Ever since I was a child, I would pore over an atlas and dream about polar exploration. Even...
High Arctic Total Eclipse
The Svalbard archipelago is the most northerly inhabited landmass on Earth. Between here and the North Pole there is only Arctic Ocean and ice. In March 2015 these ice encrusted islands will form the stage for what surely will be the eclipse of a lifetime as the low elevation, eclipsed sun will illuminate the glaciated mountain peaks from our observation point near Longyearbyen. There is also an excellent chance of seeing the incredible aurora borealis.
Astronomy - Accompanied by our expert Dr John Mason, Talks and eclipse viewing (1 night and 1 day) and Northern Light viewing (1 night)
Transport - Private bus, internal flights
Accommodation - Hotels (4nts)
Meals - All breakfasts included
The eclipse will occur at the vernal equinox so the sun will be above the horizon for 12 hours allowing plenty of daylight for outdoor activities such as dog-sledding or snowmobiling. With temperatures well below freezing it will be essential to take lots of thermal clothing.
As the largest settlement in the Svalbard Archipelago, Longyearbyen is a popular stopping point for cruise ships and a base for adventure tourism. It has all the modern facilities you would expect in any European town, but a short drive from the centre and you are surrounded by stunning icy wilderness.
The eclipse will occur on 20th March with the sun low over the snow covered mountains. The sun’s activity should still be close to maximum so we can expect the corona to extend all around the disc and as the light level falls during totality there might even be a chance of seeing the Northern Lights - a rare combination.