Antarctica in February


February in Antarctica is arguably the best month for wildlife watching. Temperatures are still warm and penguin colonies are packed with greedy penguin chicks chasing their parents for food.  

Although the weather becomes more unpredictable as the month goes on, temperatures are regularly above freezing and it’s not uncommon to experience temperatures of 10 C / 50 F on the Antarctic Peninsula.  

By February, the sea ice has retreated to its maximum level, making itineraries such as Crossing the Antarctic Circle very poplar. All landing sites are open and cruise ships can visit most locations uninhibited.  

By mid-February, most of the migrating whale pods have arrived in Antarctica, providing victors with numerous sightings. Zodiac tours frequently come across whales, as do kayaking trips. Because the whales have now fed, they are much more curious in February, often approaching boats.    

Penguin colonies are buzzing with hungry chicks. Watching them chase their parents up and down the beach for food is a firm favorite among travelers. Their coats are still fluffy, making them look adorable as they learn to swim in the shallow pools.   

Cruise prices are still high at the start of February, but become slightly cheaper as the month ticks on.  

A whale in Antarctica

Reasons to visit Antarctica in February

  • Penguin chicks are all fluffed up and learning to swim which is great to watch 
  • February is arguably the best month for whale watching  
  • Temperatures are still warm compared to shoulder season and weather is stable 
  • Leopard seals are in full predation mode in February 
  • Sea ice has retreated allowing visitors to journey to 66 Degrees South 

Things to consider

  • Glaciers are at their smallest in February 
  • Prices are still much higher than the shoulder season 
  • The landscape is more rocky than snowy 

Common Questions regarding Antarctica in February

Can I fly to Antarctica in February?

The air strip on King George Island closes in mid-February. If you wish to take an express cruise  to avoid the Drake Passage then you will need to travel in the first half of the month. 

What activities are on offer in February?

Because temperatures are still warm and the sea ice is melted, most of the popular activities are still operational such as camping Kayaking. However, due to a lack of heavy snow, skiing and snowshoeing are not possible. 

Is February good for wildlife watching?

Yes, Antarctica in February is probably the best month for wildlife watching. Penguin chicks are learning to swim, leopard seals are on the hunt, and whales are at their peak population. 

Is it cheaper to travel to Antarctica in February?

February in Antarctica is still classed as the ‘high season’ and prices are higher than in the shoulder season. The wildlife watching opportunities more than make up for this though, as does the fair weather.  

Is Antarctica in February good for photographers?

Antarctica in February is a great time for wildlife photographers due to the numerous penguin and whale encounters. Landscape photographers may want to consider the shoulder season when the sun is low and creates amazing color in the sky.  

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Thank you - AntarcticaGuide Team

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