During the days at sea the chances of meeting whales are high. Witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas who join us in crossing the Equator (“the Line”).
Our voyage starts in Jamestown, a uniquely situated city that offers much to see before we set sail. Enjoy the local British culture, tropical climate, and endemic birds of this remote volcanic island. You can visit Longwood House, where Napoleon died in 1821, and even walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder if you feel ambitious. If you have more time, you can also go on small hikes or snorkeling in the shallows, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish.
Day 2 – 3
Today we aim to sail along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the sprawling submarine mountain range that runs about 16,000 km (10,000 miles) from the Arctic Ocean toward the southern tip of Africa. Join us for stargazing on the aft deck, where we will show you the many highlights of the equatorial sky. Weather permitting, these celestial wonders can be seen with binoculars or even with the naked eye.
Day 4 – 5
This dry volcanic island is a major home for sooty terns (also known as wideawakes), whose colony here sometimes grows to over a million breeding pairs. You may get the chance to hike up to the richly vegetated summit of the island, and we might also visit the beach to watch green turtles laying eggs.
Day 6 – 9
Joining us across the equator are Arctic terns and long-tailed skuas flying their northbound spring migration. At this stage of the voyage, we will hope for good weather as we attempt more stargazing on deck, observing how the polar star becomes visible on the northern horizon.
We arrive in the town of Praia on Cape Verde’s Santiago Island, disembarking later that day at 18:00 hours. Though no lunch will be served, you are free to stay on board or store your luggage until disembarkation. If you have the time, we offer an additional tour in and around Praia. Here you can visit the historic Cidade Velha and its massive hillside fortress, built to defend against English raiders. Other sights include the oldest Christian church in the tropics as well as the slave whipping post in the main square. You can also simply explore the streets of Praia, enjoying the folk music spilling out of tavern windows.
Our astronomical program
During the voyages described above, we will travel in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, assembling on the aft deck to observe how stars and constellations change as we travel north. Southern constellations like the Southern Cross, with its so-called “jewel box” of stars, will be visible if the weather permits. We might also see the large globular cluster, Omega Centauri, as well as the Magellanic Clouds, which are “satellite clouds” of our own galaxy, first reported by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
On the South Georgia leg of our voyage, we plan to visit Moltke Harbour in Royal Bay. On top of being the location of a great king penguin colony, this is also the site of an astronomical station where a German expedition using the vessel SMS Moltke observed the Venus transit in 1882. As we sail north across the Atlantic, new constellations will appear over the northeastern horizon.
Weather and time permitting, we also intend to climb the hill at Saint Helena Island, where English astronomer Edmond Halley (discoverer of Halley’s Comet) investigated the southern sky and described nearly 400 stars in their constellations during the 17th century.
When we cross the equator, you will notice the moon looks different in its phases in the Southern Hemisphere as opposed to the Northern. Some of the stars we will look for, like Epsilon Eridani, have planets around them, which can inspire discussions about the likelihood of extraterrestrial life.
We will offer optional workshops in astronomical navigation with sextants during our sea days. These fascinating workshops are limited in the number of people who can participate, however, and reservations are required. You can practice calculating a position at sea while also learning about the Huygens clock, Mercator projection, and other related topics.
In addition, we will provide a workshop about astrophotography (also limited, reservations required) that will focus on the photography you can do with your own equipment. The focus on board will be the theoretical background and image-processing techniques, since conditions on a moving ship will most likely not allow astrophotography. But if weather and time allow, we may practice some photography on Saint Helena.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for our vessel is 10.5 knots.
|Ship name||Cabin Name||Price||Sale Price||Departs on||Returns on|
|m/v Hondius||Quadruple Porthole||$2,100||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Triple Porthole||$2,350||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Porthole||$2,700||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Window||$2,800||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Deluxe||$2,950||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Superior||$3,200||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Junior Suite||$3,450||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Grand Suite with private balcony||$4,000||NA||Apr 18th, 2023||Apr 27th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Quadruple Porthole||$2,150||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Triple Porthole||$2,450||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Porthole||$2,800||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Window||$2,900||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Deluxe||$3,000||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Superior||$3,300||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Junior Suite||$3,550||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Grand Suite with private balcony||$4,100||NA||Apr 19th, 2024||Apr 28th, 2024|