15 Nights Total Eclipse in the Weddell Sea

15 Nights Total Eclipse in the Weddell Sea

$25,414.00 Regular Price
$18,860.00Sale Price

We invite you to board Le Commandant-Charcot, for a 15-day exploration cruise that is as original as it is spectacular, in order to observe a total eclipse of the sun from the Weddell Sea ice pack. This cruise in the heart of the great White Continent will also be an opportunity to discover the eastern part of the Weddell Sea, unexplored and totally unknown to this day, as well as the imposing Larsen ice shelves.


From Ushuaia, your ship will first set course for the Weddell Sea ice pack, located in the only area in the world where the solar eclipse will be 100% visible. You will land on the immaculate and sparkling ice pack and enjoy, from the thick ice layer, a unique and privileged setting for a magnificent observation of a total solar eclipse. In this region beyond the polar circle where the sun never quite sets, the full night will surround you to fully experience a few magical and suspended moments.


The Weddell Sea could be described as extreme and captivating, mostly frozen by a thick and compressed ice floe. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail on it, with its promise of exceptional landscapes and original encounters. As you advance across this immense polar expanse, you will enter an infinite ice desert, a world of silence where there is nothing but calm and serenity.


You will reach the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, a landmark in the history of polar exploration. To the north-west of the Weddell Sea, stretching along the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, stands the imposing ice barrier formed by the Larsen platforms. An extension of the ice sheet onto the sea, this white giant is equally disturbing and fascinating, if only due to its colossal dimensions and the impressive table top icebergs - amongst the largest ever seen - that it generates.


This voyage will be an opportunity to come as close as possible to the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula, a real refuge for wildlife. So, you may have the privilege of observing some of the Weddell seals, crabeater seals and leopard seals, Adelie penguins, papuan and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, sea birds.

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    Day 1 Santiago, Chile
    Arrive in Santiago and check in hotel which is included.

     

    Day 2 Ushuaia, Argentina

    Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

     

    Day 3-4 Crossing The Drake Passage

    Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

     

    Day 5 Sailing Ice Floes

    Enjoy the absolutely unique experience of sailing to the heart of the ice floe, this vast expanse of virgin, immaculate ice. The landscapes are constantly changing, shifting from a smooth, flat wilderness to a chaos of ice, then to channels of open water. Your ship will sail along these naturally open channels and through the areas where the frozen layer is thinnest, offering you the chance to experience magic maritime moments in the midst of drifting sea ice. It will also often be an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds and seals.

     

    Day 6 Total Eclipse Observation

    Beyond the Antarctic Circle, in the bewitching silence of the Weddell Sea ice pack, we offer you the unique privilege of entering the heart of the only area in the world where the total solar eclipse will be 100% visible. You will disembark on the ice pack to enjoy a magnificent observation of this natural phenomenon, as rare as it is exceptional. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is positioned and aligned perfectly in front of the Sun, covering it completely with a black disc. In the polar perimeter where the Moon's shadow is cast on the Earth, it is usually never quite dark. Thanks to this prodigious event, the full night will envelop you for a few moments of eternity.

     

    Day 7 North Antarctic Peninsula

    Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

     

    Day 8 The Weddell Sea

    Amid the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, wend your way through a labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table-top icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other remarkable seabirds. The Weddell seal – king of this realm – will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You can recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive skill of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

     

    Day 9-10 Sailing Toward Larsen Ice Shelf

    On the Weddell Sea, you will sail close to the gigantic Larsen ice shelves. These floating ice shelves help to prevent the erosion of the Antarctic ice sheet. Over the last fifty years, scientists have however observed regular collapses of these shelves, along giant cracks that can be several hundred kilometres long and deep. In 2017, a portion measuring more than 6,000 km2, so barely smaller than Corsica, had broken off the Larsen C ice shelf, forming one of the largest tabular icebergs in the world. This disintegration is believed to be due in part to global warming and melting sea ice.

     

    Day 11 The Weddell Sea

    Amid the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, wend your way through a labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table-top icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other remarkable seabirds. The Weddell seal – king of this realm – will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You can recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive skill of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

     

    Day 12 North Antarctic Peninsula

    Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

     

    Day 13 South Shetland Islands

    On the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, 120 km (70 miles) from the White Continent, the South Shetland Islands offer surreal and mysterious scenery. On these volcanic islands of dark rock, the landscapes alternate between long, jagged and snow-covered coast and large, gently sloping bays. These lunar and wild lands are home to important scientific research stations and a large number of animal species: chinstrap penguins, crabeater seals or Weddell seals, Antarctic terns, giant petrels and elephant seals have taken up residence here.

     

    Day 14-15 Crossing The Drake Passage

    If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

     

    Day 16 Ushuaia - Disembarkation 12/14/2021 at 06h00

    Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…