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.
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