5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica in December

  1. The start of summer - up to 22 hours of daylight and sunnier days means more time for exploring
  2. The density of wildlife is increasing - penguin rookeries are at full capacity, while seal and whale sightings become common
  3. Penguin chicks begin to hatch, first in the Falklands, and then from mid-December on the Peninsula
  4. December marks the arrival back in Antarctic waters of hungry humpback whales from tropical waters
  5. Access to the landing sites becomes easier in December and breakup of ice allows wider exploration

Our Top Trips in December

Antarctica weather in December

December is typically marked by sunshine and blue skies with increasing hours of daylight. Temperatures are reaching their warmest, as the height of the summer sets in. Glaciers calve, whales return from the tropics, and research activity increases. However, this is Antarctica and the odd whiteout can still occur. You'll want to bring warm clothing and base layers, with the following average daily temperatures:

These regions experience the mildest climate in Antarctica, further inland and at higher elevations, the weather is far more extreme.

Gentoo penguins rushing in the snow

Antarctica wildlife in December

By December the penguin rookeries are at full capacity and the birds are busy incubating their precious eggs. Hatching time differs on the Antarctic Peninsula between the three penguin species, and also different geographical location, but the later in December the better chances you have of seeing newly hatched chicks and hearing the particular 'keening' noise they make.

Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard seals are commonly sighted in December in good numbers, typically hauled up on ice floes. Find out more about Antarctic wildlife by visiting our dedicated page.

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Swoop says

Antarctica costs in December

The key thing to note in December is that around mid-month (it differs between boat operators) the pricing steps up as high season begins. Those aware of this price watershed and who are flexible on dates can benefit from the best of both worlds: (a) travelling in the first two weeks of December under high season conditions, and (b) but at the lower shoulder season pricing.

'High season' is reflective of the better weather, more plentiful wildlife, longer days for exploring and sheer popularity, and runs from mid-December through to late February.

Antarctica flights in December

Charter flights from Punta Arenas in Chile to Antarctica begin in early December when the Chilean airfield on King George Island resumes operations. Flights operate through to mid-February.

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What our customers think

Additional Antarctic activities in December

With the arrival of high summer, the opening up of the ice allows kayakers to cover more ground, while +21 hours of daylight a day provides an interesting experience for overnight campers out on the ice.

Snow conditions are usually good enough for snowshoeing up to Christmas, but can become challenging after that.

Antarctica at Christmas

A fantastic time to visit the 7th continent, for a guaranteed white Christmas! Enjoy festive hosting onboard your expedition vessel, as well as plenty of wildlife sightings to keep your experience magical. The weather is excellent in the festive time period, and with penguin chicks beginning to hatch, you'll certainly have lots of photographs to treasure your time at the end of the world. 

Antarctica in December

Antarctica Cruises - December

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