5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica in February

  1. The penguin chicks are now very active and curious, chasing both parents for food as soon as they return from fishing trips
  2. It's peak whale spotting season as all migrating pods have now made it down to Antarctica's rich waters
  3. February is the perfect month to reach the Polar Circle, now that the ice has receded to its maximum extent
  4. The moulting stage begins for the adult penguins, while the chicks are fledging and learning to swim in the shallows
  5. The focus of the Humpback whales now changes, becoming more inquisitive now they’ve sated their appetite
Swoop Says background image

Swoop says

We love February for the frenzy of wildlife activity - crecheing chicks, predating leopard seals & copious whales - before the onset of winter. It's also arguably the best time to try to reach the Polar Circle.

Our Top Trips in February

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Antarctica in February

Customer Image

The experience was fantastic, all and more than we had hoped for!! The highlight was the enormity of the scale of the peninsular and the pristine, untouched solitude of the environment. The landscape was overwhelming and all encompassing, with a grandeur that we had not expected.

Travelled: February 2018

Sue - Australia

Customer Image

I wasn't sure which month to visit Antarctica, in the end I picked February and I know I made the right choice. It was late in their summer so we had better access for the many excursions on land and the overall weather was excellent. Between the whale sightings, penguin chicks still in their nests and the incredible landscape, February easily is the best time to go.

Travelled: February 2017

Jeff - Arizona

Nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes to wildlife and when it comes to trips like this, it's hard to tick everything off the 'must see' list. With this in mind, I decided that I'd just be happy with whatever we came across. It just so happened that we got really lucky in seeing the rare Ross seal (so rare that none of the staff or crew had ever seen one before!), orcas, humpback whales leopard, crabeater, Wendell, elephant seals and 3 different species of penguins. Couldn't have asked for more! Read the full review

Travelled: February 2020

Kirstin Jen - Thailand

We were lucky to have 11 excursions and all were wonderful. My favourite was my personal encounter with a Minke Whale, who spent 30 minutes among our zodiacs and came up close enough for me to see eye to eye! A baby penguin biting my boot was fun as well. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Deborah Merickel - United States Of America

It was an incredible and awe-inspiring place. The place met my expectations and the encounters there exceeded my expectations.

Travelled: March 2018

Kushal - UAE

The Antarctic is more magical south of the circle in February and March. Definitely worth it. Our ship [The Expedition] was the first to get through 'The Gullet', a narrow short cut with lots of sea ice, in seven years.

Travelled: March 2018

Sandra & Keith - UK

It was incredible and exceeded all of my expectations! The highlight was being able to experience wildlife up close, i.e. a humpback whale under our zodiac. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2017

Kira Day - United States Of America


Know which year you want to travel?

If you know when you want to explore the White Continent you can find your perfect trip on our specially dedicated year pages:

Alternatively you can browse the February trips for each year in the carousels below.

Antarctica Cruises in February 2024

Antarctica Cruises in February 2025

Antarctic Travel in February: FAQs

  • What's the weather like in Antarctica in February?

    Temperatures are still warm in February and the weather pretty stable, making travel pleasant.

    Average temperatures:

  • Is February the best month for seeing wildlife in Antarctica?

    February is Antarctica's most active wildlife month - in the rookeries, the penguin chicks are growing up fast making strong demands on their parents for food.

    As they become larger and more resistant to the predations of greedy skuas, the urgency on the part of their parents to provide enough food will mean they are left on their own while both parents go out to sea to fish. This steady stream of dutiful parent penguins entering and exiting the water means leopard seals are often seen predating along the ice edge.

    From late February, young penguin chicks start fledging and learning to swim in the shallows. February and March are also the best months for whale sightings in Antarctica, in particular humpback, minke and orca. The humpback whales tend to be very focused on feeding at this stage.

    On South Georgia, the main bulk of the king penguins will start laying their eggs in February/March, which means that there is the maximum number of birds in the rookeries at this time.

  • Is it cheaper to visit Antarctica in February?

    February, like late December and January, is technically classed as 'high season' which carries a premium over the lower shoulder season pricing in November and March. However in our opinion the better wildlife encounters and more stable weather during this period is well worth the extra investment.

  • Can I fly to Antarctica in February?

    Flights to Antarctica only operate through to mid-February, after which the airfield at Frei Base on King Georgia Island (South Shetland Islands) closes due to the onset of winter and won't re-open until 1st December.

  • What additional activities are available?

    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.

Still unsure about when to travel?

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 …

Discover More

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 …

Discover More

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,…

Discover More

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 …

Discover More

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.