Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia
Departs November 26, 2021 | 17 Days | Ushuaia roundtrip | 172 Guests
On December 4th, 2021, a total solar eclipse will be passing over the Southern Ocean, hitting the point of greatest eclipse for just under two minutes, over the Weddell Sea east of the Antarctic Peninsula. It’s a stunning setting for a celestial event, but this eclipse will be even more special as it follows an east-to-west path, as opposed to the more common west-to-east route. And, because the path of totality—the narrow track created by the moon’s shadow falling on the Earth—will cross over Antarctica’s icy waters instead of land, the best way to soak up the view is from a ship deck.
Prices from $22,495 USD per person based on double occupancy.
On their 17-day “Solar Eclipse 2021: Totality in Antarctica, with South Georgia” voyage departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, the expedition will stop along the Antarctic Peninsula for activities like Zodiac excursions, and chances to jump into the freezing ocean for polar plunges. Guests will take in the eclipse on the way to South Georgia Island, the “Galapagos of the Southern Ocean,” which is known for abundant native wildlife, like penguins and seals. Onboard the ice-strengthened World Explorer, which boasts fantastic amenities—we’re talking a top-deck heated pool (perfect after those icy dips), glass-domed Observation Lounge, and viewing balconies for every cabin—an unbeatable eclipse view is guaranteed from practically every corner of the ship.
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port at the tip of South America. It’s the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica.
You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each excursion, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.
As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (at an extra cost) or cast reason aside and jump into Antarctic waters for the Polar Plunge!
Say goodbye to the Antarctic Peninsula, as your next destination is the Scotia Sea, between the South Orkney Islands and South Georgia, where you’ll witness a rare natural phenomenon: a total eclipse of the sun in Antarctica! Our Expedition Team will prepare you in advance with presentations and workshops on astronomy, meteorology and other related topics to help prepare you for that once-in-a-lifetime event: total solar eclipse in Antarctica. Two world-renowned eclipse experts will also be onboard: award-winning National Geographic night-sky photographer Babak Tafreshi (who participated in the 2003 voyage) and American Eclipse author David Baron, who is featured in the hugely popular TED Talk, “You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse.”
Early this morning, you will be summoned on deck to witness an extraordinary, much-awaited moment: a solar eclipse, the very brief period (1 minute, 40 seconds) when the moon blocks the sun’s light, plunging the polar regions into darkness. Every guest will be provided with a pair of eclipse glasses before the momentous event. You’ll savor the stillness of this magical moment with your fellow umbraphiles (eclipse chasers), knowing you’re among the few to have witnessed this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. As with all eclipse sightings, visibility is influenced by the weather and cloud conditions. Unique to this experience will be its location at sea, and the more extreme latitude which places the eclipse low on the horizon, making a successful sighting that much more difficult, and more rewarding should all the stars align for the eclipse to be visible. After the eclipse concludes around breakfast time, feel free to celebrate the unforgettable moment or return to your bed. In addition to the eclipse glasses, guests will also receive an invitation to a special evening celebration to commemorate their special total eclipse voyage.
South Georgia is one of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world for sub-Antarctic wildlife, with beaches blanketed with penguins. It won’t take you long to realize that you are in a bird paradise, as burrowing seabirds, albatross and petrels can be seen in abundance.
You’ll find that South Georgia, once a popular base for whalers and sealers, is also scattered with abandoned relics and evidence of human activity from centuries gone by. Your Expedition Team will help bring those days to life while you visit old whaling stations and enjoy presentations on the South Georgia of then and now.
One of the most significant sites you will visit on the island is Grytviken. This settlement is one of the first whaling stations established in sub-Antarctic waters. Many travelers find that this place has a special appeal, as it is home to the remains of Sir Ernest Shackleton, one of the most famous Antarctic explorers.
After more than two weeks of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.