In the morning we meet with our expert guide for an orientation to Antarctica, and Union Glacier in particular, including environmental and safety considerations for our time on the ice. We also tour our base camp and discover the intricacies of daily life in Antarctica. For the rest of the day, you can acclimatize to our new surroundings and participate in some optional easygoing activities. You can be as active or relaxed as you like while at Union Glacier. Each morning after breakfast we will meet with you to discuss the day’s options, and organize activities tailored to the weather and your interests. Using specially adapted vehicles, we have arranged an impressive variety of group excursions, and there are plenty of activities you can do on your own around camp. Take a walk, cross-country ski, or try out one of our fat-tire bikes on the groomed 10 km (6 mile) loop. If you’re looking for something more low-key, check out a book, movie, or game in our polar library. In the evenings, enjoy a delicious, chef-prepared dinner, then join our guest lecturers who will host engaging talks on a variety of topics from polar history to glaciology, astronomy, to, of course, the December 4 total solar eclipse. Many will share photos and stories of their own expeditions to remote parts of Antarctica and beyond.
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.
DATE(S): Tuesday-Saturday, November 30, December 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2021
MEALS: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
ACCOMMODATION: Union Glacier Camp