2021’s Total Solar Eclipse will take place on the 4th of December over the remote Scotia and Weddell Sea, before moving over Antarctica, rendering viewing opportunities, for anyone in the world, rare. To witness this any other way, travellers will have to be on the deck of an Antarctic cruise or standing on Union Glacier. Both will be near impossible to access from Australia and in both locations, visibility will not be guaranteed due to cloud cover.
Off the back of the success of Chimu’s 2021 scenic flights, to witness the Southern Aurora from the air, they have launched a dedicated scenic flight to take travellers directly from Australia, straight into the path of totality of this year’s solar eclipse. The flight will be high above the clouds offering travellers an unobstructed view of the total eclipse as well as the shadow as it races across Antarctica below. Travellers on this flight will be among a mere handful in the world privy to the phenomenon this year.
This dual-purpose flight, operated by a Qantas Boeing 787
Dreamliner, will offer separate experiences for travellers, depending on the
seat they purchase? On one hand is the opportunity for Antarctica enthusiasts
to purchase the most affordable scenic flight over the continent this season,
with seats in this category starting at A$999. On the other, is the opportunity
for Umbraphiles to witness the incredible total Solar eclipse at approx. 74
Mid-flight, after flying low and sightseeing for a few hours above the Antarctic coast, the Antarctica sightseers will swap their window seats for the Eclipse travellers and the plane will climb to 40,000 feet to position for the light and shadow show from the total eclipse. Whilst the eclipse travellers will get front row seats to the eclipse, the entire plane will experience the change in light as the plane will with minimal lighting inside the cabin and on the exterior of the aircraft. Travellers who wish to be guaranteed the eclipse and Antarctica viewing can purchase a full row.
On board, veteran Umbraphile and Lead Astronomer, Geoff Sims will offer personal insight and commentary leading into and out of the eclipse, whilst special guest and self-professed nerd, Adam Spencer will be our emcee for the flight. During the Antarctic viewing section, Chimu’s Antarctic experts will share their deep knowledge of the landscape and history of Antarctica.
Chimu’s own Astro photographer, David Finlay, will also be onboard offering his personal expertise. David was the Astro photographer on the first total solar eclipse flight from Australia over Antarctica back in 2003, on, what was then, the longest ever domestic flight.
“I still get goosies thinking back to what an incredibly powerful experience witnessing the total eclipse over Antarctica was. It was the biggest thrill of my life. Just knowing where we were and the extraordinary event we were witnessing, was overwhelming, added to that, was the feeling of pure energy from the passengers onboard. The adrenalin experienced as we raced with the eclipse shadow, whilst light turned to dark inside and out of the aircraft, is something that still runs in my veins.” Said David Finlay
Chimu will be asking all travellers to be fully vaccinated prior to departure and will protect traveller’s finance with their book with assurance policy, which allows for refunds if the flight is cancelled due to COVID, or if a traveller is unable to reach the departure point due to a local lockdown as a result of a COVID outbreak.
“We are feeling
more and more confident, that by early December, lockdowns will not be an
issue, however, in this environment, we understand that travellers need to know
that their finances are protected. We also want to give Australian’s something
to look forward to, it’s been a rough couple of years for travellers and all in
the travel industry, we’re extremely excited to be rounding out 2021 with such
an extraordinary travel option for Australians.” Said Chad Carey, Chimu
It has taken months for Chimu to plan the route in partnership with Xavier Jubier, Solar Eclipse Expert who has mapped out and lead many flights to the solar eclipse around the world, plus Qantas and numerous international agencies such as AAD, CASA, NASA and the RAAF.
Based on an exclusive expression of interest survey, Chimu already have high demand for eclipse totality view seats and recommend anyone interested in booking to contact Chimu as soon as possible to secure their seat.
According to David Finlay “Every human, at some point in their life, needs to witness this phenomenon, it changes people’s perspective on life. Compared to the universe, we are so insignificant, yet, equally, so connected and nothing epitomises this more than dancing with the shadow of a total eclipse from the edge of the stratosphere. When you experience it, it feels like we were all meant to meet at that exact place and point in time.”
Flight prices for eclipse totality viewing start at: $5849
Flight prices for eclipse shadow viewing start at: $1999
Flight prices for Antarctica scenic flight only start at: $999
For more information and prices click here