the world in which we live. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Marc Ganz - USA

Everything we could have asked for - lots of great information and quick responses to any contact and questions, good way of handling payments, felt safe and secure which was especially valuable with such a big trip with lots that could go wrong. Massively recommend! Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Angus Townsend - UK

The wildlife was so amazing. We saw an innumerable amount of penguins, whales, and seals. We got so many incredible images and videos of penguins with their “derpy” personalities. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2022

Michael Bucher - USA

From the very beginning, Swoop was with us. They educated us about the perfect trip, the perfect boat, what to sign up for, the clothing to bring, hotels to stay at, restaurants to go to in Ushuaia. When our ship had an issue and there was a one day delay, Swoop literally "swooped in" and had their expert on Ushuaia contact us and give us recommendations. They became like "family"...we adore Ange and Alex and the entire team!!! Read the full review

Travelled: January 2020

Marina Angleton - United States Of America


Undecided on When to Travel?

Read Swoop's guide on choosing the best month and year for you, with advice on how to plan your perfect Antarctic voyage.

Help me choose when to travel

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 50 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.