One of the most remote and least-studied places on the planet, the Weddell Sea is not an easy place to reach: It is part of the Southern Ocean and is bounded to the west by the Antarctic Peninsula, to the east by Cape Norvegia, and to the south by the Filchner and Ronne ice shelves. It is also the only place where the solar eclipse on December 4, 2021 will be fully visible. So, how to see it? On board Ponant’s newest ship and first luxury hybrid electric polar-class vessel, Le Commandant-Charcot. The 15-day itinerary departs from the southernmost city of Ushuaia on November 30, 2021 and will sail through the famed Drake Passage, before arriving at the Weddell Sea pack ice to get front row seats (not that there will be much competition) to the incredible natural phenomenon.
There will be a team of scientists and naturalist guides on board and, under their expert eyes, you can participate in the research and analysis of the astronomical event. You can also help scientists set up a station on an ice floe and take water samples from the remote areas to improve your knowledge of biodiversity, ecosystems and humans’ impact on the region. The itinerary includes sailing by the Larsen Ice Shelf, the ice barrier that helps prevent the erosion of the Antarctic ice sheet; visiting the South Shetland Islands, home to a number of key scientific research stations; and observing a variety of wildlife including Weddell seals, Adelie penguins and humpback whales.
Best for: An incredible (and environmentally conscious) way to see a solar eclipse