Expedition Cruise Program aboard the Seascape
with Special Guests Alex Filippenko, PhD, Tim Jarvis, and Conrad Anker

Overview

Join us for an absolutely spectacular experience—seeing a total solar eclipse on an expedition cruise to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, in the company of a team of expert naturalists and world-renowned Guest Speakers. We travel aboard the Seascape, which provides the flexibility to maneuver to the ideal viewing position on Eclipse Day.

Our Guest Experts

Alex Filippenko, PhD, is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley. An extraordinary astronomer and educator, Dr. Filippenko has been voted “Best Professor” at UC Berkeley a record nine times. As of 2019, he has seen 17 eclipses, 12 of them with Wilderness Travel. Tim Jarvis, environmental scientist and adventurer, recreated Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 800-mile survival journey in a replica of Shackleton’s 25-foot open lifeboat—including crossing South Georgia’s treacherous crevassed glaciers—all using rudimentary period clothing and equipment. His adventure is chronicled in Chasing Shackleton, and a PBS documentary. Tim is the Australia World Wildlife Fund Global Ambassador. Conrad Anker, an acclaimed mountaineer, recently climbed Ulvetanna in Queen Maud Land, adding to his Antarctic summits. Among his Himalayan expeditions are three Everest climbs, including one on which he discovered the body of legendary explorer George Mallory. See the Leaders tab for complete biographical information.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1, Nov 22, 2021
Ushuaia, Argentina—The Southernmost Town in the World

Ushuaia is the perfect starting point for your cruise, with its award-winning museum and a lively main street of cafes and shops. If you arrive early, you’ll want to visit beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park. Overnight at the five-star Arakur Resort and Spa.

 View Lodging
Days 2-3, Nov 23-24, 2021
Embark / At Sea / Southern Ocean

Embarking in the afternoon, we’ll be greeted at an orientation briefing followed by the Captain’s Welcome Dinner. Then relax and take in the dramatic scenery as we sail down the Beagle Channel. Our experts begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean, and we join the Expedition Team on deck to look for whales, dolphins, and seabirds.

Days 4-5, Nov 25-26, 2021
Exploring the Falklands

The Falkland Islands offer an unforgettable vista of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic. Sea lions, fur seals, elephant seals battling among themselves to establish territories, and huge penguin colonies are a spectacular sight. Port Stanley features unusual sights like a whalebone arch and shipwrecks along the coast.

Days 6-7, Nov 27-28, 2021
At Sea / Crossing the Antarctic Convergence

There will be plenty of wildlife spotting as we make our way across the Antarctic Convergence—the point where cold, northward-flowing waters meet the relatively warmer waters of the subantarctic—and officially enter Antarctic waters. Shipboard presentations continue, featuring the exciting history and abundant wildlife of South Georgia, and the upcoming eclipse.

Days 8-11, Nov 29-Dec 2, 2021
South Georgia

Magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers galore, a rugged coastline punctuated with icebergs, and an astounding array of wildlife are all within view as we travel down South Georgia’s leeward coast. Landing sites feature huge elephant seals, fur seals, macaroni penguins, albatrosses, petrels, and skuas. King penguins, from fuzzy chicks to fattened adults, can be seen in the hundreds of thousands. Visit the whaling museum, the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, the British Antarctic Survey station, and the tiny graveyard where the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is buried.

Days 12-14, Dec 3- 5, 2021
Scotia Sea / Eclipse Day! / At Sea

The excitement builds as we head toward the eclipse viewing position, with presentations by guest astronomer Alex Filippenko, PhD. On Day 13—Eclipse Day—we’ll be on the centerline between South Georgia and the South Orkney Islands; the eclipse takes place in the surreal austral summer light. Being onboard the Seascape provides the best chance of cruising into an area of open sky, depending on the unpredictable Antarctic weather. In the afternoon, visit Base Orcadas or Signy Research Station in the South Orkneys. Informative presentations and wildlife watching continue as we head farther south and icebergs become more and more plentiful on Day 14.

LOCAL CONTACT TIMES FOR OUR PLANNED VIEWING POSITION
AT 59° 58.716’ S 41° 36.972’ W:

1st contact: (eclipse begins) 03:17:54 altitude: 3.7°
2nd contact: (totality begins) 04:06:19 altitude: 8.6°
3rd contact: (totality ends) 04:07:59 altitude: 8.8°
4th contact: (eclipse ends) 04:58:13 altitude: 14.5°
Duration of totality: 1 minute and 40.6 seconds

Days 15-18, Dec 6- 9, 2021
Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and wildlife viewing opportunities. We’ll visit the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. Adelie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater, and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with leopard seals and Antarctic fur seals. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors, and orca sightings are common.

Days 19-21, Dec 10-12, 2021
Drake Passage / Ushuaia / Depart

The lecture series and wildlife spotting conclude as we sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. Morning disembarkation on Day 21 lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.

Eclipse Day Weather Prospects

Here's the straight talk: This eclipse occurs in a dramatic and beautiful but problematic area of the globe, with limited observing sites and difficult viewing conditions. This is Antarctica, with its changeable weather and frequent storms and overcast skies. In spite of this, the situation for ship-board observers may not be as bleak as cloud maps from past years would suggest. While the map of average December cloud cover shows rather pessimistic conditions for the month, and the station data—what there is of it—confirms frequent cloud cover with an average of 82 percent, day-to-day satellite images are slightly more optimistic. Our planned position has one of the lowest cloud cover percentages in the area, as surrounding “boxes” have amounts that range as high as 84 to 98 percent.

As eclipse meteorologist Jay Anderson reports in personal communications, “I’ve become a little more optimistic about the 2021 eclipse over the Southern Ocean in the past year. Satellite images I’ve examined over the last 20 years show a cloud cover that is frequently—always, in fact—broken by relatively nearby clear patches, often quite large. While the average cloudiness is quite high at about 80 percent, the mobility offered by a ship should help improve these odds. Monitoring satellite images and watching the computer forecasts will make it possible to adjust to a better location a day or two ahead of time if clearer skies are available.”

The mobility of our ship will therefore be a significant factor, allowing us to sail to a clearer patch of sky on eclipse day, and to even target a better viewing position based on weather charts a day or two before the eclipse. But given the typically cloudy conditions in Antarctic waters, we strongly recommend that you plan to join this trip for the remarkable experience of Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands, and treat the eclipse as a special bonus if we are fortunate enough to see it.

Highlights

Highlights

Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falklands—all on one fantastic journey
Total solar eclipse viewing, weather permitting, with acclaimed astronomer Alex Filippenko, PhD
Epic wildlife experiences including South Georgia’s thousands of king penguins
Expert Antarctic adventurers, environmentalists, naturalists, and historians enrich your experience
Exciting sea kayaking option for limited number of participants

Details

Length: 21 days
Cost From: $19,750  
Arrive: Ushuaia, Argentina
Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina
Lodging: 19 nights aboard an expedition ship, 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals included on board (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Eclipse, Small Ship Cruising, Wildlife & Natural History, Sea Kayaking, Photography, Whale Watching
Trip Level:

21-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings (where you step out of the Zodiac into the water wearing knee-high sea boots), optional kayaking in dry suits, possibility of rough seas and cold weather.