Whether you’re a bona fide astronomer or just a casual stargazer, a total solar eclipse is a must-see celestial phenomenon. The next one is one coming up on April 20, 2023, and the best way to see it is from the ocean. By Stefanie Waldek
The path of this solar eclipse runs through the Indian Ocean, up the coast of northwestern Australia, and across several Southeast Asian islands, which means that some of the best vantage points are actually from the ocean. That’s why tour operator Smithsonian Journeys and luxury cruise line Ponant are partnering to offer a special 16-day solar eclipse itinerary, visiting some of the most remote areas in the world.
Here’s how you can witness the 2023 total solar eclipse
The voyage begins in Indonesia: guests embark in Bali on April 9, then sail to Komodo National Park to see its famous reptilian inhabitants. The trip continues to the island nation of East Timor, before sailing to Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region. The route will take the ship into the Indian Ocean to position itself perfectly for viewing the solar eclipse.
Guests will be treated to a three-hour show, including about a minute of totality (the dramatic part when the sun is completely obscured by the moon) with insights from associate director of science at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Alex Young and Australian American historian Craig Benjamin, who are joining the expedition as Smithsonian Journeys experts. The itinerary then continues back to the coast of Western Australia, and guests eventually disembark in Broome on April 24.
On the trip, guests are likely to experience dramatic wildlife sightings (Komodo dragons, humpback whales, and all types of seabirds inhabit these areas); vast, ancient landscapes, from sandy beaches to coral reefs to waterfall-lined gorges; and cultural immersion, particularly in Dili, the capital of East Timor, which has a vibrant arts-and-crafts scene.
As for shipboard accommodations, guests will be sailing on Ponant’s luxurious Le Lapérouse, a 184-passenger, all-suite ship complete with a spa, two restaurants, and a spectacular underwater lounge.
For veteran eclipse chasers and first-time viewers alike, this sailing promises to be an incredible adventure.
Rates for the sailing start at USD 20,480 (INR 16,28,805), and you can book your spot here.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
(Main and Feature Image Credit: Laure Patricot/Courtesy of PONANT)