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Group Travel Cruise Vacations

It’s a vacation cruise with a difference. All the usual cruise amenities are there—entertainment, shore excursions, shipboard activities, dining options, and informative talks. But a TravelQuest cruise has a very special goal. At some point during the cruise, the ship sails to a predetermined spot in the ocean where you can witness one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights—a total eclipse of the Sun. As a company specializing in solar eclipse travel, TravelQuest voyages to specific locations where we can watch the Moon completely cover the Sun for a few exhilarating moments. With 70 percent of Earth’s surface covered by water, taking a solar eclipse group travel cruise is often the only way to reach the path of totality. This is what makes cruising with TravelQuest unique.

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What to Expect on a TravelQuest Vacation Cruise

An eclipse cruise is really just a normal cruise, but with a special purpose. On a TravelQuest eclipse cruise vacation, an astronomy component is added to the normal cruise activities. Our on-board astronomers present the latest discoveries in astronomy, explain the science of eclipses, and describe what to expect on eclipse day. This is particularly important if you have never seen a total solar eclipse. Our astronomer trip leaders have witnessed numerous totalities, and they will help prepare you for this mind-bending event. They’re present during the entire cruise, so you can ask them questions about the eclipse at meals, after their talks, or at any time during our days at sea.

Because TravelQuest specializes in solar eclipse travel, we voyage to precise locations where we can watch the Moon slowly slide across the Sun’s face, with totality as the climax of this celestial dance. As a result, our ship often sails through waters, and docks at ports, that are somewhat off the beaten path. During our various South Pacific eclipse cruise holidays, we reached several islands that have never before been visited by a cruise ship. For our 2021 eclipse cruise, we chartered the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance to seek out totality at sea, plus take us to Antarctica, South Georgia Island, and Falkland Islands.

When crossing the equator on a cruise, elaborate celebrations honoring King Neptune often take place—in this case a toga and pool party. (Photo by Rick Fienberg/TQ)
Surprises are common on cruises, including a marriage proposal (accepted) immediately after the end of totality. (Photo by Michel Girardin/TQ)

Group Travel Cruise to Totality

A total eclipse of the Sun is an immersive experience. For mere moments, it creates a sense of wonder and awe in all who view it. Totality is an overwhelming visual spectacle. Day becomes twilight as the Moon covers the Sun and a black hole materializes in the heavens where the Sun once shone. Stretching beyond where the now-vanished Sun previously glowed are pale, gossamer filaments of silvery light. Witnessing a total eclipse of the Sun is a “must see” event and should be on everyone’s bucket list. No photograph can ever do the sight justice. Words are inadequate to describe it. Witnessing a total solar eclipse is visceral and emotional; it’s an experience unlike any other. Those seeing totality for the first time are often moved to tears. But moments later, when a beam of sunlight pierces the darkness and totality ends, the first words on everyone’s lips are: “When is the next one?”

One of the most enjoyable ways to see a total eclipse of the Sun (and part of the world) is to take an eclipse cruise holiday. Once you’re on board, you unpack in your cabin, and your floating hotel does all the moving for you—no constant packing and unpacking as you move from place to place. Getting there is more than half the fun on a cruise ship. And in this case, ‘getting there’ means getting into the path of totality.

Since its founding in 1996, TravelQuest has planned and executed some 250 solar eclipse tours, including numerous group travel cruises to see totality. We like cruising to totality, because the ship’s mobility improves our chances of seeing the eclipse. Usually onboard is TravelQuest’s astronomer-meteorologist, who stays in close contact with the ship’s captain to help pinpoint the best possible location for viewing the solar eclipse at sea.

Whether just enjoying the sunshine or waiting for totality, there’s always plenty of room on the ship’s various decks. (Photo by Rick Fienberg/TQ)
A close-up view of totality, showing the Sun’s pale inner corona with a red jet of solar gas at the nine-o’clock position. (Photo by Rick Fienberg/TQ)
Specialty coffees are plentiful onboard, including this ‘eclipse’ coffee, served after a successful view of totality. (Photo by Rick Fienberg/TQ)

Book a Cruise Holiday to Totality

Those who have never seen a total solar eclipse are often completely unprepared for the range of emotions that engulf them when the Sun vanishes from the sky. This is not an event to be missed. Seeing totality from a ship offers many advantages—the usual cruise ship amenities and interesting ports of call—plus the ship’s ability to maneuver to avoid any clouds threatening to spoil the eclipse. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

There are a number of total solar eclipses upcoming during the next few years. TravelQuest will be at each one, and many of our tours will have a cruise component. Don’t miss totality at sea; it’s a very special cruise vacation experience. Contact TravelQuest today to learn more about upcoming eclipse cruise travel.

On a TravelQuest cruise vacation, you really can sail off into the sunset. (Photo by Rick Fienberg/TQ)

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Header image by Rick Fienberg/TQ