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Though it is possible to experience the total solar eclipse from a few key locations across the globe, none of them offers as unique a "venue" as Antarctica. Combine that with everything else you'll enjoy during this Antarctic Peninsula Solar Eclipse voyage from Oceanwide Expeditions and you end up with one truly exceptional adventure. Experience the adventure for yourself on this magical 20-day expedition from Ushuaia, crossing the Drake Passage, visiting South Georgia and the Falklands.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Days 2 & 3: Cross the Drake Passage
Days 4 - 7: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 8 & 9: Sail east to the eclipse
Day 10: Weddell Sea pack ice & total solar eclipse
Day 11: Sail northbound for South Georgia
Days 12 - 14: South Georgia
Days 15 & 16: At Sea
Day 17 & 18: Falkland Islands
Day 19: At Sea
Day 20: Ushuaia, Argentina
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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 will embark your vessel from the small resort town of Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed "The end of the world", and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Over the next two days crossing the Drake Passage, you will enjoy the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first chartered these regions.
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 here, 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 just a few of the bird species you might see here.
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 nontheless offer subtle pleasures. A wide variety of flora and fauna live here.
On Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptunes Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you can find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels. If ice permits, your ship will then sail to the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Giant icebergs and a good chance of fin whale sightings enliven this segment of your 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.
The ship positions itself in the centre of the shadow of the moon, and is possible, some distance into the Scotia Sea drift ice.
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 your ship north.
Today you will arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Over the next several days, you may visit Cooper Bay, Fortuna Bay, Salisbury Plain and more.
On the way to South Georgia, your ship crosses 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.
Arrive in Port Stanley today the capital of the Falkland Islands, and centre of its culture. Port Stanley offers a little Victorian-era charm, colourful 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 Falkland's War. Port Stanley is home to approx. 2,100 people. Feel free to wander at will.
The Falkland Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are you will get the chance to see Peale's dolphins and Commerson's dolphins in the surrounding waters.
Be on the lookoiut for several species of albatross as they follow your ship into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Today your ship arrives back in Ushuaia for disemberkation.
The M/V Janssonius from Oceanwide Expeditions meets the latest and highest standards for ice-strengthened cruise ships. Janssonius represents the most flexible, advanced, innovative touring vessel in the polar regions, thoroughly optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you with the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica.
The numerous amenities on-board M/V Janssonius help to make your voyage to the polar regions truly memorable. This ship also gives you the peace of mind that comes with choosing one of the most environmentally friendly vessel on the polar seas. Janssonius uses LED lighting, steam heating, bio-degradable paints and lubricants, and state-of-the-art power management systems that keep fuel consumption and CO2 levels minimal. This means that when you sail aboard Janssonius, you get to enjoy the exotic landscapes and wildlife as much as possible while impacting them as little as possible.
Janssonius offers high-quality accommodation for 176 passengers in six grand suites with balconies, eight junior suites, eight superior cabins, 11 twin deluxe cabins, 14 twin window cabins, as well as 27 twin porthole cabins, two triple porthole cabins, and four quadruple porthole cabins that vary in size. One deck consists of a large observation lounge and separate lecture room. Though elegantly designed in stylish mid-century modern décor, this vessel holds true to Oceanwide’s distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.
The historic MV Plancius was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel and in 2009 was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger polar explorer ship. The ship boasts large open deck spaces, a fleet of Mark V zodiacs and a team of expert expedition staff to accompany each voyage.
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