Experience Earth’s most wondrous cosmic event in pristine Antarctica. Join us aboard the L’Austral and be among the privileged few to witness the total solar eclipse from the Weddell Sea on December 4, 2021.

Starting at: $13,995 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Taking a walk along the shore  A chinstrap penguin in Antarctica  Towering mountains of ice  Solitary penguin waiting to jump in the water. Credit: Cara Sucher  Getting ready to leave Argentina for Antarctica  Credit: Katryn Wiese  A whale diving. Credit: Jill Zaniker

Solar Eclipse 2021: Antarctica and the Path of Totality

A Round-trip Cruise from Ushuaia, Argentina

14 days from $13,995

Experience Earth’s most wondrous cosmic event in pristine Antarctica. Join us aboard the L’Austral and be among the privileged few to witness the total solar eclipse from the Weddell Sea on December 4, 2021.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Experience Earth’s most wondrous cosmic event in pristine Antarctica when you witness a total solar eclipse on December 4, 2021. Cruising far out into the Weddell Sea, your Five-Star, ice-class ship will be positioned in the path of totality, revealing the spectral glow of the corona, an evocative moment for both umbraphiles and first-time observers. During your 10-night journey to the White Continent, you’ll also witness fantastically shaped icebergs, sparkling turquoise glaciers, bustling penguin rookeries, and awe-inspiring whales. All combined, this is a voyage to Antarctica unlike any other!

Highlights 

  • Cruising Antarctica: Embark your ship in Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city and gateway to Antarctica. Cruise through the Beagle Channel and cross the legendary Drake Passage en route to the outer shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. Here, below the 60th parallel, explore some of the world’s most pristine wilderness, where towering mountains of ice and lava have created precipitous coastlines and islands and where constantly changing patterns of ice stretch to the horizon. Highlights of your voyage feature the South Shetland Islands, including King George Island and Elephant Island, which played an important role in Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance story; Coronation Island, one of the South Orkney Islands; Heroina Island, part of the Danger Islands; and Deception Island. Embark on sturdy Zodiacs with expert naturalists for Continental landings at Brown Bluff and Bernardo O’Higgins Station, where you’ll explore landscapes with towering ice-capped volcanic cliffs and diverse wildlife habitats.
  • Wildlife: Observe the antics of chinstrap penguins on King George Island; large groups of elephant seals on Elephant Island; chinstrap penguins and Southern and Cape Petrels on Coronation Island; and more than 1.5 million Adélie penguins in the Danger Islands. You’ll also look for breaching fin, humpback, and minke whales; crabeater and Leopard seals; Gentoo penguins; and countless other seabirds. And as you cross the Antarctica Convergence, watch for the endangered albatross.
  • Total Solar Eclipse at Sea: Weather permitting, L’Austral will cruise out to a location that is within the Path of Totality and with a reasonable prospect of clear skies to view the Total Solar Eclipse.*

*Program Note: Viewing of the eclipse will be weather dependent and unexpected schedule changes could affect the program.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S. for Buenos Aires

Day 2 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and check into the Five-Star InterContinental Buenos Aires Hotel, ideally located in the historic San Telmo neighborhood and within walking distance of the landmark Palace of the Argentine National Congress.

This evening, attend the Welcome Reception and Antarctica and Solar Eclipse Briefing. (R)

Day 3 – Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

This morning, fly to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, capital of Tierra del Fuego and the gateway to Antarctica. Embark L’Austral this afternoon and cruise through historic Beagle Channel, named for the ship that carried Charles Darwin on his South American voyages.

Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception this evening. (B,R,D)

Day 4 — Cruising the Drake Passage

Cross the legendary Drake Passage and, upon reaching the Antarctic Convergence, watch for breaching fin and humpback whales and seabirds feeding on plankton and krill that are brought to the surface by cold Antarctic currents merging with warmer waters of the South Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The expedition team of naturalist guides will present insightful lectures to prepare you for your first landing in Antarctica. Our lecture series begins today. During the evening, enjoy the lingering twilight of the Antarctic summer. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – King George Island

King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, named after King George III. The coastal areas of the island are home to a comparatively diverse selection of vegetation and animal life, including elephant, Weddell, and leopard seals, and Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins. Several other seabirds, including skuas and southern giant petrel, nest on this island during the summer months. Human habitation of King George Island is limited to research stations. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Elephant Island

Elephant Island, located in the Weddell Sea near the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands, gets its name from the many elephant seals that cover the island. This tiny island played an important part in Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance story. In 1916, Shackleton and his 28-man crew took refuge on Elephant Island after the Endurance was lost in the Weddell Sea ice. On April 24, 1916, Shackleton left Elephant Island with five others to find rescue, leaving Frank Wild in charge of waiting for the rescue ship. Due to heavy packed ice around the island, the men were not rescued for over four months on August 30, 1916 after three failed attempts. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Coronation Island / South Orkney Islands

Coronation Island is the largest of the South Orkney Islands. Named in 1821 in honor of the Coronation of King George IV of England, this large island is full of bays, glaciers, and a high central peak of over 4,000 feet. Chinstrap Penguins and the Southern and Cape Petrels are prominent here.

After departing Coronation Islands we cruise east towards our point to view the Total Solar Eclipse. Enjoy onboard amenities, a full lecture series, informal discussions, and time to check equipment. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Total Solar Eclipse / At Sea

Weather permitting, L’Austral will cruise to the ideal location to view the Total Solar Eclipse.

We’ll arrive at a region with a reasonable prospect of clear skies at the center line. The eclipse will last approximately one minute and 42 seconds. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Heroina Island, The Danger Islands

Cruise to the Danger Islands, a group of islands lying 13 nautical miles east-south-east of Joinville Island near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The story of how the Danger Islands got their name was almost tragic: on December 28, 1842, during a British expedition led by james Clark Ross, the islands were almost completely concealed by the heavy fragments of ice surrounding them until the ship was nearly upon them!

The Danger Islands have been identified as an "important bird area" by BirdLife International because they're home to over 1.5 million Adélie penguins and a host of seabirds. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Brown Bluff & Bernardo O’Higgins Station / Antarctic Continent

Brown Bluff is a towering, ice-capped volcanic cliff located on the southeast side of the Antarctic Sound.  Brown Bluff is an Antarctic Continent landing, and after seeing the elephant seals on the shoreline, you will encounter an active colony of Adelie Penguins. Paulet Island is a small circular volcanic island located to the northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula.  On Paulet Island, there are over 100,000 Adelie Penguins thriving and also the blue-eyed shag and the Southern Giant Petrel.

Weather permitting, enjoy your second continental landing at Bernardo O'Higgins Station,  named in honor of Bernardo O'Higgins, a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. The permanently staffed Chilean research station is located in Antarctica and is the capital of Antártica Commune. It lies about 30 km south-west of Prime Head, the northernmost point of the Antarctic Peninsula, at Cape Legoupil. (B,L,D​)

Day 11 – Deception Island (weather permitting)

Deception Island is merely the top of a previously much larger volcano that is mostly submerged. Port Foster is a breached caldera that formed when the center of the volcano collapsed below sea level after a huge prehistoric explosive eruption. Eruptions have continued at irregular intervals, the first historically recorded by Wilkes in 1842, which saw the entire south rim of the crater on fire. TThe latest eruptions occurred in 1967, '69 and '70; the eruptions of '67 and '69 being most catastrophic, destroying both the Chilean and British scientific bases and a whaling station that required emergency evacuation. No permanent residents live on the island, but both Argentina and Spain have summer stations here.

On the way out of the caldera of Deception Island of the South Shetland Islands, weather permitting, we will stop at Bailey Head, home to a colony of Chinstrap Penguins, located on the black sand beaches of this headland. (B,L,D)

Day 12 – Day at Sea

Enjoy onboard amenities, a full lecture series, and informal discussions. Watch for endangered albatross and the many different species of petrels as you cruise once more across the Antarctica Convergence. (B.L.D)

Day 13 – Ushuaia / Buenos Aires / Depart for the U.S.

Disembark and fly to Buenos Aires.

Continue on the Iguazú Falls Post-Program Option with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires or depart for the U.S. (B)

Day 14 – Arrive in the U.S.

Program Note: Antarctica will be a prime location to experience the Total Solar Eclipse. We will provide an optimal viewing location to experience this phenomenon. Please keep in mind that viewing the eclipse will be weather dependent. Since we have no control over the weather, there is always a chance that we will not be able to view it or only for a short period of time. Keep in mind that unexpected schedule changes could affect the program. Your Travel Director will keep you fully informed of any changes to planned activities. A sense of humor, flexibility, and patience will be greatly appreciated during this program and especially on eclipse day!

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)