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Solar Eclipse in Antarctica

Solar Eclipse in Antarctica & South Georgia

Ushuaia Rountrip - Example 22 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
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In December 2021, a full solar eclipse will occur in the Weddell Sea region, offering people the rare and historic opportunity to witness this remarkable spectacle in antarctic waters. On this unique voyage aboard Sylvia Earle, you will visit Antarctica and experience the incredible white continent in its late spring regalia. Witness penguins busily building nests, keeping eggs warm and raising chicks, and gaze at gleaming icebergs, while you hope for fine weather, clear skies and an uninterrupted view of the solar eclipse.
Zodiac tour through the icebergs.
Highlights
  • Enjoy the rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in Antarctica
  • Encounter the world’s largest king penguin rookeries
  • Encounter fur seal beach masters in ferocious battles in South Georgia
  • Watch Adélie penguins build nests and stealing rocks
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to your group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Once you have checked out of your hotel by 11.00 AM, you have free time before meeting back in the hotel lobby at 2.00 PM to commence a tour of Ushuaia.

Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests. On this half day introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighborhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 PM.

After embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before an important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.

Day 3-4: Drake Passage | South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As your ship commences the Drake Passage crossing, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Your expedition team prepare you for your first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. The wildlife experiences begin as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in the ship's wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks, watching for the first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once you are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Weather permitting, attempt the first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Day 5-6: Antarctic Peninsula | Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. Once you arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and you will have a host of choices available to you. Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

Generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favorite spots along the peninsula. While ashore, aim to stretch your legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendor. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Day 7: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Marvel at the ULSTEIN X-BOW’s ability to smooth our ride as we sail the Southern Ocean towards the South Orkney Islands, admiring wandering albatross in flight. Enjoy lectures and presentations from team of experts as share their deep knowledge about wildlife, heroic tales of polar exploration, and, central to this voyage, astronomy. 

Day 8: South Orkney Islands | Solar Eclipse

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
According to NASA, the optimum position to experience the solar eclipse is well into the Weddell Sea. The eclipse is visible from the following geographic regions: Antarctica, South Africa, south Atlantic, but the full eclipse will only be visible in Antarctica, weather permitting. 
The instant of greatest eclipse takes place on 04 December, 2021 at 07:34:38 TD (Terrestrial Dynamical Time) or (07:33:28 UT1).
Historically, early December would be considered too early to visit South Orkney Islands because of extensive sea ice. However, conditions have been changing every year and it may be possible to get into the South Orkneys on   04 December, 2021 – the unknown is part of what makes the experience even more thrilling.

Day 9: At Sea | Point Wild

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an exciting day at sea, with more entertaining talks on exploration and natural history. Spend time on deck photographing seabirds, keeping a watch for whales or simply sharing stories with fellow adventurers. 

Time and weather permitting, we Zodiac cruise and perhaps land at Point Wild on Elephant Wild, where Shackleton’s crew were stranded for 105 days while Shackleton and five others set off to seek help. 

Day 10-11: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Back at the Antarctic Peninsula, we continue our exploration of the small islands, straits and bays around the tip of the white continent. Your expedition team will again use their expertise and experience to create experiences that will challenge you and push you (safely) beyond your comfort zone and to create everlasting memories of your time in Antarctica. Perhaps visit a scientific research station, witness fluffy penguin chicks starting to hatch and running around colonies, while predatory skuas pluck off easy prey. Humpback whales start arriving in larger numbers to feed on plentiful krill, fur seal pups are being born and raised and sea-ice seals are hauled up onto ice floes. Zodiac-cruise among pristine sea ice and photograph glistening, iridescent icebergs. 

Day 12-13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
En route for South Georgia we'll head across the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April, 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their open boats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 km (802 miles) distant. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind. As excitement builds for South Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep watch for wildlife alongside our naturalist from the open bridge, or learn more of the Shackleton story from our historian. 

Day 14-17: South Georgia

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
On the afternoon of day 14 as you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches. 

On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You’ll sail down the east coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery and enjoying a little shelter from the prevailing westerly winds. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore! 

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their local knowledge to plan your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea state and wildlife opportunities.

Day 18-19: At sea

  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches
Between South Georgia and the Falklands-Malvinas, you will be entranced by the ceaseless flight of the many seabirds that follow our wake, skilfuly using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. On this leg, we are usually travelling into the prevailing weather, so it is difficult to estimate our arrival time in the Falklands-Malvinas. Our lecture program will continue and highlight all of the amazing sights we have witnessed over the past few days. We’ll have ample time to enjoy the rest of our time observing the sea birds, whale watching from the bridge, or simply relaxing in the bar with a book. 

If time and weather conditions permit, we could pass close to Shag Rocks, a fascinating group of jagged rocky islets protruding from the sea, in the proximity of South Georgia.

Day 20: Falklands, Malvinas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Falklands-Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life.

There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands-Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing winds, weather and wildlife opportunities.

Day 21: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You may choose to spend the sea days returning to Ushuaia editing your photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or listening to an informative lecture. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.

Day 22: Ushuaia | Disembark

During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to downtown Ushuaia before continuing to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.  

NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays. 

Photo Gallery

Solar Eclipse in Antarctica Zodiac tour through the icebergs. Hiking through through the snow. A group of kayakers in the polar waters.

Map

Ship/Hotel

Sylvia Earle

Ushuaia - Hotels

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$26,300
Greg Mortimer
Select a Date
Aurora Stateroom Twin
3 Aurora Stateroom Twin cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Select a Date
Aurora Stateroom Superior
Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear.
Greg Mortimer-Balcony Stateroom
Select a Date
Balcony Stateroom C
11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins - most economical, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are scattered throughout Deck 6.
Greg Mortimer
Select a Date
Balcony Stateroom B
17 Balcony Stateroom B Cabins - standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups. These cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 and 6.
Greg Mortimer
Select a Date
Balcony Stateroom A
23 Balcony Stateroom A cabins - premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
Select a Date
Balcony Stateroom Superior
Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Junior suite
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Junior Suite
4 Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer-Captain's Suite
Select a Date
Captain’s Suite
Captain's Suite - the largest of all our rooms, will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.

Notes

Rates include the following:

  • Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1 (preferred flights only)

  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1

  • Half day city tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 prior to embarkation (lunch not included)

  • Luggage transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2

  • Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service

  • All meals, snacks, tea, and coffee during the voyage

  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner

  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages

  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises

  • Educational lectures and guiding services from the expedition team

  • Free access to our onboard doctor for consultations relating to sea-sickness. A standard fee of US $60.00 (reclaimable through your travel insurance provider) applies for medical consultations not related to sea-sickness

  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket

  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage

  • Comprehensive pre-departure information

  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage

  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees


Rates do not include the following:


  • International or domestic flights to or within South America, unless specified

  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Airport arrival or departure taxes

  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges

  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges

  • Hotels and meals not included in the itinerary

  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary

  • Optional activity surcharges

  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges


Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’.

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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