On Friday, 4th December 2020 Antarctica will experience a total solar eclipse, a rare phenomenon which occurs every 75 years. Set to take place in the early morning in the skies over the Southern Ocean. The best place to witness the moon’s passing between the earth and the sun will be from South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands and from northern Patagonia, in either Chile or Argentina. The event itself is highly sought after, not least because it coincides with early spring in Antarctica and the hatching of Penguin chicks, so we favour the smaller, more exclusive ships who will have a well considered route and specialist guides for the sighting.
The Magellan Explorer is the finest expedition vessel among the smaller luxury cruises. Custom built for the icy Antarctic waters, the ship hosts up to 73 guests in suites of varying sizes with the top four categories offering a private balcony; the perfect vantage point for witnessing the immensity of the white desert and its wildlife. Kitted out in thermal gear, binoculars in hand, guests will explore the boundless white landscape by foot, kayak or zodiac, wide-eyed and with heart pumping exhilaration as they delve into ice tunnels, whale habitats and dome-shaped ice sheets. With a similar focus on expert guides and expeditions, the Hebridean Sky is a good alternative at a lower price point
For a private and adventure-led experience, we favour the Legend super yacht, equipped with a 2-person submarine, snow scooters and a helipad. A journey on the Legend will take you to the deepest corners of the white continent in unparalleled comfort, accommodating up to 26 guests over 13 stateroom cabins.
Both vessels are preparing for the 2021 eclipse voyage, which will depart in late November. The route will follow in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton, before positioning themselves in the calm waters of South Georgia for the total eclipse of the sun. With a limited number of cabins and little availability at this stage, we recommend securing your place quickly for this journey of a lifetime.
Those adventurous enough to make the journey will be rewarded with majestic landscapes populated by penguins, whales, seals, albatrosses and an extraordinary variety of birdlife.
Those happier on dry land can catch the 2020 solar eclipse in Patagonia. The base, Estancia Alinco, is a 5,000-hectare estate set in some of Argentina’s most stunning country. The special 7-day eclipse programme – aimed at experienced horse riders – will be tailored to a private group of up to 8 guests, who will be guided by a private chef, an astronomer and Greta, the estancia owner.
This couldn’t be a wilder or most privileged way to experience the Solar eclipse in Patagonia. We are quietly confident that Argentina will be receiving international visitors by December.