Spirit of Antarctica – Solar Eclipse Voyage

Sylvia Earle Premium Antarctic Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle (Antarctica)
120 Passengers
Starting 2021-22 Season

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, 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.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse in Antarctica
• Glide past glittering grounded bergs on Zodiac cruises in Antarctica
• Photographers will delight in capturing spectacular scenery in near-pristine conditions
• Antarctic Peninsula is alive with activity: penguins are busy building nests and forming colonies; seabird chicks are hatching; fur seals defending beach areas and pups are born

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 Embark the Sylvia Earle in Ushuaia
Day 3 Drake Passage crossing
Day 4 Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Days 5 to 10 Antarctic Peninsula
Days 11 to 13 South Orkney Islands for Solar Eclipse
Days 14 & 15 Drake Passage crossing
Day 16 Disembark Ushuaia

Day 1 — Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred the hotel (preferred flights only).

Day 2 — Ushuaia and Embarkation

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.

As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our 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 — Drake Passage Crossing

As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team starts our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.

Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Day 4 — Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands

Nearing the tip of the South Shetland Islands on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on the bridge watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we 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, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Days 5 to 10 — Antarctic Peninsula

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 we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we 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.

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Join 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 we aim to stretch our 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 opportunity 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, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales traveling 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.

Days 11 to 13 — South Orkney Islands for Solar Eclipse

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.
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 December 4th 2021 – the unknown is part of what makes the experience even more thrilling.

The eclipse belongs to Saros 152 and is number 13 of 70 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s descending node. The total solar eclipse of December 4th 2021 is preceded two weeks earlier by a partial lunar eclipse on November 19th 2021. These eclipses all take place during a single eclipse season - a period during which the Sun appears close enough to one of the Moon’s nodes to allow a solar eclipse to occur. Each season lasts approximately 34 days and repeats at about 173-day intervals.

Central to the story of where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance became trapped in formidable sea ice, the Weddell Sea certainly is high on the list for most polar adventurers. A small set of islands standing off to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula collectively form the Antarctic Sound – the gateway to the Weddell Sea. With a well- deserved reputation as being an iceberg alley, many large tabular bergs escape the Weddell Sea through the Antarctic Sound, often making navigation difficult. However, the rewards can be great. Fossils are a reminder of a more temperate era – gastropods, large clams, and spiral-shaped ammonites, all turned to stone.

Be spoiled for wildlife encounters as the Weddell boasts a large Adélie penguin colony just outside of the Antarctic Sound, some of which breed on the rocky slopes of a small volcanic island, where a large colony of Antarctic blue-eyed shags jostle for space with nest-building Wilson’s storm petrels. On thrilling Zodiac cruises or slicing a path through the maze of sea ice in your kayak, keep watch for chinstrap and gentoo penguins in and out of the water, where you’re likely to spot humpback, minke and orca whales. With good ice and plenty of luck, you may even get close to a well-known emperor penguin colony. Your camera is sure to get a solid workout during your time in the Weddell Sea.

Days 14 & 15 — Drake Passage Crossing

Today, our landings come to an end as we enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to South America. With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on our attitude to life.

As we approach the tip of South America, our captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.

Day 16 — Disembark Ushuaia

During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travelers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Antarctica 2021-22
Aurora Stateroom Triple
Aurora Stateroom Twin
Aurora Superior Stateroom
Balcony Stateroom C
Balcony Stateroom B
Balcony Stateroom A
Superior Balcony Stateroom
Junior Suite
Captain's Suite
Camp, Kayak, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

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$11,795 $13,095 $13,895$10,421$14,295$10,721$14,595$10,946$14,995$11,246$18,095$13,571$21,795$16,346$25,495$19,121
Kayak, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Falklands
South Georgia - Ushuaia

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$16,995 $18,895 $19,995$14,996$20,595$15,446$20,995$15,746$21,595$16,196$26,195$19,646$31,495$23,621$36,795$27,596
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Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

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$16,995 $18,795 $19,895$14,921$20,495$15,371$20,895$15,671$21,495$16,121$26,095$19,571$31,395$23,546$36,695$27,521
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Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Kayak, Snorkeling, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Falklands
Antarctica - Ushuaia

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$28,695 $31,795 $33,695$25,271$34,695$26,021$35,395$26,546$36,395$27,296$44,195$33,146$53,395$40,046$62,395$46,796
Kayak, Snorkeling, Snowshoe
Ushuaia - Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Kayak, Snorkeling
Ushuaia - Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

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Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

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Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Ushuaia - Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

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Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica ✈ Punta Arenas

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Punta Arenas ✈ Antarctica - Ushuaia

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Ushuaia - Falklands
Antarctica - Ushuaia

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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.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single occupancy cabin pricing surcharges arw an additional 50%. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

Flights included for Fly/Cruise itineraries.

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

Optional Activities: Kayaking $1,260 (trips < 20-days) $1,470 (trips > 20-days). Photography Free. Snowshoeing $320 (trips < 20-days) $370 (trips > 20-days). Snorkeling $640 (trips < 20-days) $740 (trips > 20-days). Camping $150.

A $15 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 account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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Cabin Descriptions

         Captain's Suite *
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
The largest of all our rooms, the singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.
Twin or king bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Junior Suite *
450-470 Sq Ft / 42-43.5 m² including balcony
Deck 7
The four 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.
Twin or king bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Superior Balcony Stateroom
300-405 Sq Ft / 28-37.7 m² including balcony
Decks 4 and 6
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. 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.
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Balcony Stateroom-A, Balcony Stateroom-B, Balcony Stateroom-C
225-270 Sq Ft / 21-24.8 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Our 23 Balcony Stateroom–A cabins are our premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions which provide easy access between decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
Our 17 Balcony Stateroom–B Cabins are our standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups.
Our 11 Balcony Stateroom–C cabins are our most economical, fitted with all the necessities, and comfortable for up to 2 people.
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
      Superior Stateroom
215-240 Sq Ft / 20-22.3 m²
Deck 7
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Aurora Stateroom Superior are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. The Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area.
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Aurora Stateroom  Twin & Triple (on select voyages)
170-245 Sq Ft / 16.1-22.8 m²
Deck 3
There are three Aurora Stateroom Twin cabins, and four Triple cabins all featuring portholes and private en-suites. 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.
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV

*

      Suite benefits include:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (per person)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony & Junior stocked once, Captain’s replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included to the value of $15 per person per day
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite