A 2021 Solar Eclipse Cruise
On December 4, 2021, the path of totality touches one of the most challenging places on Earth to reach: Antarctica. Our solar eclipse cruise to totality not only gives us access to Antarctica, but it also provides a reasonable chance at seeing the eclipse.
For TravelQuest’s Antarctica, Antartica, South Georgia & Falklands Total Solar Eclipse Expedition Cruise, we chartered the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance, a next-generation expedition ship purpose-built for polar navigation. As a fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar vessel, she is designed to navigate polar passages year-round. Most of the 69 outside-facing cabins feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light. A fleet of expedition landing craft is used to reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible. An open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your coffee, and chat with the officers.
For this 20-night cruise, Lindblad Expeditions takes care of all the cruise logistics and expedition programming. After sailing from the tip of South America, the islands and mainland of the Antarctic Peninsula soon come into view. For six days we explore glacier-lined bays by Zodiac, in kayaks, and on foot. Thanks to the long hours of daylight (it’s late spring in the region), you can make the most of your time on the White Continent. The day-by-day shipboard itinerary is flexible, so we can take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or perfect conditions for a late-day kayaking excursion.
Next, we sail to breathtaking South Georgia Island, the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the renowned Antarctic explorer. The island teems with Antarctic wildlife including a vast penguin colony, home to tens of thousands of king penguins. After the eclipse, we stop in the Falklands, islands that boast a wide array of seabirds, including albatross and king cormorants, along with large colonies of rockhopper and Magellanic penguins.
Planning and executing such an expedition calls for a world-class team. The Endurance is a remarkable ship sailed by a highly experienced crew who are skilled at navigating Antarctic waters. A prominent polar photographer joins us and shares tips on capturing the perfect Antarctic image. Also onboard is TravelQuest’s astronomer-meteorologist, who’ll stay in close contact with the ship’s captain as we pinpoint the best possible location for viewing the December 4th total solar eclipse at sea.
Our preferred eclipse-viewing position is near the start of the eclipse track. This places us outside the gloomiest parts of the Southern Ocean, at a location where the cloud cover is not as obstinate. We’ll keep our sailing plans flexible, and take advantage of real-time satellite images as well as hour-by-hour numerical models of the atmosphere. Working with the ship’s captain, our astronomer-meteorologist can use the ship’s mobility to nearly double our chances of seeing the eclipse.