Antarctica Cruise Quark

An Antarctic Summer – When to Go and What You’ll See

By Jules Torti | August 18, 2022

Can you feel the momentum? The warm flush in your cheeks? The sharp prickle of goosebumps racing across your skin? That hurried pounding inside your ribcage? That’s what happens when you say YES to Antarctica.

Extend your summer by jumping right into Antarctica’s dog days of summer (November to March). Did you know that Antarctica has six months of daylight (‘summer’) and six months of darkness (‘winter)? We want to show you the light and knock your wool socks right off in one go. Wild Women offers three different bucket list Antarctic expedition cruise itineraries and each month is as individual as you.

On all the Ocean Adventurer voyages the polymath polar Expedition Team will present riveting workshops on wildlife behavior, marine biology, geology, glaciology, ornithology and Antarctic history. The beauty of these trips is that they are free-form, allowing you to totally customize and curate your perfect adventure with the options that best suit your curiosities and passions. You can choose to kayak in the still sanctuaries of the inlets or keep your neck on swivel with binoculars or a wide lens attached to your smiling face. 

 To help you navigate the waters, here’s a look at the Antarctica summer highlight reel!

Antarctica photo collage

Photo credit: Quark Expeditions



Antarctica Penguins and phographer

Photo Credit: Quark Expeditions

Polar-speak: Late spring, early summer

With the return of the sun, winter pack ice begins to melt and as the temps begin to climb, seals come out to play on the shorelines and ice floes. Elephant and fur seals establish their territories like kid sisters sharing a bedroom. It’s a spectacle!

Best: Spring wildflowers paint the landscape of the Falklands and South Georgia Islands.

Even Better: Experience a genuine live feed of the elaborate and comical rituals of penguin and seabird colonies! Love is in the air, baby.

Get there on our Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica Explorers and Kings expedition cruise!

This navigation is a blend of otherworldly ice, dunes, biodiverse beaches, ghosts and graves. For birders, the jagged cliffs teem with species–dubbed the ‘Galapagos of the Poles’, it’s home to over 30 million breeding birds and nesting sites of the wandering albatross. The breeding grounds of king penguins is equally overwhelming as this region has one of the highest densities of animal life on earth. Thousands of seals, four breeding species of penguin and the largest colony of king penguins on the planet all live semi-harmoniously in this community. The Ocean Adventurer’s expert Expedition Team feed you all the intel you need to confidently point out a gentoo from a southern rockhopper penguin!

South Georgia was an intrinsic part of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Endurance expedition. You’ll visit Grytviken, the settlement that surrounded the first whaling station ever established in sub-Antarctic waters. It’s also the site of Shackleton’s grave. The Explorers and Kings trip is a genuine penguins-to-pints experience complete with 100% Brit fish and chips in Stanley.


Antarctic Fur Seal

Polar-speak: Almost full-on summer! 

Wildlife is at a fever pitch! For photographers—the midnight light is the stuff you dream of. Pictures say a thousand words so you’re going to have an encyclopedia set in no time.

Best: The seal pup nurseries are full of kiddos wrestling and tumbling about. Cute warning: HIGH.

Even Better: For the penguin paparazzi: get ready for a slew of gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin pics as they stoically protect their precious eggs.

Get there on our Antarctica Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent expedition cruise. Expect a thoughtful itinerary of research station visits, walks that tread lightly through the fragile, biodiverse Antarctic landscape and cherished time consorting with the chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins too. They often end up stealing the limelight! Just wait until you tune into your first penguin argument. Their squabbles over coveted pebbles are animated and not unlike human bickering!

Armed with the necessary identification skills, expect a true deep dive into the behavior and antics of Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Whales in this region tend to be just as curious as the human folk on board. Humpbacks, minkes and orcas (occasionally) are often surprise guests on Zodiac excursions with their playful spouts and fluke shows.


King Penguin Antarctica

Photo credit: Quark Expeditions

Polar-speak: Late summer

It’s never too late! Antarctica has thawed out (but the temps are cooling again) and everything is on full, dazzling display. Penguin chicks are beginning to fledge, snow algae is in full bloom (yes, that’s a thing!) and elephant seals are lumbering ashore to molt. Like a snake shedding their skin, the seals do the same and look like ragamuffins.

Best: Some of the most phenomenal whale sightings happen during this period.

Even Better: The sunrises AND sunsets are enormous. You’ll see.

Get there on our South Georgia and Antarctica Peninsula Penguin Safari expedition cruise.

The Penguin Safari is the fastest way to get to the seldom-visited South Georgia Island while also setting foot on the coveted 7th continent. If you already know that a group of penguins on land is called a ‘waddle’ and that a group of penguins in the water is referred to as a ‘raft’ then you’re probably a mini expert and fan. Want to join our ‘huddle’ and visit the island with one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the planet? Penguins number in the hundreds of thousands here!

Want to see more? Check out our video:


For more information, speak to one of our Adventure Experts today at or call 1 (888) 993-1222.

Please note: These three Antarctica adventures are not an exclusive Wild Women Expeditions or 100% women-only trip. The Wild Women group size on the Ocean Adventurer (capacity 128 guests) can range from 10 to 40 women. In addition, the ship’s staff and crew (87) will also be co-ed.