Falkland Islands – South Georgia – SOLAR ECLIPSE – Antarctic Peninsula

Hondius Luxury Expedition Cruise Ship
Hondius
174 Passengers
Adventure Options

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

We will position our ship in the center of the moon shadow, at the edge of the sea ice in the Weddell Sea, between the South Orkneys and South Georgia. The full voyage lasts 19 nights (20 days) and will visit the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Note: Our goal on this itinerary is to see the total eclipse, but please keep in mind the polar regions are known for their unpredictability. There is always the chance overcast skies may hinder visibility and that adverse conditions may alter certain details of the pre-planned route.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Embarkation and departure from Ushuaia
Days 2 & 3 Drake Passage
Days 4 to 6 Entering Antarctica
Days 7 & 8 East to the eclipse
Day 9 Weddell Sea pack ice & Total Solar Eclipse (Dec 4 , early morning)
Day 10 At Sea
Days 11 to 14 South Georgia
Days 15 & 16 At Sea
Day 17 Porting in Port Stanley
Day 18 Finding the Falklands
Day 19 At Sea
Day 20 Arrival in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel

Day 1 — Embarkation and departure from Ushuaia

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.

Days 2 & 3 — Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Days 4 to 6 — Entering Antarctica

This extended voyage gives you the chance to sail even farther down the icy coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. In the Gerlache Strait are several opportunities for great landings where you might set foot on the Antarctic Continent, surrounded by an epic landscape of alpine peaks and mammoth glaciers calving at sea level. Gentoo penguins, leopard seals, Weddell seals, humpback whales, and minke whales are often seen here.

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.

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

Days 7 & 8 — East to the eclipse

Giant icebergs and a good chance of fin whale sightings enliven this segment of the voyage. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here. Depending on ice and weather conditions, the aim is to venture into the pack ice to find the best possible position for viewing the solar eclipse.

Day 9 — 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 10 — At Sea

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 north.

Days 11 to 14 — South Georgia

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:
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 seen gracefully gliding above.

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.

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 Harbor – 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).

Days 15 & 16 — At 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 17 — 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 18 — 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.

Day 19 — At Sea

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

Day 20 — Arrival in Ushuaia and disembark the vessel

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.

Note: Program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The expedition leader on board will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Single travelers can chose between "single occupancy" at a supplement
of 1,7 x the Twin or Superior cabin rate , or "sharing basis" in Twin, Triple
or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Camping - $195 per night, max 30 people
Kayaking - $470 per trip, max 14 people
Snowshoe - No charge but sign up required

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
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DeckPlan_Hondius_d

   Hondius Suite
4 windows • 1 double bed • Sofa Bed • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flat screen TV • Telephone and WiFi • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Walk-in closet • Safe
One Spacious Suite on Deck 6, 375 ft² (35 m²)
   Grand Suite
1 double window • 1 double bed • Sofa Bed • Private balcony with sliding door • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Six Suites on Deck 7, 290 ft² (27 m²) with balcony
   Junior Suite
1 double window • 1 double bed • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Eight Suites on Deck 7, 205-225 ft² (19-20 m²)
   Superior
2 windows • 1 double bed • Sofa Bed • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Eight Cabins on Deck 6, 215-225 ft² (20-21 m²)
   Twin Deluxe
2 windows • 2 single beds • Sofa • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Eleven Cabins on Deck 6, 205-225 ft² (19-21 m²)
   Twin Window
1 window • 2 single beds • Small sofa • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Fourteen Cabins on Deck 4, 130-150 ft² (12-14 m²)
   Twin Porthole
2 portholes • 2 single beds • Small sofa • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe
Twenty-Nine Cabins on Deck 3, 130-200 ft² (12-18 m²)
   Triple Porthole
2 portholes • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths • Small sofa • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Two Cabins on Deck 3, approx. 200 ft² (18 m²)
   Quadruple Porthole
2 portholes • 2 upper & lower berths • Small sofa • Private shower & toilet • Flat screen TV • Desk & chair • Telephone and WiFi • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Cabinet • Wardrobe • Safe • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Four Cabins on Deck 3, approx. 200 ft² (18 m²)