5 Reasons to Visit Antarctica in January
- It is the height of summer on the Peninsula with temperatures rising to 60 F / 15 C and the weather is generally stable
- Penguin chicks are at their fluffiest and making strong demands on their busy parents for food
- The opening up of the ice allows the season’s first Polar Circle voyages to reach 66 degrees south
- Humpback whales are very focused on gorging on krill after their long commute from the tropics
- The ice in the Ross Sea opens up allowing a short window to access the historic huts of Shackleton & Scott
There is a price premium if you choose to travel in January, but for the favourable weather conditions and off-the-scale wildlife encounters we think it's well worth the investment. You will need to book early.
Antarctica in January
Antarctica Cruises - January
Antarctica Cruises January 2018
With the onset of summer and recession of the ice more channels open up allowing easier navigation and the earliest attempts of the season to reach the Polar Circle.
Antarctica Cruises January 2019
The penguin rookeries are a hive of activity with the adult birds kept busy round-the-clock feeding and protecting their fluffy and photogenic young.
The combination of penguin chicks at their most cute, photogenic stage and spectacular whale sightings makes January my favourite month.
John Newby Polar Specialist
FAQs: Antarctic Travel in January
It's the height of summer on the Antarctic Peninsula with temperatures rising to 60 F / 15 C and the weather is generally stable, with plenty of sunshine and blue skies.
- Antarctic Peninsula: 32 degrees F (0.3 degrees C)
- South Georgia: 43 degrees F (6 degrees C)
- The Falklands: 52 degrees F (11 degrees C)
January is a very active month for wildlife in Antarctica. The fluffy, mega cute penguin chicks are growing rapidly and parents are taking it in turns to go out to sea to fish for their ever demanding offspring. Observe the comical "feeding chases" as the hungry chicks chase their parents along the shoreline for more food.
Whales are seen this month in increasing numbers, particularly humpback and minke, but also orcas who are very impressive if you catch them hunting.
January is 'High Season' and the busiest month in Antarctica. The weather and wildlife are arguably at their best, and it's a very popular time for those travelers who live in the Northern Hemisphere to take a holiday, which means you need to book early (12-18 months in advance).
As such there is an approximately 20-25% premium for choosing to travel at this time, over Shoulder Season rates.
Yes, charter flights from Punta Arenas in Chile to Antarctica begin in early December and operate through to mid February.
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.