Spotlight on Antarctica

If the thought of an Antarctic cruise holiday makes your teeth chatter, you might be surprised to know that, during the November-to-March season, temperatures usually range between twenty degrees and forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Highs in the fifties are not uncommon. As a rule, the Falkland Islands are a bit warmer, with average highs in the fifties and lows in the forties to high thirties. Weather on South Georgia Island is harder to predict. Its rugged topography makes for highly changeable weather patterns, with dull rain followed by fine sunny days. Tie your hat on! Sudden, intense katabatic winds and short-lived squalls known locally as "williwaws" are a fact of life on South Georgia. What will you see on your Antarctic journey? Sights change rapidly during the austral summer season. Local flora and fauna must pack a lot of living into these few warm months, so each cruise departure is, in effect, travelling to a different Antarctica, Falklands, or South Georgia Island. November to early December offers the spectacular courtship rituals of penguins and seabirds, wildflowers on the Falklands and South Georgia, and the highest level of research activity. Mid-December to January see the emergence of penguin chicks and seal pups, escalating whale sightings, and longer days creating incredible light conditions for photography. February to March bring whale sightings at their best, blooming snow algae, and increasingly numerous fur seals on the Antarctic Peninsula. Though it isn't a passive destination, rest assured that travel to the Deep South doesn't require great physical exertion or feats of special fitness.

Antarctica’s Top Five:

Wildlife Take advantage of some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. Elephant and Weddell seals, emperor, chinstrap and Adelié penguins and humpback and minke whales are just a few of the regulars spotted in Antarctica.

Port Lockroy Museum Impress your friends by sending them a postcard from the only post office in Antarctica, at Port Lockroy, which used to be a British station and is now a museum to early Antarctic exploration. It is one of Antarctica's most popular attractions, designated as Historic Site number 61 under the Antarctic Treaty.

Antarctic history Follow in the footsteps of famous explorers such as Captain RF Scott, and visit historic sites dotted throughout Antarctica.

Observation Hill Climb Observation Hill, 30 minutes' ascent from nearby McMurdo station, which awards intrepid travelers with magnificent views of Mount Erebus and the Ross Ice Shelf, plus the ‘Royal Societies' range across the ice; you will also find here the Memorial Cross erected in honor of Captain RF Scott and his polar party.

Starry skies  Gaze up at the cosmos and delight in an exceptionally clear night full of stars.


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