Eclipse Tour Destination: Antarctica
A total eclipse of the Sun doesn’t just unfold in the heavens. It transforms the minds and hearts of those fortunate enough to experience such a rare event firsthand. The same is true of journeys to the most remote regions of our planet: standing on a mountain peak or in a stark polar landscape, you can’t help but reflect on your place in the larger scheme of things.
These insights have converged in a remarkable new adventure from TravelQuest.
In 2021, we’ll be gathering a select group of guests to view the December 4 solar eclipse at the furthest possible point from their everyday lives: deep in the heart of Antarctica. Partnering with our friends at Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE), we have created a unique expedition to the least explored continent on Earth – culminating in 44 seconds of brilliant, clear, star-filled darkness as the Moon’s shadow passes over a vast, pristine expanse of ice and snow.
If you are among those lucky enough to have joined us in March of 2015 at 79° North latitude on the snow and ice in Svalbard, Norway, you know full well how brilliantly clear the sky was on eclipse day, with virtually no dust in the air. The sky ‘seeing’ at Union Glacier camp in Antarctica on eclipse day 2021 – coincidentally, this time viewed from at 79° South latitude – should offer no less stunning an experience.
There’s never been a trip like our Antarctic Expedition to Totality, deep into the seldom visited interior of Antarctica, paired with a total eclipse of the Sun. In the coming months, we’ll be announcing optional add-ons to make it even more exceptional, such as a visit to the South Pole for a picture at the ceremonial marker, and an opportunity to “Ski the Last Degree,” crossing the icecap under your own power. We’re also arranging an optional excursion to see Emperor Penguins in their natural habitat. And seasoned adventurers will have a chance to climb Mt. Vinson, the tallest peak on the White Continent.
At TravelQuest, we’ve devoted more than 20 years to creating remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. With this trip, we’re taking our standards as the most qualified eclipse travel team in the business to an even higher level, thanks to the technical, logistical and environmental expertise of our colleagues at ALE.
Remember, experiencing totality in Antarctica will serve as the crown jewel for anyone seeking to stand in the Moon’s shadow on all seven continents.
Do not delay. Make your dream a reality.
December 4, 2021, Antarctica Weather Prospects for Total Solar Eclipse Viewing
by TravelQuest Eclipse Meteorologist Jay Anderson
In 2021, the Moon’s shadow draws its darkest line across the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. It’s a challenging environment, as the Southern Ocean is one of the cloudiest places on the globe. To find the best weather prospects, the eclipse watcher must travel into the continent’s interior, where moisture is locked away in the ice and the ocean far off. Twenty years of satellite observations have revealed the one location along the eclipse path where weather prospects are most favorable, and the Union Glacier camp is located in the midst of that good-weather band. Average cloud amounts at the camp range around the 40 percent mark, less than half of cloud levels over the ocean. The camp is surrounded by mountains on three sides, which helps to block the flow of low- and mid-level cloud from the north, west, and south, and forms a small microclimate that likely improves the cloud-free prospects even more. Low clouds that form to the east, over the Weddell Sea, tend to arrive in late December, after the eclipse date.