TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE AUSTRALIA 2023
SMALL SHIP CRUISE TO WESTERN AUSTRALIA
APRIL 14-24, 2023
STATUS as of March 30, 2022: SOLD OUT. WAIT LIST ONLY.
The Coral Discoverer
Join Ring of Fire Expeditions 52rd solar eclipse expedition to Broome, Western Australia and witness a fabulous 1 minute 05 seconds of a total solar eclipse of the Sun aboard the 72 passenger Coral Discoverer! This is a true small ship in every sense and we have an exciting itinerary planned out. This expedition will be led by Paul D. Maley of the NASA Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society and will be his 82nd solar eclipse. Avoid the mobs of eclipse-goers on the narrow strip of land where it crosses Australia and come with us. Although we are also offering a ground tour, the cruise trip will experience about 7 more seconds of totality.
What kind of eclipse is this? Just to be clear, this is what is called a hybrid eclipse. That is, it is annular and it is also a total solar eclipse of the sun. But it is important to know that the path of this eclipse extends thousands of miles. In western Australia and the sea on the western and northwestern side of the continent, you can ONLY see a true total solar eclipse. We cannot possibly reach the transition point where there is a necklace of Baily’s Beads surrounding the entire disc of the Moon. This would be really cool to see. The two zones where this is possible are far out in the Pacific Ocean north of Butaritari Island at the sunset point and in the Indian Ocean near the sunrise point about 80km northwest of Kerguelen Island. Both of these places are quite remote and completely impractical for us to reach. In addition, the cloud forecast is not good for those areas. The overall cloud cover forecast for the area where we are headed is pretty good.
2023 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Snorkel or dive the pristine and rarely visited Rowley Shoals, accompanied by our onboard Marine Biologist
> Scuba dive the remarkable reefs of Muiron Islands, or ‘dusk dive’ the Navy Pier at Exmouth (additional cost) to encounter a huge variety of marine life
> Encounter the mega fauna of Ningaloo Reef – with the chance to swim with manta rays (this experience is subject to nature)
> Swim out to coral gardens from the beach at Coral Bay
> Discover sites of cultural significance to indigenous Australians, including the Dampier Archipelago petroglyphs, with expert interpretation
> Encounter a proliferation of wildlife, including rare birds and marine life on the remote islands and atolls
> Relax on pristine white-sand beaches in the Muiron Islands, Dampier Archipelago, and Turquoise Bay
ITINERARY: 11 DAYS/10 NIGHTS BROOME TO BROOME (THIS ITINERARY IS OUTDATED AND WILL BE UPDATED IN DIRECT EMAILS TO ALL PASSENGERS)
Cruise route with eclipse path
DAY 1 (April 14, 2023): DEPART BROOME
Board in Broome at 4:00pm for a 5:00pm departure.
DAYS 2-10: KEY DESTINATIONS OF YOUR EXPEDITION
At the edge of the continental shelf, 170 nautical miles offshore, lie the Rowley Shoals, a chain of three coral atolls including Clerke, Mermaid and Imperieuse Reefs. The shoals offer some of the best snorkeling and diving opportunities in the world. Their shallow lagoons are inhabited by myriad coral species and marine life, including giant potato cod, Maori wrasse, at least 233 species of coral and 688 species of fish. Water clarity here is unparalleled, making for superb underwater photography opportunities. Conditions permitting, we will spend 1-2 days here for snorkeling and diving opportunities. Guided by our marine biologist, snorkel away the day in the coral gardens of the Aquarium at Clerke Reef, try a drift snorkel in the channel, or beach comb on Bedwell Island.
MONTEBELLO and TRIMOUILLE ISLANDS
The Montebello Islands are an archipelago of more than 250 limestone islands and islets off the coast of the Pilbara. A bird watcher’s delight, the islands are an important bird area, as they support over 1% of the world populations of fairy and roseate terns, as well as sooty oyster-catchers. The Montebellos have an ‘explosive’ past – Alpha and Trimouille Islands were the site of British atomic weapons tests in the 1950s. Relics of the military operation can still be found on the islands. Spend a full day exploring here, with wildlife spotting opportunities including endangered rufous hare-wallabies and stingrays. There are also opportunities to swim from the beautiful beaches.
Using a Zodiac to go ashore
THE TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE
This will be the highlight of our total solar eclipse cruise! We plan to steer to a place where we can see the most totality—approximately 1 minute 4 seconds (determined by our location) which is about 7 seconds longer than our land tour group. The path width in the figure above is a mere 42km/26 miles. Initially we will anchor off Barrow Island [exact area and location TO BE DETERMINED and subject to modification during the cruise based on weather, tides, and other factors] and watch the spectacle from here. The Moon will begin its passage in front of the Sun’s disc starting at 10:07am local time (GMT+8); then starting at 11:33am totality will begin. The Sun/Moon will join at an elevation of 55 degrees, azimuth 20 degrees. Finally the Sun will regain its normal brilliance at 1:06pm. (Actual eclipse times will be determined once the final ship location has been decided).
Paul D. Maley providing a pre-eclipse briefing. Lynn Palmer photo.
Lawrence Tulissi took these photos to create a time sequenced montage of the eclipse leading up to totality on our July 2019 cruise from Tahiti.
Total eclipse of the Sun as photographed by Eliot M. Herman on our land trip from La Serena, Chile in July 2019.
You can also take eclipse photos from the ship. Bob Hulse shot this on our July 2019 cruise with one participant putting eclipse glasses in front of an Iphone.
Projecting partial eclipse crescent Suns can be done by interlacing fingers when there are no trees around. Lynn Palmer photo.
The Sun’s inner corona as captured by Brian Siegel.
Shadow bands in the sky, Baily’s Beads and chromosphere as photographed by Bob Hulse.
Located off North West Cape, the waters surrounding the uninhabited Muiron Islands are teeming with marine life. A variety of dive sites are on offer, including swim-throughs and ledges
where nudibranchs and angelfish hide. Snorkelers will appreciate many soft corals and gorgonians as well as colorful fish. After in water activities, stretch your legs on a stroll down the beach.
Coral reefs in the area
The forty-two iron-red islands of the Dampier Archipelago stand in bright contrast to the turquoise waters which surround them. The archipelago supports the largest Hawksbill turtle rookery in the Indo-Pacific, while birdwatchers may spot several species of migratory waders, as well as sea eagles and ospreys. With luck we may even see the elusive Rothschild’s rock wallaby. The archipelago not only offers exceptional natural beauty but significant National Heritage Listed Areas. The islands’ earliest inhabitants were the Yaburara people, as is evidenced by thousands of rock engravings, shell middens and stone arrangements scattered across the islands. During our time here, explore the pastoral, pearling and cultural history that remains in the form of ruins and petroglyphs. There will also be opportunities to enter the azure waters for snorkeling, kayaking and diving.
Rock art similar to what you can see in Dampier
NINGALOO REEF, EXMOUTH, & CORAL BAY
The World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef spans over 5,000 square kilometers/1930 square miles, with inner and outer reefs that create diverse habitats for vibrant corals and more than 500 species of fish. Mega marine fauna feed here during their migrations, including humpback whales, giant manta rays, and other creatures. We will spend 2-3 days here exploring this stunning coastline from Exmouth to Coral Bay. Snorkel and dive the outer reefs and relax on stunning beaches such as Turquoise Bay. With an experienced local operator, you may have the opportunity to swim with manta rays (these encounters are subject to nature).
DAY 11 (April 24, 2023): ARRIVE BROOME
Disembark in Broome at 6:00am
CABIN LOCATIONS ON THE SHIP
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom
Located on the exclusive Bridge Deck close to the Lounge and Bridge, our six spacious Bridge Deck staterooms are 20sqm (195 square feet) in size and open out onto private balconies for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category A) Stateroom
Encircled by a full-ship promenade, our 19 spacious Promenade Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a sofa, desk, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Promenade Deck (Category B) Stateroom
Located in the bow of the ship and encircled by a full-ship promenade, our two Promenade Deck (Category B) staterooms are 15sqm (160 square feet) in size and feature picture windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, telephone and Junior King bedding.
Main Deck (Category A) Stateroom
Located close to the Dining Room, our six spacious Main Deck (Category A) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature large, twin porthole windows for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
Main Deck (Category B) Stateroom
Located close to the Dining Room, our three spacious Main Deck (Category B) staterooms are 18sqm (195 square feet) in size and feature twin portholes for expansive ocean views, along with a desk, sofa, telephone and your choice of Junior King or twin bedding.
A01-A06……………………………………………………………………JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
B03, B04, B07, B08, B12, B14, B17, B18, B21, B22 ………………………2 SINGLE BEDS
B05, B06, B09, B10, B15, B16, B19, B20………………………………….JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
B01*, B02*, B11*, B13……………………………………………………..JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
C01*, C02, C06, C07…………………………………………………………JUNIOR KING DOUBLE BED
C03, C04, C05, C08, C09…………………………………………………..2 SINGLE BEDS
*The bed configuration in these 4 cabins cannot be changed, but the rest can be.
CABIN AVAILABILITY TABLE WITH PRICES
|CABIN TYPE||CABIN NUMBER||PRICE PERSON*||AVAILABILITY|
|BRIDGE DECK BALCONY|
|PROMENADE DECK B 2 CABINS||B01||USD$14,438||RESERVED|
|PROMENADE DECK A 19 CABINS||B03||USD$14,699||RESERVED|
|MAIN DECK B 3 CABINS||C01||USD$12,600||RESERVED|
|MAIN DECK A 6 CABINS||C04||USD$14,175||RESERVED|
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE REQUIRED TRIP PROTECTION PLAN INSURANCE. SEE BELOW.
WHAT IS INCLUDED ON the 2023 AUSTRALIA TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE CRUISE:
- All shore excursions including hiking, kayaking, and bird watching
- Presentations, briefings and workshops by the ship’s highly experienced Expedition Team
- Snorkeling and introductory scuba lesson
- All meals with morning and afternoon tea
- Select beers, wines, juices and soft drinks with lunch and dinner service, and 24 hours tea and coffee
- Daily room service
- Gratuities to ship’s crew
- Roundtrip airport transfers between Broome airport and the pier
- Open bridge access and engine room tours
- Eclipse briefing and solar eclipse observation
- “Eclipse glasses” for observing the partial phases
- No formal dress code: dress code is always ‘eclipse casual’
- All Zodiac landings (you must be ambulatory to walk down/up stairs and be able to get in/out of Zodiacs on your own)
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED:
- Airfare of any kind
- Wi-fi charges
- pre or post night accommodations; this also includes any hotel services, meals not included, incidental expenses, etc. for which payment is required prior to checkout.
- Passport, visa, personal expenses
- Laundry services
- Medical services and fees
- trip cancellation and delay, medical evacuation insurance which is mandatory (passengers are required to secure this from Direct Travel or approve international insurance if you are a foreign national)
- Any item not specified in the WHAT IS INCLUDED section
Non Certified Diver fees (2023 pricing):
First Dive: AUD$109
Second Dive: AUD$109
Certified Diver fees:
Supply All: AUD$93
Supply Weight Belt and Tanks: AUD$83
You will need to fly to Broome (airport code BME). You may elect to use frequent flier miles or purchase a ticket from Direct Travel who will endeavor to get group air where possible. Air costs for that time will not be available until 11 months prior to the eclipse. We suggest flying into Melbourne (MEL) where the group would connect to a QANTAS flight to BME. Arriving one day early is recommended into Melbourne to decompress and then proceed to Broome the next day in order to arrive on the day of the cruise. A group transfer will occur from the Broome airport to the ship. Direct Travel will provide the connection that will allow everyone to arrive at the same time to make the transfer. If you arrive outside of this Broome arrival you will have to proceed to the ship on your own or wait for the included group transfer. At the end of the cruise there will be one group transfer to the airport. It would be best to take the flight from Broome to Melbourne so as to avoid excessive delays at BME. Broome airport is located about 2-3 miles from the pier.
Flights from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Melbourne take about 16 hours.
Flights from Melbourne to Broome are via Perth and take about 7.5 hours. So it may be good for an overnight stay in Melbourne before proceeding to Broome. Sandy Polley of Direct Travel will advise as the time comes closer for flight booking.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND CANCELLATION FEES
Important: Please note the payment dates below that are driven by the Australia 2023 Eclipse Cruise ship charter contract.
- A deposit of $2500. per person is required upon registration. Cancellation fee is $1900 per person up until January 1, 2021 (or $3800 per cabin if the occupant is traveling alone)
- January 2, 2021: second deposit is due of $5,000 per person. Cancellation fee is $3500 per person up until June 2, 2021 (or $7000 per cabin if the occupant is traveling alone)
- June 30, 2022: full payment for the cruise is due in full. Cancellation fee is 100% per person as of June 30, 2022.
Once payments are made, in the event you wish to cancel, they cannot be transferred to another tour unrelated to the cruise due to contract agreement with the cruise carrier.
TRIP PROTECTION / INSURANCE
Travel Protection Plan coverage is required for this program upon deposit. Pricing for such coverage is additional to the cruise fare and is calculated based on resident state/province and age of participants. will give you the breakdown and price PRIOR to processing your deposit. This ensures all coverage is in place as most insurance require purchase the same day of the deposit now. Outside the US or if you choose to buy your own insurance the minimum coverage is for $1,000,000 USD emergency evacuation and repatriation and $50,000USD emergency medical PER PERSON. Sandy Polley will also need to get Direct Travel’s approval on all insurance policies to assure it meets the charter company’s requirements.. Due to recent changes in travel insurance rules, Sandy Polley
REGISTRATION & DEPOSIT
- Click HERE to REGISTER and make payment. One registration form must be submitted for each person in your party.
We cannot confirm you unless the registration form, trip protection policy and deposit are all received.
All prices are quoted in US Dollars and the $2500 deposit can be paid in the following ways:
IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES you may pay by one of these methods: 1) credit cards, or 2) wire transfer. A USD$75 fee is charged if a wire transfer is used for each payment. No checks or money orders can be accepted! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For most activities a relatively low level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs and other excursion tenders for excursions ashore: there will be staff and crew members on hand to assist. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over sometimes rough terrain. Although our ship Coral Adventurer features an elevator, it is still essential that all guests have reasonable agility to use the steep stairways between decks. Participants will most enjoy the remarkable opportunities these expeditions offer if they travel with a spirit of adventure.
PASSENGER HEALTH AND RESPONSIBILITY
The passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the Ship and the scope of the activities contemplated by the passenger during the Cruise (including those relating to off Ship activities such as excursions in the Ship’s tenders, snorkeling and diving) and assures and undertakes to the carrier:-
- that they are in good health and well able to undertake the Cruise and the contemplated activities;
- that they will effect travel insurance sufficient to cover any limitation of liability against them imposed by these Cruise Ticket Conditions should they wish to do so;
- that they accept the risk that they may suffer from sea sickness;
- that they have disclosed any physical or mental disability requiring special attention (including the use of a wheelchair) or treatment at the time when the reservation for the Cruise was made;
- that no passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on a voyage while their mental or physical condition is, in the opinion of any representative of the carrier, such as to render them incapable of caring for themselves, or whereby they become objectionable to other passengers, or they become a hazard to themselves or others. The carrier will not be responsible for any expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the cruise;
- that the passenger accepts that a medical certificate certifying fitness for travel may be required at the carrier’s request and if any passenger has had surgery less than twelve (12) months prior to sailing that passenger must submit a letter from a qualified physician stating that he or she is fit to travel and the carrier reserves the right to deny passage if a passenger requires care and attention which the carrier cannot adequately provide and this decision may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
- The carrier reserves the right to refuse or deny participation in activities or programs either aboard the Ship or off Ship which are sponsored or promoted by the carrier to any passenger who has a past or present medical condition that may present risks if the passenger participates in those activities and any decision in this respect may be made by the carrier in its sole discretion;
- Any charges incurred by passengers for medical reasons including but not limited to physicians, surgeons, hospitals, off Ship accommodation, medication, diagnostic facilities, air ambulance evacuation or ground ambulance shall be the sole responsibility of the passenger;
- for the safety and comfort of passengers smoking is not permitted in the Ship except on designated open deck spaces outside all air-conditioned and sealed areas of the Ship;
- and the passenger agrees to indemnify the carrier from and against all claims, costs, charges, fines or penalties arising as a result of any claim made against the carrier in this respect.