Antarctica: Witness a Solar Eclipse from a Luxury Private Yacht

At precisely 4:34AM on December 4th 2021, a ‘total’ solar eclipse will occur in the skies above Antarctica. And this will be the only such event until 2023.

Naturally, we’re ready to send you there to greet it. This is an adventurous journey combining the drama of the White Continent with a tremendously rare solar phenomenon. Over the course of 9-nights, you’ll set sail on your own privately chartered expedition vessel, replete with submersibles and helicopters to further enhance the opportunities at your fingertips. While the sun shines, your days will be filled with unique experiences that will see you heli-skiing and mountaineering along unnamed tracts of land and whale watching from glittering polar summits. For the bold, there’s even the opportunity to camp out on the ice with the sun barely setting and inquisitive penguins your only neighbours.

Needless to say, the window to experience this event – in this location – is both incredibly rare and incredibly tight. We’re confident this is something you won’t want to miss.

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The Eclipse

Setting sail from Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, there’s just a day at sea to settle into your luxury expedition vessel as we set a course straight into the path of totality. Out in the midst of the Scotia Sea, you’ll then take a front-row seat to a once in 400 years event. A solar eclipse is doubtless always an incredible experience, yet 2021’s Antarctica eclipse is set to be particularly unique with the effect of the Antarctic summer coming to the fore. At this time of year, the sun typically blazes for up to 22 hours of the day, barely setting at night. It is this quirk of the earth’s curvature that therefore makes a solar eclipse possible in what would otherwise be the small hours of the morning. Rise early, for at precisely 4:34am the show begins. It will be over in just under two minutes.

Equipped with special eclipse viewing glasses and in the company of an eclipse specialist, you’ll take your seats out on deck, coffee in hand, and look out. At this time of the morning, the sun will be hanging low and pregnant in the sky, hovering just above the frozen horizon. This sight alone has something of a mesmeric quality. However as the moon gradually shifts to obscure the sun’s blaze, sending out a final coronal flare before covering it in its entirety, the uniqueness of the moment truly hits home. Transfixed by the moment, watch as the iconic ring of the chromosphere takes hold before the moon once again falls away, restoring the colour to our world.

What else will I do?

Once the sun comes out, there’s a whole continent to explore and unique methods by which to do it. Pushing the boundaries beyond what would be possible of a normal cruise, we’ll take you to unknown heights and uncharted depths. According to the specification of your vessel, you’ll venture deep beneath the surface of the Southern Ocean in cutting-edge submersibles, shedding light on corners potentially not seen before. We’ll also helicopter you up to remote mountaintops where you’ll be able to see whales breaching in the distance before strapping on your skis and laying down virgin tracks. For the adventurous, there is then the opportunity to spend a night out on the ice with an expedition campsite set up just for you amid this silent expanse. This is Antarctica as no one else has experienced it.

Your playground for all this adventure is the vast Antarctic Peninsula. Here, you’ll sail through the photographer’s favourite, Iceberg Alley, characterised by its large tabular icebergs which drift north from the Weddell Sea. Amid the ice, look too to the islands where you’ll discover colonies of playful adelié and nesting emperor penguins, which you’ll pay a visit to in the company of expert naturalists. To the west then lies the Danco Coast and Gerlache Strait where you’ll spy gentoo penguins and also have the chance to visit an active scientific research station. From there, it’s onto Deception Island, formed out of the flooded caldera of a volcano and home to some of the warmest Antarctic water in which to take a swim in the Antarctic with this patch of sea uniquely warmed by the hot volcanic rocks beneath the surface. We’ll be waiting on deck with the blankets.

Your exploration comes to a close on King George Island where you’ll disembark. From here, we’ll arrange for you to fly back to Punta Arenas in Chile, saving you the time (and seasickness) of crossing the Drake Passage in the process.

Where will I stay?

A trip such as this, requires somewhere special to stay. That’s why we’re eschewing the traditional Antarctic cruise ships and setting you up instead with a private charter of a luxury exploration vessel. We’ll match a ship to your needs, taking into account group size and preferences, and give you total privacy in the process. It is this private charter that will then give you the freedom to explore the white continent to your heart’s content and in the most unique of ways. Unlike on a cruise, you’ll be unconstrained by schedules, setting your own agenda. You’ll also benefit from a host of onboard toys, designed to enhance your experience of Antarctica. Whilst some of our vessels will offer helicopters and some will offer submersibles – others will offer both.

Whichever you opt for, you can be assured of the highest safety standards of polar exploration with icebreaking hulls and experienced crew, as well as the highest standards of luxury accommodation. Whilst we acknowledge you’ll want to spend as much time as possible exploring, you’ll also find much onboard to tempt you with spa facilities, jacuzzis and cinemas all options to consider.

Anything else?

Back on terra firma, why not bookend your expedition with some time spent exploring the equally staggering landscapes of Chile or Argentina? Whether you seek adventure in Patagonia or gastronomy in Mendoza, we’ll craft you a bespoke itinerary worthy of this once in a lifetime escape.

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