Antarctic Solar Eclipse Voyages

from £10855
excluding flights *
13, 15, 19, 21–22 nights Nov

Overview

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.

Highlights

  • 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

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board

Full description

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.

Contact our Antarctica specialists now
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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Offers

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
25 Nov 2021 20 days Ocean Diamond £18,600 Guest Lecturer: Fred Espenak
26 Nov 2021 20 days Hondius £14,636
26 Nov 2021 * 17 days World Explorer £18,200 Guest Lecturers: Babek Tafreshi & David Baron
29 Nov 2021 ~ 14 days Ocean Endeavour £10,855

* This voyage visits the Peninsula and South Georgia only
~ This voyage visits the Peninsula only

Activity Key:
Kayaking

Kayaking taster session

Snowshoeing

Snorkelling

Camping

Photography workshops

Paddle-boarding

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:

What's Included

  • 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 »

NOTES

  • A pre-voyage night in a hotel in Ushuaia is included with the Sea Spirit, Greg Mortimer, Ocean Endeavour, Ocean Diamond and World Explorer.

Please contact us for full details and to discuss the options best for you.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Embarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

Your voyage begins where the world ends, from Ushuaia, the southernmost city on the planet. Departing in the afternoon, set sail for the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel.

Days 2-3: Crossing the Drake Passage

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.

Days 4-6: Antarctic Peninsula

Explore 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. 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.

Days 7-8: At sea

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.

Day 9: Weddell Sea & the Solar Eclipse (Dec 4, early morning)

The ship will positions itself in the centre 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

Day 10: At sea

Along the route there may be ice and the chance to spot some south polar skuas and snow petrels trailing the ship north.

Days 11-14: South Georgia

Arrive at the spectacular island of South Georgia. 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 and 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.

Day 15-16: At sea

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.

Day 17: Port Stanley, the Falkland Islands

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.

Day 18: The Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable and very curious. These islands are largely unknown gems, home to multiple species of birds and offering the chance to see Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters.

Day 19: At sea

Several species of albatross are likely to follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels. Enjoy your last night aboard the ship as you cruise towards South America.

Day 20: Disembarkation, Ushuaia

Every adventure must sadly come to an end, and today you will disembark in Ushuaia with a head full of memories and a camera full of photos.

Notes

Please note: the above itinerary is based on travelling aboard the Hondius and itineraries with other vessels will vary. All 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!

M/V Hondius

Multi-destination

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

New for 2019, the M/V Hondius is one of the strongest vessels of its category in the polar regions.

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Sea Spirit

Multi-destination

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

This all-suite vessel couples adventure with spacious accommodation and a friendly atmosphere.

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M/V Plancius

Antarctica

Grade: Simple

Type: Expedition Ship

The M/V Plancius is a traditional ex-research vessel, with proven experience in icy waters.

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M/V Ortelius

Antarctica

Grade: Simple

Type: Expedition Ship

A former scientific-research vessel, the Ortelius offers the classic small ship experience.

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World Explorer

Multi-destination

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Expedition Ship

The World Explorer is a new state of the art, purpose-built expedition vessel, among the fastest and most luxurious in our fleet of small ships.

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Ocean Diamond

Antarctica

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

One of the fastest ships in our fleet, the Ocean Diamond is also the first Carbon Neutral polar vessel, with all emissions being offset.

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The Greg Mortimer

Multi-destination

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Expedition Ship

Brand new for 2019, the Greg Mortimer is a custom-built expedition ship featuring cutting-edge design, superior comfort and environmentally friendly technology.

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Ocean Endeavour

Multi-destination

Grade: Superior

Type: Expedition Ship

The Ocean Endeavour is a bright and spacious purpose-built expedition ship, with excellent facilities, a range of optional activities and a focus on health and wellbeing.  

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Excursions

Special Interest

Special Guest Lecturers

Special Guest: Paul M Sutter
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.


Special Guest: Dr Michelle Thaller
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.


Special Guest: Fred Espenak
Ocean Diamond - 25 November 2021
This voyage will include special presentations from the widely-respected Fred Espenak, a retired NASA astrophysicist and scientist emeritus at Goddard Space Flight Centre. Espenak, who's known as Mr. Eclipse, has participated in 29 eclipse expeditions around the world.


Special Guests: David Baron & Babek Tafreshi
World Explorer - 26 November 2021
Guests will enjoy special presentations from eclipse experts David Baron and Babek Tafreshi. David Baron, author of "American Eclipse," witnessed his first solar eclipse in 1998. He experienced such a visceral connection to the universe that it changed him forever. The veteran science journalist and radio broadcaster is also known for his hugely popular Ted Talk: "You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse." Babek Tafreshi is an award-winning science journalist-photographer who has documented solar eclipses on seven continents. He's passionate about Earth and night sky photography, which he believes can act as a bridge between science, people and cultures through their shared interest in astronomy. Tafreshi is the night sky photographer for National Geographic.

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