Antarctica Solar Eclipse Expedition

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  18 July 2018

Anticipation for the next total solar eclipse in Antarctica – which will take place on December 4, 2021 – is already mounting among travelling circles. To celebrate this momentous occasion, dedicated expedition tours have been organized to offer discerning explorers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness an utterly surreal phenomenon. At a time of year when the White Continent basks in 24 hours of sunlight, every single day, the 2021 Antarctica solar eclipse is an event many don’t want to miss.

Planning an Antarctica cruise and need just one more reason to book?

Dare we say…you’ve got it!

What is a total solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, thus partially obscuring our view of the latter. A total eclipse occurs when the angle of the moon passing is such that its perimeter appears much larger than the sun’s, thus totally obstructing our view of it and, consequentially, turning day into night. Of course, this totality only happens in a very narrow region of our planet, as others – within a radius of thousands of km from the total eclipse epicentre – will see a partial eclipse instead.

The uniqueness of the Antarctic solar eclipse of 2021 is that, well, HELLO! IT’S IN ANTARCTICA! But aside from that, you’ll be privy to seeing the eclipse move from east to west (instead of the ‘usual’ west to east) something which only happens in Antarctica and the Arctic regions.

An epic double-whammy trip to Antarctica, you say?

We think so!


The mesmerizing effects of the solar corona (crown) during a total solar eclipse

The mesmerizing effects of the solar corona (crown) during a total solar eclipse


Now, we know you may consider it counterintuitive to travel to Antarctica only to NOT see anything at all thanks to the Antarctica solar eclipse but do keep in mind that this mesmerizing event is expected to last merely 114 seconds, or just a single minute and 54 seconds! Not quite a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it timeframe but a short and sweet crescendo of excitement nonetheless.

The remainder of your amazing solar eclipse Antarctica cruise will be taken up by some of the world’s most spectacular sightseeing and wildlife spotting events!


Heading off into the stunning world that is Antarctica

Heading off into the stunning world that is Antarctica


Over the next 10 years, there will be two more total solar eclipse events in Antarctica yet they will both take place during months (April and July, respectively) when the continent does not enjoy all-day sunlight. In July, in fact, Antarctica is plunged into complete darkness. The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in Antarctica, at the right time of year, was in November 2003, which was also the first time it was ever witnessed. You can read more about this event, right here.

Highlights of the 2021 Solar Eclipse Cruise in Antarctica

To make the most of this magical event, this special-edition Antarctica solar eclipse cruise set to depart Ushuaia on the 26th November 2021 will run on an extended, 20-day itinerary and will include visits to the two most coveted Antarctic region destinations of all, namely the wildlife-enriched hubs of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. On this particular cruise, you’ll head further south than usual along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and explore more of this magnificent frozen continent, aiming to be closer to the Scotia Sea Ice Drift by the 4th December. This is regarded as the best spot to witness the Antarctica total solar eclipse, where totality is at its greatest. The width of the total eclipse should be just under 420km, still plenty of room to scoot about.


A domestic disturbance, South Georgia style

A domestic disturbance, South Georgia style


Before and after the solar eclipse, and for your wildlife-viewing pleasure, you’ll take Zodiac rides ashore to waddle with different kinds of penguins and soak up the rays with elephant seals. You’ll see cormorants perusing the skies and, if you’re lucky, pods of whales gliding alongside your ride. On this spectacular Antarctica tour itinerary, there are plans to visit abandoned whaling stations and the world’s largest colony of King Penguins, as well as have plenty of free time to explore the charming villages of the Falklands and simply have time to yourself to soak up all the wonders. A mix of startling nature, enticing culture and interesting history: the 2021 solar eclipse cruise in Antarctica will simply offer the best this magnificent continent has to offer. Naturally, and as with all Antarctic expeditions, the weather will play a great role in just how much of the itinerary’s ‘extra bits’ can be fulfilled (South Georgia and the Falklands are confirmed) but we’re confident that the weather gods will take a shining to cruise ship passengers.


Just your everyday cruising experience on the Falklands

Just your everyday cruising experience on the Falklands


Solar Eclipse Cruise details:

The Solar Eclipse Cruise in Antarctica will run from the 26th November until the 15th December and will include all your meals plus all guided shore excursions as per the itinerary, a wealth of interesting lectures with naturalist experts, pre-planned transfers to and from the vessel at point of disembarkation and a comprehensive array of pre-departure material, to make sure you’re up to speed with the epic adventure before you.

For more details on cabin availability and choice, contact us here and see the Solar Eclipse Cruise in Antarctica page for a detailed breakdown of the tour itinerary.

Viva Expeditions is your trusted Antarctica cruise expert! We offer a wide array of exceptional expeditions to the freezing south as well as an array of tours in Latin America. Want to know how to combine your Antarctica solar eclipse tour with visits to Patagonia, Brazil, Argentina and more? Just give us a holler! We’re here to help.


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