Solar Eclipse in Antarctica
M/V Plancius
From M/V Plancius

Cruise to Antarctica to observe the Solar Eclipse, more precisely in the Scottish Sea on December 4th. The ship should be positioned in the center of the moon's shadow. The coordinates for the moon's shadow path are 7.06 UTC: 58.47.7 S - 42.45.2 W, 1.39 minutes, 8 degrees above the horizon, 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S - 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above the horizon or 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S - 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above the horizon. This trip includes visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. It is a very complete Antarctic program with a special event such as the Solar Eclipse, without a doubt, a unique experience.

Solar Eclipse in Antarctica on the M/V Plancius

20 days - 19 nights

Solar Eclipse in Antarctica on the M/V Plancius

20 days - 19 nights

Day 1 - Ushuaia

In the afternoon, we will embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southern city of the world, which is surrounded by the last mountain chain (Cordillera de los Andes) and it is bathed by the Beagle Channel waters. We will navigate through the strait.

Day 2 - In the sea.

In the sea, in the west side, several species of albatrosses and petrels, such as the Diving Petrel, will follow the ship.

Day 3 - Falkland Islands

On the third day we will arrive to the Falkland Islands with the purpose of dedicating all day on the west side of the archipelago, which offers an abundant wildlife, where not only observe different species of birds but also you can see southern dolphins. We visited 2 islands: Isla del Rosario and Isla Trinidad. We will hike along the shores of Carcass Island, where we will see Magellanic and Gentoo penguins, as well as having an encounter with birds and herons at night. On the Island of Saunders we can see Rockhopper Penguins, black-faced albatross and King cormorants.

During this part of the trip you can visit the following places:

  • Carcass Island (Isla del Rosario) This island is characterized by an abundance of birds, thanks to the fact that there are no rodents, we can see Magellanic penguins and Gentoo penguins, shorebirds and passerines. We find animals such as the common martinete, the witch heron, as well as seals and penguins. In Puerto Patterson there are different exotic plants, such as fuchsia, canine rose and dark lupine. The name in English of the island is in honor to the ship HMS Carcass pertaining to the British navy, that crossed the island in 1766.
  • Saunders Island (isla Trinidad) In this island of 120 km ² that is to the north of the Great Malvina Island, it is characterized by the ovine production, we see black-browed albatross, imperial cormorants and yellow-crowned penguins, in less proportion, we can get to find king penguins, magellanic and of papúa.

Day 4 - Port Stanley

We will walk through the capital of the Falkland Islands, Port Stanley, we can experience the culture of the inhabitants of the Falklands, which has some south american characteristics as well as Victorian charm, such as the color of their houses or the neatness of their gardens or stylish bars English. In Stanley and the surrounding area, we can see a significant number of beached ships dating back a century. The village museum is small but has interesting things to see as the history of the first settlements.

Stanley, is located in the Soledad Island and continues being known for the British by its old name of Port Stanley and, for the Argentineans, like Puerto Argentino. It is currently the administrative center of the archipelago. They live around 2500 people (three quarters of the total population of the islands). Originally, Stanley was a small town, which since the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, grew thanks to the importance it had in repairing the sailboats that sailed to Cape Horn.

Day 5 to 6 - South Georgia, Antarctic Convergence

We will navigate on the high seas again, in our way to South Georgia, we will cross the Antartic Convergence. We will enter into antartic waters, the temperature will descend 10º C approximately in a very few hours. Closer to the Convergence, we will see a great quantity of birds, next to the ship which will take part of the navigations, as if they were members of the ship, There will be many species, such as albatrosses, petrels, skuas, seagulls, among other bird species.

Day 7 to 10 - South Georgias´Islands

We will get to South Georgias´Islands, where we must visit Elsehuel Bay, with its active seal raising and then, go on to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, the Gold Harbour and Cooper Bay will give you the great opportunity to see many beautiful landscapes and wild life, such as sea elephants, Papua penguins, King penguins and Macaroni penguins, Grey Head penguins, dark albatrosses, antartic pigeons and even the introduction of a non native animal as the reindeer in the Drygalski Fjord.

One of the corners that we plan to visit is Prion Island, chosen by the wandering albatrosses to nest and raise their chicks. In Fortuna bay we will try to trace the steps that the legendary British explorer Ernest Shackleton made and continue the journey to Stromness Bay. At this point and in Grytviken, the ruins of the abandoned whaling village, now inhabited by king penguins and seals that roam streets and buildings, still remain. The museum of whaling history of Grytviken and the adjacent grave of Shackleton, are other treasures of the past that we will visit.

The weather conditions determine which areas we visit in South Georgia and where we can carry out activities. The destinations to visit can be:

  • Fortuna Bay It is located between Cape Best and Punta Robertson, its name is due to the Argentine whaling ship: El Fortuna, which collaborated in the creation of the first whaling station in Grytviken, in 1905. The New Fortuna Port called Ocean Harbor is 35 kilometers away. southeast of the bay.
  • Salisbury Plain, St Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor These areas not only house the three largest colonies of king penguins in South Georgia, but also three of the largest breeding beaches of Antarctic fur seals in the world. In the true sense of the word, millions of seals from Antarctica breed in southern Georgia in December and January. Only in the mid-season they reach their peak in the reproductive cycle. Watch as large wolves constantly monitor (and occasionally fight) areas where dozens of women have just given birth or are about to give birth. Watch your steps and stay cool as you walk the beaches during this time.
  • Grytviken At this abandoned whaling station, King penguins roam its streets and the elephant seals inhabit their surroundings as if they were the owners of the place - basically because they are. Here it is possible to visit the South Georgia museum and Shackleton's tomb.
  • Cooper Bay Cooper Island is a small island located southeast of San Pedro Island (South Georgia). It is located on the northern sector of the entrance to the Drygalski Fjord. The Cooper Canal that is navigable separates Cooper Island from San Pedro Island. There is a tiny bay with the same name in the south-west direction of Cape Vahsel. The island is covered in bushes. Cooper Island was discovered by a British expedition under the command of James Cook in 1775 and is named after Lieutenant Robert Palliser Cooper, an officer who was aboard the expedition. We sailed in Zodiac boats through Cooper Bay to see a large colony of macarroni penguins. Numerous elephant and sea lions are found on the beach, while the majestic light-mantled albatross can be seen gliding gracefully.

In the afternoon of the 10th, the boat will put forward to our next destination.

Day 11 - Navigating by the sea.

We will continue navigating by the sea, where the ship is followed again by a crowd of sea birds. In some point, we will find frozen sea and it is the edge of the ice where we will able to watch some species, like the MacCormick Skua, Snow Petrel and the evasive Emperor Penguin.

Day 12 - Weddell Sea: Solar Eclipse: December 4th

In the Weddell Sea we observed the total solar eclipse very early in the morning on December 4. The ship is positioned in the center of the moon's shadow and, if possible, at some distance on the drifting ice of the Scottish Sea. The edge of the ice will be approximately 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 the horizon
  • 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S - 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above the horizon
  • 7.08 UTC: 60.42.4 S - 40.59.8 W, 1.42 minutes, 9 degrees above the horizon
  • Day 14- Road to Antarctica

    Huge icebergs and a good chance of whale watching ensure that there is never a dull moment on this trip to Antarctica. Also, your best chance of spotting Antarctic Petrels is here.

    Day 15 to 17 - Awe-inspiring Antarctica

    If ice conditions allow, we sail the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs announce the approach to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adelie penguins, is a possible stop. You can also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you can have a chance to set foot on the Antarctic continent. The Weddell Sea can be entered from the east, the cruise should go to Elephant Island and head to the Bransfield Strait, between South Shetland Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. Here you can try accessing the Antarctic Sound from the northwest.

    The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but 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 enters the flooded caldera. If you can land here, you'll find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of Cape Petrels. Here you can also see a series of seagulls, brown skuas, southern polar skuas and Antarctic terns.

    It is likely that his last activities before approaching the Drake Passage find him through the Gerlache Strait. One option is Cierva Cove and the rugged, icy mountains of the Davis Coast. Mikkelsen Harbor on the south shore of Trinity Island is another alternative. Here you can enjoy a gentoo penguin colony. The conditions at Drake Passage determine the exact departure time.

    Day 18 to 19 - Drake Passage

    In our way to the north, we will followed again by many species of sea birds, crossing the Sea and Drake Passage.

    Day 20 - Ushuaia

    We will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and we will disembark.

    Map of Route

     Solar Eclipse in Antarctica on the M/V Plancius

    Services

    Services included:
    • The trip on board the ship mentioned as indicated in the itinerary.
    • All meals during the trip on board the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
    • All excursions and activities in Zodiac boats during the trip.
    • Conference program dictated by naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition team.
    • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
    • Transfer of luggage from the hotel to the ship on boarding day, in Ushuaia.
    • Group transfer with prior notice from the ship to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarking).
    • All service and port taxes during the program.
    • Informative reading material before embarking.
    Services not included:
    • Regular or charter air flights.
    • Procedures before or after the start of the trip.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Meals not included in the trip.
    • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (highly recommended).
    • Excess baggage charges and all personal items such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunications charges.
    • The tip at the end of the trip for the waiters and other on-board service personnel (guidelines will be provided).
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