2020 Total Solar Eclipse Expedition - Itinerary Tour G2
Day One 1st December 2020 - Fly to Buenos Aires and overnight in this colourful city.
Day Two - Fly to the town of Ushuaia in the far south of Argentina and embark on your expedition ship USHUAIA in the afternoon. NOTE all meals are included on the ship. Meet your expedition and lecture staff and sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Day Three and Day Four Crossing the Drake Passage.
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered during the voyage.
Day Five to Day Eight Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.
A haven for wildlife there are vast penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. Further exploration may take you to the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island.
Day Nine and Day Ten We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures.
Day Eleven We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast. Fly to Buenos Aires this afternoon where you will stay for two nights.
Please note: The Antarctic cruise itinerary is a guide only. The exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions.
Day Twelve - At leisure in Buenos Aires with local optional excursions available, including and evening Dinner and Tango Show.
Day Thirteen - Fly west for our next nights hotel accommodation in the town of Neuquen, regional capital of Neuquen Province.
Day Fourteen - Eclipse Day. There is a very clear distinction in local weather patterns in this region, with moisture laden winds blowing inland from the Pacific Ocean on to the western slopes of the Andes. Moisture is lost as the air rises over the mountain range and the downward slopes to the east of the range have a dry desert climate. Deserts are usually good places to expect the clear sky we need to observe an eclipse so this is where we will locate our mid-day observation site. To reach our eclipse site follow the Limay River Valley across the arid Argentine Pampas. After the eclipse we travel south following the line of the Andes to Bariloche where we stay for the next two nights.
OBSERVATION SITE details and weather data are HERE *Eclipse observation from Fortin Nogueyra near Piedra del Aguila, Argentina.
Day Fifteen - At leisure in Bariloche. The lakeside town of Bariloche has a distinctly German flavour, with architecture reminiscent of the Alps and many examples of a long established German culture. Excursions on the lakes are a highlight here.
Day Sixteen - Travel through the Patagonia Lakes area today and cross the Andes back into Chile. You will have the choice to make the crossing either by land or by taking the "lakes crossing" route with boat trips across three lakes joined by precipitous mountain roads. Both routes travel through magnificent scenery, although the land crossing is the quicker journey. Overnight stay in Puerto Varas.
Day Seventeen - A short flight today to Punta Arenas the southernmost city in Chile and capital of the region.
Day Eighteen to Day Twenty One - Skorpios Cruise Itinerary.
Travel overland into the mountain and fjord region to Puerto Natales and join the cruise ship Skorpios III. NOTE all meals are included on the cruise. Departing from Puerto Natales about 18.00 hrs, sailing through the Angostura Kirke, Morla, Vicuña, Unión, Collingwood and Sarmiento Channels.
Day Nineteen Arriving at Amalia Glacier the vessel approaches the glacier with a panoramic view from the ship. Disembark at a nearby beach and walk to a viewpoint over the magnificent glacier. This afternoon we visit the El Brujo Glacier. Weather and ice permitting, passengers can disembark and see this glacier from a nearby rock. Continue to the Calvo Fjord with an excursion on a small icebreaker to visit the Fernando, Capitán Constantino and Alipio glaciers amongst others, then sail onwards towards Montañas Fjord.
Day Twenty Visit Montañas Fjord, from where you can see four glaciers that slide down the Sarmiento Mountains to the sea (two of them are en route). A visit to the Alsina Glacier includes an excursion on boats to explore the small bay and its glacier before continuing sailing through Montañas Fjord. Disembark on Bernal Glacier for a walk in a small native forest, then cross a stream to a glacier water lagoon and arrive at the glacier. Here you can approach directly and touch the ice and see the iceberg melting. Continue sailing through Montañas Fjord and see Herman and Zamudio glaciers from the ship. Arrive at White Angostura and take a boat for another excursion around small islands before returning to the ship in preparation for the Captain’s Dinner and a Farewell Party. Tonight's navigation is through the Almirante Montt Gulf.
Day Twenty One Arrive in Puerto Natales in the early hours depending on the wind conditions. Disembark from the ship this morning and join a full day excursion to Torres del Paine National Park. The Torres del Paine are the distinctive three granite peaks of the Paine Massif. They extend up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, and are joined by the Cuernos del Paine. Return to Puerto Natales after the excursion for overnight hotel accommodation.
Day Twenty Two Return to Punta Arenas today to join your onward flight to Santiago. Overnight hotel accommodation in the city.
Day Twenty Three Join your flight home from Santiago today.
Tour Price £12,060 / $15,675 per person.
The price is for the tour from arrival on Day 1 to your departure on Day 23.
Bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in hotels throughout the tour and all transfers, transport and excursions as described are included. The Antarctic cruise aboard MV USHUAIA is included in the price as is the Ice-Field cruise aboard the Skorpios III - and all meals are included whilst you are on the vessels. Accommodation is provided in twin or double bed hotel rooms with private bathroom. We are usually able to arrange shared accommodation with a person of the same gender or a limited number of rooms for sole occupancy are available at a supplement. Single Supplement £9,985 / US$12,975 (this includes a single cabin on the Skorpios and Antarctic Cruise).
The Ushuaia Cabin Upgrades The price is based on a standard twin cabin with shared facilities. Upgrades to superior cabins or suites are available at an additional cost. Details are HERE
Skorpios Cabin Upgrades The price is based on a standard two berth inside cabin with private facilities. Upgrades to superior cabins or suites are available at an additional cost of £125 to £650 per person. Details and deck plan are HERE.
Local flights within South America are included but International flights are not included in the tour price.
Flight packages from London and the US will be offered about a year in advance of the tour departure or you can arrange your own International flights if you prefer. Current return air fares from London are between about £800 and £1,000 and from the US about $850 to $1,200
Provisional Reservations - Upon being able to confirm your Provisional Reservation we will invoice you for a deposit of 20% of the Tour Price per person. This deposit is due within one week (*due to Antarctic cabin allocations) of the invoice date to secure your space on the tour.