plancius south georgia and antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Antarctica - Total Solar Eclipse

  • Overview

     

     

    TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN ANTARCTICA - December 2021

    Don't miss the chance to see one of the Earth's most wondrous cosmic events in one of Earth's most fantastic places! An Antarctica viewing of the total solar eclipse is expected on the 4th December 2021. Total solar eclipses occur roughly every 18 months, they can only be properly seen along a few key path locations. What better location than of the wildest and least-known places on our plant? 

    19 NIGHTS & ONE VERY FAMOUS COSMIC EVENT

    To witness the total eclipse, we'll position our ships in the center of the moon shadow, at the edge of the sea ice in the Weddell Sea, between South Orkneys and South Georgia islands. The complete itinerary will enjoy 20-days exploring the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the Antarctica Peninsula. 

    The Falkland Islands - 2 Days / South Georgia - 4 Days / Antarctica - 3 Days 

     

     

    Duration: 20 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia: Embarkation Day

      Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail
      the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

    • Day 2 - The winged life of the westerlies

      Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.

    • Day 3 - Finding the Falklands

      The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. During this part of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:

      Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here.

      Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here.

    • Day 4 - Porting in Port Stanley

      The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley offers a little Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.

    • Day 5/6 - Once more to the sea

      On the way to South Georgia, you cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature gradually cools, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon sometimes attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.

    • Day 7/10 - South Georgia journey

      Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.

      You may visit the following sites over the next few days:

      Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.

      Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).

      Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.

      Cooper Bay – A Zodiac cruise in Cooper Bay offers a great opportunity to see macaroni penguins below a large rookery. Numerous fur and elephant seals are found on the beach, while majestic light-mantled albatrosses can be seeing gracefully gliding above.

    • Day 11 - Southward bound

      There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south.

    • Day 12 - Weddell Sea pack ice & total solar eclipse (Dec 4, early morning)

      The ship positions itself in the center of the shadow of the moon, and if possible, some distance into the Scotia Sea drift ice. The ice edge will be about 60°S, 41°W.

      Some coordinates for the path of the moon’s shadow:

      7.06 UTC: 58.47.7 S – 42.45.2 W, 1.39 minutes, 8 degrees above horizon
      7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S – 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above horizon
      7.10 UTC: 62.22.3 S – 39.48.0 W, 1.44 minutes, 11 degrees above horizon

    • Day 13/14 - Last push to Antarctica

      Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.

    • Day 15/17 - Awe-inspiring Antarctica

      If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself.

      If conditions aren’t favorable to enter the Weddell Sea from the east, the ship will set course for Elephant Island and head into the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can attempt to access the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

      The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they nonetheless offer many subtle pleasures. A wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels) live here.

      On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. If a landing here is possible, you will find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels. A number of kelp gulls, brown skuas, south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns can be spotted here too.

      Your last activities before venturing into the Drake Passage are likely to find you around the northern Gerlache Strait. One option is Cierva Cove and the rugged, ice-gripped mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbour on the south coast of Trinity Island is another alternative. Here you may enjoy a gentoo penguin rookery as well as some fine scenic cruising.

      Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

    • Day 18/19 - North by sea

      Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re greeted by a vast array of seabirds. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

    • Day 20 - Ushuaia: Disembarkation day

      Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

      All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of m/v Plancius and m/v Ortelius is 10.5 knots

      Please consider that seeing the Total Solar Eclipse is a phenomenon dependent on a number of environmental conditions aligning. As such, absolutely no guarantee can be made that we will see the Solar Eclipse.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

    Adelie Penguins

    Adelie penguins are the most abundant of all penguin species and are there estimated to be some 5 million birds. They have been an incredibly successful species living further south than any other species and have one of the oldest continually used rookeries, which has existed for some 6,000 years.

    Total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica

    Experience a Total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica. Join our voyages that will go in search of this very special experience in Antarctica. With experts guiding us, we will do everything possible to ensure we are positioned correctly.
    Of course, no guarantees can be provided that we will see the Eclipse, as it will depend on weather conditions of the day.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - Expedition boots & snowshoes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.44.17 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    MV PLANCIUS

    The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag. M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable and recently refurbished
    • Large Observation Decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Spacious observation lounge (with bar)
    • Restaurant
    • Lecture Room
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 116
    Crew #: 47
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 89m
    Width: 14
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 3434
    Registry: Netherlands
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
plancius quad cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Quad Cabin

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or friends & families of 4. Children under 16 years may receive a 40% discount in Quad, Triple and Superior cabins when travelling with 2 adults.
Euro 13,350pp
Euro 13,350pp
plancius triple cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Triple Cabin

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or friends & families of 3. Children under 16 years may receive a 40% discount in Quad, Triple and Superior cabins when travelling with 2 adults.
Euro 14,550pp
Euro 14,550pp
plancius twin porthole cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Twin Porthole

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
Twin cabin with porthole and private facilities.
Euro 16,100pp
Euro 16,100pp
plancius twin window cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Twin Window

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
Twin cabin with window and private facilities.
Euro 16,750pp
Euro 16,750pp
plancius twin deluxe cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Twin Deluxe

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
Spacious corner cabins, with twin beds, private facilities and 2 windows.
Euro 17,950pp
Euro 17,950pp
plancius superior cabin antarctica solar eclipse cruise

Superior

23 Nov 2021 - 12 Dec 2021
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6.
Euro 19,250pp
Euro 19,250pp