|Sorry, but the uncertainties of traveling to Chile have forced us to cancel this charter flight and the accompanying tour.|
Did you know there’s a solar-eclipse tour that can virtually guarantee that you’ll see totality on December 4, 2021? Sky & Telescope’s editors have partnered with LATAM Airlines to provide a chartered flight into the path of totality off the coast of Chile. From the vantage point of an A321 aircraft flying 38,000 feet above frigid ocean waters, you’ll be high above any clouds that might lurk below.
“Umbraphiles” worldwide are all eager to see 2021’s total solar eclipse, but the opportunities for viewing it will be extremely limited. For one thing, totality occurs deep in the Southern Hemisphere, crossing remote parts of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. In fact, as shown below, the weather prospects generally aren’t great from ground level — unless you’re a penguin!
But the clouds below won’t matter from our high-altitude view east of Tierra del Fuego, off the tip of South America. Can you imagine seeing 1¾ minutes of totality just after sunrise? That's what awaits you aboard Sky & Telescope’s specially chartered aircraft. Dr. Glenn Schneider, the unrivaled master of airborne-eclipse intercepts, has already computed the “where” and “when” for our eclipse flight.
Is it worth seeing the eclipsed Sun from a plane? Check out these comments from folks who’ve flown aboard S&T’s past eclipse flights (click on the images):
The view of totality from the sky will be incomparable. First, the plane’s altitude place you at the threshold of the stratosphere, and you’ll see the eclipsed Sun surrounded by a deep azure sky. The corona will be resplendent, with higher contrast than you ever thought possible. Moreover, the eclipse takes place so close to the horizon that you’ll literally witness the Moon’s umbral shadow descend through the sky until it envelops you — signaling the onset of totality! Finally, after the total eclipse ends, don’t forget to move to the opposite side of the plane to watch the umbral shadow race toward Antarctica at hypersonic speed!
Even better, the eclipse occurs during austral summer, and we’ve planned wonderful sightseeing excursions before and after the flight to maximize your enjoyment of this remote but starkly beautiful part of the world.
About the Eclipse Flight
Our 5½-hour flight will depart soon after midnight (local time) from Punta Arenas, Chile, and return there after the eclipse. We’ll fly to a pre-computed intercept track over the Southern Ocean east of Tierra del Fuego.
After a predawn cruise lasting about 2 hours, the plane will turn sharply to begin its 15-minute-long “totality run.” By then the Moon will have already taken a huge bite out of the Sun as totality nears. You’ll view the final stages of the partial eclipse prior to 2nd Contact (when the total eclipse begins), all of totality (lasting 1m 45s), and the partial phases immediately after 3rd Contact (when the total eclipse ends).
We are limiting the flight’s capacity to no more than two people per row. In essence, your reservation will entitle you to all the seats in your assigned row — even though the eclipse will only be visible from the windows on the left (port) side of the aircraft.
The montage above shows the window position(s) for each row — and which rows are still available. Red tinting means either that the row is not available for eclipse viewing or has been reserved for other passengers. Note that “(P)” or "(SP)" after the row number means it’s a premium row that will cost extra to reserve; “(W)” after the row number means that the plane’s wing will restrict your views of the ground or ocean below you; however, in those rows, you’ll see the eclipsed Sun above the wing and forward of the upturned “sharklet” at the wingtip.
Click below to get the full details:
• Itinerary for our 6-day solar-eclipse tour with viewing of totality on our chartered jet
• Itinerary for optional 4-day Torres del Paine National Park extension
• Pricing & Terms
• Reserve today! Click here to register
|For more details about the eclipse flight's path, aircraft specifications,window dimensions, and seat-row configuration, click here.|
To secure your space on our 2021 solar-eclipse tour, submit a reservation electronically using this form. Be sure to read the terms and conditions regarding this opportunity (listed below) before making a reservation.
About the Main Tour
Our travel partner for experiencing 2021’s total solar eclipse is Royal Adventures (CST#2009579-40), a company that specializes in tours to South America, has close, high-level contacts within Chile’s astronomical community and prides itself on providing travel experiences of unmatched quality. NOTE: This eclipse-flight tour is limited to 60 participants! (based on complete double occupancy)
|Date||Itinerary at a Glance||Accommodation||Meals|
|Dec. 1, 2021||Depart for Chile||(overnight flight)||Meals aloft|
|Dec. 2||Santiago||Hotel Plaza El Bosque Ebro||D|
|Dec. 3||Santiago & Punta Arenas||Hotel Cabo de Hornos||B, L, D|
|Dec. 4||Eclipse flight at Dawn (Punta Arenas)||Hotel Cabo de Hornos||B, L, D|
|Dec. 5||Punta Arenas & Santiago||(overnight flight)||B, meals aloft|
|Dec. 6||Arrive at home||—||—|
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 — Depart from your home
Overnight flight to Chile; dinner and breakfast (typically) aloft.
Thursday, Dec. 2 — Santiago
Arrive this morning in Santiago and transfer to your 4½-star hotel located in the Las Condes business district. The remainder of the day is to rest. Lunch is on your own. In late afternoon we'll take a brief tour of Santiago then head out of the city to the private astronomical observatory Cielos Chilenos. After a welcome reception and sumptuous dinner, it’s time to stargaze the magnificent skies of the Southern Hemisphere with one of the observatory’s 11 telescopes — including 14- and 16-inch Schmidt-Cassegrains permanently mounted in domes. We return to the hotel with our eyes full of southern stars.
Hotel Plaza el Bosque Ebro, Santiago
Friday, Dec. 3 — Santiago & Punta Arenas
We transfer to the airport and take a morning flight to Punta Arenas, located at the extreme southern end of Chile — and of South America. A short excursion brings us to our elegant yet modern hotel. After enjoying a group lunch, we’ll tour the two museums in this historic town. First, at the Salesian Museum, you’ll learn about life of the region’s indigenous people and its eco system. Then it's on to the Magallanes Museum, once owned by the pioneering Braun Menéndez family and known as one of the region’s most sumptuous residencies. We return to the hotel for an early dinner and pre-flight briefing, then depart for the airport at approximately 10 p.m. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas
Saturday, Dec. 4 — Eclipse Day!
Our eclipse flight takes off in the predawn darkness and head east, watching the rosy twilight herald dawn's approach. Shortly after dawn we are overrun by the Moon’s shadow, having just descended onto Earth and racing along at a ground speed of 9½ km per second (about 21,000 mph)! Unaffected by any cloudiness below, we enjoy 1m 45s of totality. After watching the dark shadow race southward toward Antarctica, we return to Punta Arenas and transfer back to the hotel for a celebratory brunch! The remainder of the day is yours to relax, rest, and perhaps explore. But be sure to return to the hotel in time for our farewell dinner! (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas
Sunday, Dec. 5 — Return to Santiago
Soon after breakfast, those who are not staying for the tour extension to Torres del Paine will head to the airport for a return flight to Santiago. After we land at Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport, a comfortable coach will whisk us to a local winery for a relaxing tour and tasting. Then we return to the airport, where you’ll get assistance with check-in and your baggage. Enjoy a quick meal on your own or relax before boarding your international flight back home. (Breakfast included, meals aloft.)
Monday, Dec. 6 — Home!
Arrive at your home city after an overnight flight from Santiago.
Optional Post-Tour Extension to Torres del Paine National Park
Any trip to Patagonia would not be complete without a visit to the rugged and colorful Torres del Paine National Park. Here’s your chance to see mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rivers in one amazing place! The Torres del Paine (“Blue Towers”) are a trio of imposing granite peaks that extend up to 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above sea level. You’ll have plenty of time to relax, explore, or both during our stay inside the park’s boundaries at the 4-star, all-inclusive Hotel Las Torres.
|Date||Itinerary at a Glance||Accommodation||Meals|
|Dec. 5||Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony & Torres del Paine National Park||Hotel Las Torres||B, L, D|
|Dec. 6||Torres del Paine National Park||Hotel Las Torres||B, L, D|
|Dec. 7||Torres del Paine National Park||Hotel Las Torres||B, L, D|
|Dec. 8||Punta Arenas & Santiago||Overnight flight||B, L, meals aloft|
|Dec. 9||Arrive at home||—||—|
Sunday, Dec. 5 — Isla Magdalena & Torres del Paine National Park
After breakfast and some good-byes to those returning home, we transfer to a chartered boat that will carry us to Magdalena Island. This small but scenic island in the Strait of Magellan is a must-see for nature lovers. You’ll share its rocky shore with the huge colony of Magellanic penguins that occupy the island. After your return to Punta Arenas, a comfortable bus will transport you to majestic Torres del Paine National Park — your home for the next three days. You’ll get a box lunch en route and enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Las Torres
Monday, Dec. 6 — Torres del Paine National Park
After breakfast at the hotel, you can begin your exploration of the rich, dynamic Patagonian terrain. The all-inclusive program allows you to visit the park and other excursions aboard vehicles based at the hotel. If you’re not too tired at day's end, take some time to enjoy the Southern Hemisphere’s incomparable night sky. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Hotel Las Torres
Tuesday, Dec. 7 — Torres del Paine National Park
Continue your exploration of the park after breakfast. The hotel is located near the base of the three imposing “Torres” that are the park’s namesake. Take part in one of the schedules day tours or head off on your own along one of the hiking trails. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.)
Hotel Las Torres
Wednesday, Dec. 8 — Return to Santiago
After breakfast, we transfer by coach to Punta Arenas to catch our flight back to Santiago. Once we land, you'll get get assistance with check-in and your baggage. You’ll board your overnight flight still brimming with fresh memories of the past week’s rich experiences. (Breakfast, box lunch, meals aloft.)
Thursday, Dec. 9 — Home!
Arrive at your home city after an overnight flight from Santiago.
- In-tour flights within Chile: Santiago to Punta Arenas, and Punta Arenas to Santiago. (Note: Airlines can increase negotiated rates at any time. Any increase in airfare will result in a surcharge that will be included with your final invoice.)
- Accommodation in 4-star hotels
- English-speaking Tour Director exclusive to Sky & Telescope group
- Sky & Telescope astronomy director
- Professional English-speaking guides at all locations
- Land transport by private motor coach
- Airport transfers for group flights
- All meals indicated on the itinerary
- Wine with all dinners and most lunches
- Bottled water during outings
- Baggage handling
- Tips to local guides, drivers, service charges, and taxes
- Entrance fees on itinerary excursions and visits
- All domestic airport departure taxes
- Customized luggage tags with Sky & Telescope logo
- Viewing glasses for partial phases of the solar eclipse
- Pre-tour planning information and resources
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- International airfare to and from Santiago
- Any fare increases for in-tour airline flights
- Excess-baggage fees
- Passport fees
- Room service and meals not specified in itinerary
- Alcoholic beverages except as noted
- Personal items such as laundry, email, and telephone calls
- Private transfers or other transportation
- Travel and medical insurance
- Medical expenses incurred during tour
- Tip for the Tour Director (given at participant's discretion)
Pricing, Payments, and Terms
First choose your preferences for the main solar-eclipse tour and, if desired, the post-tour extension to Torres del Paine National Park.
|Tour Pricing (per person)||Double||Single|
|Main Tour (does not include eclipse-flight cost, priced below)||$5,000||$5,800|
|Post-Eclipse Extension to Torres del Paine||$3,800||$4,800|
Then choose your seating choice for the eclipse flight. Note that the flight is priced by row, whether occupied by one or two participants. (So that everyone can enjoy the eclipse with a minimum of congestion, no more than two people can occupy a single row.) Note also that you must register and pay for an entire row even if you are traveling solo and want only one seat. Then notify Royal Adventures that you wish to share the row if that should become possible.
|Eclipse Flight Pricing (per person)||Shared row||Entire row|
|Premium row (Row 1)||$5,250||$10,500|
|Super-Premium row (Row 12)||$6,000||$12,000|
Your total cost will be the sum of these two choices.
- Pricing: All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. Royal Adventures and/or AAS Sky Publishing LLC will inform clients of any changes prior to departure.
- Deposits: Reservations made after August 2, 2021, require full payment at the time of booking. All payments must be made by check payable to “Royal Adventures” and mailed to Royal Adventures, 9 Crow Canyon Court, Suite 205, San Ramon, CA 94583 (USA). Contact Royal Adventures if you wish to pay by credit card.
- To make a reservation: A reservation request can be submitted using the online registration form or by contacting Royal Adventures at 800-453-4754 (toll free) or 925-820-6260, ×102. Reservations are recorded and acknowledged in order of receipt. Royal Adventures (CST #2009579-40) handles all invoicing.
- To reserve a row on the eclipse flight: After registering, participants will receive an email explaining how to choose their row for the eclipse flight. Rows will be assigned in the order that reservations and deposits are received. However, row assignments are not guaranteed until final payments are made.
- To cancel a reservation: Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Royal Adventures. Should you have to cancel the following terms will apply: Cancellations received within 14 days of booking will receive a full refund. Cancellations received on or before September 22, 2021, will be assessed a cancellation fee of $700 per person for the main program and $200 per person for the post-trip extension. Cancellations received after September 22, 2021, will be subject to a 100% penalty of all deposits and payments, regardless of the booking date. No refunds will be made after September 22, 2021. Also, there are no refunds for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features.
- Itinerary: The itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures. All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. In particular, any increases in the fares for in-tour flights, security, and/or fuel surcharges will be paid by the participants. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and/or Royal Adventures will inform clients of any changes prior to departure.
- Eclipse-day weather: Our flight into the path of totality will provide an optimal experience and opportunity to view the total eclipse; however, because even in an aircraft, witnessing an eclipse can be weather dependent, there is always a chance that tour participants will not be able to view it or view it only for a short period of time. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures make no guarantees as to the viewing of the total solar eclipse.
- Tour size: This tour, exclusively designed for AAS Sky Publishing LLC, is limited to 60 participants based upon double occupancy. The minimum group size for the main program is 30 and the minimum size for the optional post-tour Torres del Paine extension is 10. Should the minimum group number not be met, we reserve the right to levy a small-group surcharge.
- Travel insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance including “Cancel for Any Reason” because the cancellation penalty listed in the brochure will apply. Trip-cancellation insurance can be purchased through our recommended provider, Travel Insured International; click here to get a quote or call 1-800-243-3174 and mention Royal Adventures #53140. Most insurance plans need to be purchased within 14 days of paying the initial deposit in order to waive preexisting medical conditions as well as to purchase “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance. Neither AAS Sky Publishing LLC nor Royal Adventures accept liability for any airline-cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable airline ticket or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for the tour.
- Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented here. Royal Adventures and AAS Sky Publishing LLC are not responsible for errors in or damages resulting from use of the information contained herein. Information contained herein is subject to change.
- Responsibility: Royal Adventures (CST #2009579-40), its owners, and employees act only as agents for the various independent suppliers and contractors providing transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant, and other services connected with this tour. Such travel and services are subject to the terms and conditions under which such accommodations, services, and transportation are offered or provided; AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability therefor. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures assume no liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or other irregularity which may be caused by the defect of any aircraft or vehicle or the negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved. Additionally, responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, epidemics, pandemics, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, quarantine, force majeure, animal or insect bites, or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws of the country in which they are provided. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures reserve the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their sole judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the tour participants. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and/or Royal Adventures shall not be deemed to be in breach of these terms and conditions or otherwise be liable to you, and shall not provide any refund, by reason of delay in performance, or by nonperformance, of any of our obligations hereunder to the extent that any such delay or non- performance is due to any force majeure event. A force majeure event, in relation to this tour, shall mean any circumstances beyond our control, including, but without limitation, to acts of God, explosion, flood, forceful wind, fire or accident, war or threat of war declared or undeclared, acts of terrorism, sabotage, insurrection, riots, strikes, civil disturbance, sickness, epidemics, pandemics, quarantines, government intervention or other unforeseeable events. Limitations on travel arising from the COVID-19 pandemic shall be considered a force majeure event. If this tour is affected by a force majeure event, AAS Sky Publishing and Royal Adventures shall be entitled to, and may in their sole and absolute discretion, vary, cancel or postpone any itinerary or arrangement in relation to this trip. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the tour or to substitute another qualified leader or special guest. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. The price of the program is given in good faith based on current tariffs and rates and is subject to change. Any tariff, exchange rate, security surcharge or fuel increases will be passed on to participants. Neither AAS Sky Publishing LLC nor Royal Adventures accepts the liability for any airline-cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable airline ticket. The air ticket when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the airline concerned. As part of the consideration and right to participate in this tour, each participant will be asked to sign a liability release, an assumption of risk, and a hold-harmless agreement.
- Questions: Please contact Royal Adventures at [email protected] or call 800-453-4754 or 925-820-6260 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time).