The ultimate polar journey into the shadow of the Moon
Eclipse Tour Destination: Antarctica
For those who’ve journeyed far and wide to stand in the Moon’s shadow, here’s a rare opportunity to combine the fulfillment of a lifelong travel ambition with the experience of a total solar eclipse cruise – an expedition cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia Island and the Falklands.
Planning and executing such an expedition calls for a world-class team. First, we have a remarkable ship sailed by a highly experienced crew who are skilled at navigating Antarctic waters. Our friends at Lindblad Expeditions are taking care of all the cruise logistics and expedition programming – including arranging for a prominent polar photographer to join us and share tips on capturing the perfect Antarctic image. Also onboard will be TravelQuest’s astronomer-meteorologist, who’ll share insights throughout the cruise and stay in close contact with the captain as we pinpoint the best possible location for viewing the 1-minute, 30-second total solar eclipse at sea.
Of course, the Antarctic weather at sea inevitably presents challenges, starting with some of the cloudiest skies on the planet. While the chances of gaining a clear view of the eclipse are admittedly low, our skilled team will do everything possible to increase the probability of success, monitoring satellite images and fine-tuning forecasting models. And the fact is, we’ve beaten the odds before. TravelQuest guests who were with us near the North Pole in 2008, aboard the Russian nuclear icebreaker 50 Years of Victory, remember well the drama leading up to our eclipse rendezvous – and the awe we all felt, gazing up from the ship’s deck, as we saw the brilliant diamond rings bracketing totality. So, while there are no guarantees for Antarctica in 2021, we promise to give it our best shot. Even if the heavens and Earth don’t fully cooperate, we feel confident in saying that this rigorously planned and expertly supported Antarctic expedition will be an epic adventure.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON ECLIPSE DAY – DECEMBER 4, 2021
by TravelQuest Eclipse Meteorologist Jay Anderson
The 2021 total eclipse over Antarctica and the nearby South Atlantic Ocean presents a challenge for both access and viewing—a challenge that is complicated by the low altitude of the Sun during the magic moments of eclipse. Those electing to take their chances aboard ship are confronted by statistics marked by very high levels of average cloudiness. Yet, in spite of this pessimistic beginning, the situation for shipboard observers may not be as bleak as the cloud data would suggest.
Our position near the start of the eclipse track places us outside the gloomiest parts of the Southern Ocean, at a location where the cloud cover is not as obstinate. Images acquired from orbit over the past 20 years give us some hints of the weather patterns we may encounter, and the movement needed to break into sunshine. By keeping sailing plans flexible and taking advantage of real-time satellite images, as well as hour-by-hour numerical models of the atmosphere, we can use the ship’s mobility to nearly double our chances of seeing the eclipse. Mother Nature still has the stronger hand, but we’ll hope to wrestle a view of the eclipse from her basket.Show less