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Ocean Atlantic Solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse-Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Experience an unforgettable journey- watching a Solar Eclipse from Antarctic waters aboard the Ocean Atlantic

Length

20 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

132 Passengers

Solar Eclipse-Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Trip highlights

Solar Eclipse from Antarctic waters

Elephant Island

Immense icebergs and glaciers

Bird and whale watching

The Polartours experience

Special Photo Workshop

Expert guides answer all questions

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Digital Visual Journal

On Saturday, December 4, 2021, a total solar eclipse will run over the South Atlantic towards Antarctica. The Ocean Atlantic will be in place exactly at the center of the eclipse umbra during your amazing expedition cruise to South Georgia and Antarctica. The eclipse begins early in the morning east of the Falkland Islands. From here the moon shadow speeds south at 10,000 km per hour towards the South Orkney Island and Antarctica. The Ocean Atlantic has selected the best possible observation position east of South Orkney, where the sun is 11 degrees above the horizon. This once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon will last for almost 2 minutes.

The solar eclipse is just one out of several highlights of this unforgettable expedition cruise. You will follow in the path of the brave explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton – just in the opposite direction: From Ushuaia to the wildlife paradise of South Georgia. From here to the eclipse path and onwards to South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. You will circle the outline of the Weddell Sea, birthplace of the mighty tabular icebergs, and cruise close to Shackleton’s harsh winter-camp on the shore of Elephant Island.

The sub-Antarctic islands and Antarctic Peninsula are a nature photographer’s paradise, and the crew of expert guides will attempt as many shore landings as possible per day, weather conditions permitting, bringing you close to Antarctica’s beauty. During your days at sea, a variety of onboard activities, from lectures to workshops, wildlife spotting and eclipse photography await you.

Your ship: Ocean Atlantic

ocean atlantic deck plan

Ocean Atlantic is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising in Antarctic and Arctic waters! Newly renovated in 2016 and with an international ice class rating of 1B, she is one of the strongest ships operating in Antarctica. Her high maneuverability, shallow draft and strong engines allow for extended voyages into isolated fjords, creating exciting adventures for any Antarctica and Arctic traveler.

Ocean Atlantic is newly renovated (2016) with elegant common areas and accommodation for 198 passengers. The ship was built in 1985 and underwent an extensive rebuild in 2010. With a length of 140 … Read more about Ocean Atlantic

Cabins

Category E Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Category D Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Category F Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

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Premium Suite

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

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Category B Cabin

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

3

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Category A Cabin

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

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Category G Cabin

Type:

Single

Max. occupancy:

1

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Category C Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Arrival to Ushuaia
morning in Ushuaia
morning in Ushuaia

Embark in Ushuaia

Arrival at Ushuaia

Ushuaia is often called the "Gateway to Antarctica". Thanks to its position on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia's harbor is equally popular with luxury cruise vessels and huge, rugged ice breakers. A vital port for the resupply of many of the Antarctic research bases, Ushuaia is also a beautiful city that really does feel like it's at the edge of the world.

From the rugged peaks that soar high about the town to the aptly named "Train and the End of the World" steam railway; from fascinating museums and cultural centers to boat trips along the Beagle Channel to get up close and personal with penguins and seals, Ushuaia is a remarkable destination in its own right, as well as a wonderful place to start or finish your Antarctic cruise.

The Falkland Islands
Sail Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands

The Falklands Passage is the name given to the stretch of the Southern Ocean between mainland South America and the Falkland Islands. This is usually a 2-day sailing.

During this time, your naturalist guides will hold a series of informative and exciting talks and lectures about the wildlife and the geology that makes the Falklands and the Southern Ocean so remarkable.

Your guides will also be available to help you spot the various species of seabirds you will encounter, as well as using their expert eye to spot whales and other cetaceans in the water as you make your way to your next destination.

Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Westpoint Island

Saunders Island

Bleaker Island

Stanley

Bull Point

New Island

Carcass Island

Weddell Island

Lying 300 miles off the Patagonian coast, and 750 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands (also known as Islas Malvinas in Spanish) is a far-flung British overseas territory.

Consisting of two major islands and over 770 smaller islands and islets, they are home to a hardy resident population of about 3,400 islanders. With a chequered history of disputed sovereignty, the islands were uninhabited until the 1700s.

With an economy that was traditionally driven by whaling, then fishing and farming, the islands have more recently diversified into sustainable tourism. With an abundance of wildlife, particularly birds - including some species found nowhere else - the islanders have been restoring natural habitats previously lost to grazing, as well as farming in ways that are more environmentally friendly.

There are a variety of sites to visit where you can see endemic and migrant birds, as well as several colonies of penguins and seals. Whales and dolphins are frequently spotted in the Sound and off the shoreline around the islands.

You will also see the historic capital, Stanley, which visitors often remark reminds them of how England used to be 50 years or more ago…

Oceanwide expeditions South Georgia Special
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica

The passage to South Georgia to or from the Falklands or South America is usually a 2-day sailing. On your way to the magnificent yet remote South Georgia, your expert guides will enthrall you with a range of talks and lectures all about the remarkable concentrations of Antarctic wildlife that can be found on the island.

As well as the huge numbers of breeding birds and sea mammals, you'll also learn about the geology and human history of the island, and its importance in the exploration (and exploitation) of the Southern Ocean.

On deck, your guides will help you to identify the bird species that frequently follow the ships, as well as spotting cetaceans and other marine life you can spot en route.

Albatros Expeditions Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica
Oceanwide Expeditions Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica

Elsehul Bay

Gold Harbour

Grytviken, Fortuna Bay

St. Andrew's Bay

Ocean Harbour

Cooper Bay

Salisbury Plain

Prion Island

This remote and mountainous island might seem to be barren at first, given that it has no trees and is snow-covered for much of the year. However, appearances can be deceptive, and South Georgia is teeming with life!

Not only is it home to important breeding grounds for fur seals, elephant seals, and king penguins, it is also the only known habitat of the South Georgia Pipit - the Antarctic's only songbird - and the South Georgia Pintail duck.

High, rugged mountains and stunning coastal fjords make cruising the coast of South Georgia a spectacle you will remember.

Used as a base for early-20th century sealers, there are relics of this industry at various places around the island - a reminder of the human history of exploitation of Antarctica and its natural resources.

South Orkney Islands
South Orkney Islands
South Orkney Islands

Solar Eclipse

The South Orkney islands are located in the Scotia Sea at the North-Eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They consist of 4 main islands that are mountainous and sometimes have a rich green color. However, the South Orkney Islands are rarely visited on Antarctic cruises because of their remote location.

South Georgia
Antarctica 21 Hebridean Sky
Antarctica Classic

The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited and is home to many of the most popular landing sites for expedition cruises.

Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are therefore ice-free, and important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.

It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Northeast beach Ardley Island

Penguin Island

Telefon Bay

Hannah Point

Pendulum Cove

Elephant Island

Point Wild

Turret Point

Barrientos Island

Whalers Bay

Baily Head on Deception Island

Sometimes overlooked as a destination by people keen to set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are a must-see destination in their own right.

Often the first and last landfall on an Antarctic cruise, many people are taken aback by the stunning beauty of these islands. What better way to make contact with the Antarctic than by making your first beach landing here surrounded by gentoo penguins?

Apart from some of the most southerly species of penguin, the South Shetlands are home to a huge range of Antarctic wildlife, and they make a superb introduction to the wildlife of the whole region, including key species like elephant seals, humpback whales, and more.

With active volcanoes, the relics and remains of its history as a centre for whaling, and some of the most beautiful Antarctic mountain scenery, the South Shetland Islands are a fitting first destination for any Antarctic cruise.

Crossing the Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

Arrival to Ushuaia
morning in Ushuaia
morning in Ushuaia

Ushuaia is often called the "Gateway to Antarctica". Thanks to its position on the shores of the Beagle Channel at the southern tip of Argentina, Ushuaia's harbor is equally popular with luxury cruise vessels and huge, rugged ice breakers. A vital port for the resupply of many of the Antarctic research bases, Ushuaia is also a beautiful city that really does feel like it's at the edge of the world.

From the rugged peaks that soar high about the town to the aptly named "Train and the End of the World" steam railway; from fascinating museums and cultural centers to boat trips along the Beagle Channel to get up close and personal with penguins and seals, Ushuaia is a remarkable destination in its own right, as well as a wonderful place to start or finish your Antarctic cruise.

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

20-day cruise with accommodation in a shared outside double stateroom with private facilities

Position on the solar eclipse centerline

All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary

Expedition parka

Rubber boot rentals

Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team

English-speaking expedition team

Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks

Free tea and coffee 24 hours’ daily

Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition leader and team

Special photo workshop

Welcome and farewell cocktails

Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!

Taxes and port fees

What's not included

Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Single room supplement and stateroom upgrades

Meals not on board the ship

Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)

Personal expenses

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Solar Eclipse-Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica
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