Experience a total eclipse from the unique perspective of a polar expedition ship, anchored at the very edge of the Antarctic sea ice in the remote Weddell Sea. This once in a lifetime voyage will also visit the far flung islands of the Falklands and South Georgia, as well as exploring the many natural attractions of the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Witness a total solar eclipse
- Encounter a wealth of wildlife including seals, seabirds and whales
- Visit the Falklands and South Georgia
- Cross the fabled Drake Passage en route from Ushuaia, Argentina
- Enjoy shore landings and Zodiac cruises past glistening icebergs
- Shipboard accommodation
- All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
- Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
- Experienced Expedition Team
- Presentations on board
To witness the total eclipse, each ship will position itself in the centre of the shadow of the moon and if weather conditions allow, within the sea ice to provide a superb viewing opportunity whether you want to just observe or take photos. As well as experiencing the eclipse each expedition will sail the Drake Passage, visit the Falkland Islands and the spectacular wildlife-filled South Georgia as well as exploring the Antarctica Peninsula.
During the austral summer months of October to February, large areas of the Peninsula are ice-free making exploration possible and affording truly amazing photographic opportunities such as curious penguins, seals hauled out on ice floes and intricate ice sculptures. These eclipse expeditions departing in late November offer the ideal time to explore this remote area of the world.
With routes dictated by sea, ice and weather conditions, no two voyages are the same - adding a real sense of adventure to your expedition.
Select departures will be accompanied by leading experts, from renowned scientists to professional photographers - view the 'Special Interest' section for details.
Prices & Dates *
Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.
Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin
|Departure||Duration||Vessel||Activities||Prices from||Special Interest|
|20 Nov 2021||23 days||Sea Spirit||£19,436||Guest lecturer: Paul M Sutter|
|23 Nov 2021||20 days||Plancius||£14,636|
|24 Nov 2021||20 days||Ortelius||£14,636 - Waitlist only!|
|24 Nov 2021||22 days||Greg Mortimer||£21,040||Guest lecturers: Dr. Michelle Thaller & Dr. Andrew Booth|
|26 Nov 2021||20 days||Hondius||£14,636|
Special Interest departures - please refer to 'Special Interest' section for more details.
Note the inclusions for this cruise are dependent on the vessel chosen, though the following are applicable to all.
- Group transfer from ship to airport
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists
- All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
- Shipboard accommodation
- All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
- Tea & coffee available around the clock
- Loan of rubber boots during voyage
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
- 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
- No surcharge guarantee
- Full financial protection »
- A pre-voyage night in a hotel in Ushuaia is included with the Sea Spirit and Greg Mortimer
Please contact us for full details and to discuss the options best for you.
Itinerary & Accommodation
Itinerary & Accommodation
Your voyage begins where the world ends, Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet. Departing in the afternoon, you embark from this small town and set sail for the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage you'll enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions in years gone by, from cool salt breezes, rolling seas and maybe spot a whale or two. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you enter the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Here you will notice a change in wildlife and is a great area for keen birders with many different varieties flying the skies.
This is an extended voyage which allows you to travel further along the icy coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. Once in the Gerlache Strait there are several opportunities for landings where you can set foot on Antarctica itself. Often seen in this area are Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, minke whales and the mighty humpback whale. If ice conditions allow, the ship will sail into the Weddell Sea where colossal icebergs welcome you as you arrive on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, a famously harder area to explore. There is the possibility of visiting Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound as well as Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins.
Giant icebergs and a good chance of sighting fin whales are the highlight of these days as the ship aims to venture into the pack ice to find the best possible position for viewing the total solar eclipse.
The ship will positions itself in the center of the shadow of the moon, and if possible, some distance into the Scotia Sea drift ice. Some coordinates for the path of the moon’s shadow: 7.06 UTC: 58.47.7 S – 42.45.2 W, 1.39 minutes, 8 degrees above horizon 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S – 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above horizon 7.10 UTC: 62.22.3 S – 39.48.0 W, 1.44 minutes, 11 degrees above horizon
Along the route there may be ice which means could see some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the ship north.
Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging and will directly affect the program and activities on offer for the next few days. Some of the areas you may visit are Cooper Bay, Grytviken, Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plains, St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour. Cooper Bay is a great place to spot macaroni penguins, fur and elephant seals. Grytviken is an abandoned whaling station where king penguins walk the street. Fortuna Bay offers beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals plus you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour are sites that not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they are also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Watch as the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil, and occasionally fight, over their territories where dozens of females have just given birth.
Along this stretch the temperature gradually cools meaning nutritious water rises to the surface colliding with water columns which usually attracts a multitude of seabirds flying close to the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
The capital of the Falklands and home to the vast majority who live on the islands, Port Stanley offers a charm of British life from yester year with its colourful houses, well-tended gardens and friendly English-style pubs and red telephone box. You will also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, a reminder of the sailors who lived here in the 19th century. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley, feel free to wander freely.
The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable and very curious of humans as they have not had much human contact. These islands are largely unknown gems as not only do various species of bird live here, but chances that you will see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.
Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. This is your last night aboard the ship.
Every adventure must sadly come to an end. It is now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with a head full of memories and a camera full of photos. From here we can arrange your flight home or if you wish to continue your trip in Chile or Argentina this can be arranged, simply ask your Travel Specialist.
Please note the above itinerary applies to the Hondius, if sailing on the Plancius, Ortelius or Sea Spirit the journey runs in the opposite direction (sailing to the Falklands first), however all four ships will be positioned as best they can for the solar eclipse.
All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the Polar Regions!
Special Guest Lecturers
Sea Spirit: 20 November 2021
This departure will be accompanied by guest lecturer, Paul M Sutter. Paul is an acclaimed astrophysicist, author, speaker, producer, and host for TV and podcasts, and currently holds the post of Cosmological Researcher and Community Outreach Coordinator at the Ohio State University's Department of Astronomy and Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics. His humorous and down to earth approach makes science accessible for all, ensuring you will be entertained as well as educated.
Greg Mortimer: 24 November 2021
Dr Michelle Thaller, who is the Assistant Director for Science Communication at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will be the main lecturer for the voyage. Dr Thaller will conduct a series of talks alongside Dr Andrew Booth, a lead engineer on NASA’s WSFIRST mission to unravel the secrets of dark energy and matter, on the solar eclipse, Antarctica and wider astronomical questions.
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