What will you be doing on April 20, 2023? Imagine being on a tropical island paradise in the remote southern reaches of Indonesia’s Banda Sea and witnessing one of the most profound of all nature’s celestial wonders. Well that’s exactly what you could be doing should you embark on a 2023 total solar eclipse cruise with Rainforest Cruises.
Join us on a 10-day round trip cruise from Maumere in Indonesia, as we set sail across the turquoise seas of eastern Indonesia on a nautical expedition like never before to behold the region’s bewildering marine biodiversity, rich cultural heritage, and this astonishing astral phenomenon. To enrich your experience further, you’ll be traveling on one of two traditional, wooden, phinisi liveaboard boats, handcrafted on the islands of Borneo and Sulawesi by local craftsmen using ancient techniques handed down from father to son over many centuries, their old-world charm imbuing your voyage with a magic that harkens back to the days of the spice traders.
Aboard these stellar cruises, in addition to Home Star gazing and witnessing the Sun’s corona and famed “Bailey’s Beads” effect during the eclipse from the sandy shores of a small, palm-fringed paradisiacal island, guests will get to experience the near sci-fi sensation of daytime darkness, and some of the very best culture, nature and landscapes that Indonesia has to offer. Activities will include meeting the famous Bajau ‘sea gypsies’, visiting remote island villages, kayaking and paddle-boarding, a BBQ beach party, and snorkeling on some of the world’s most beautiful and pristine coral reefs, home to myriad species. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a manatee-like dugong!
Our founder, Jeremy Clubb, had this to say: “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Most calendar years have two solar eclipses but on average, but it takes around 400 years years for a total solar eclipse to happen again at the same location, especially one as exotic as this. It’s one of only six total solar eclipses remaining worldwide this decade, and technically it’s a hybrid solar eclipse of which there are only five remaining this century!”
We all know what a full moon is right? That time approximately once per month when we see the side of the Moon that is being illuminated by the Sun, giving the Moon its bright, glowing appearance. Well conversely, a new moon is the opposite, when we can only see the dark side of the moon.
Depending on its orbit, sometimes a new moon may come partially between the Sun and Earth and block part of the Sun from view—a partial solar eclipse—or more rarely comes directly into alignment between the Sun and the Earth on the ecliptic plane, but still only partially obscures the Sun from view as the Moon is too far away—an annular solar eclipse.
In even rarer circumstances, the new moon will be close enough to completely cover the entire disk of the Sun, making the Moon’s apparent diameter to be the same size or larger than the Sun’s, and blocking all direct sunlight—a total solar eclipse.
NASA will be able to explain and visualize it better than we can, but a hybrid eclipse is the rarest of eclipses that amazingly involves a combination of all three eclipse types depending on the observer’s location. As the Moon’s shadow moves across the Earth’s surface, the eclipse starts off as annular eclipse before transitioning into a total eclipse, and returning to an annular eclipse, with those outside the eclipse path seeing only a partial eclipse.
For the more astronomically inclined out there, the totality of April 20, 2023 occurs when the Moon is closer to the far side than its near side (perigee) of its orbit, and when the Sun itself is about as distant from Earth as it ever gets. As a result, accurate instrumentation would show that the Moon and Sun are both smaller-looking than average, with both possessing very nearly the same angular size. The bizarre consequence is that if you can go to a place on Earth that is closer to the Moon – meaning, a spot where the Moon is highest-up in the sky so that your location is directly beneath it – it will then appear just large enough to completely block out the Sun and deliver all the legendary phenomena of a full total solar eclipse.
So that old realtor maxim of “Location, location, location!” is truer during this eclipse than during any other of our lives to date. This time around, the Moon’s umbral shadow is just 34 miles (49 km) wide at its maximum! Fortunately we’ve been through such headache-producing planning agonies before, and are happy to say we’ve found the perfect place to view this historic event: a small, secluded, sandy-beach on an undeveloped island that sits right on the centerline of the eclipse path, a place where the length of totality, one minute, 16 seconds, will not be exceeded anywhere else on Earth by even as much as a single second!
We will be at latitude -7°, 35 m, 25s and east longitude 127°, 34’, 7” at sea-level. At this location the Sun will hover at just 24 degrees from directly overhead, very high in the northwest when the time of maximum totality occurs at 04:24 UT. This matters because tropical locations such as this can easily suffer passing clouds (with this region experiencing an average of 2/3 cloud cover at this time of year), so the most effective way of avoiding them is by observing an object very high in the sky, essentially eliminating the sideways components of any cumulous clouds. Here, the ratio of the Sun’s diameter to the Moon’s will be a mere 1.0131 too, meaning the near-identical size aspect will likely produce viewings of the famed “Bailey’s Beads” effect when the Moon’s rugged terrain allows beads of sunlight to shine through some places.
The eclipse path width at our location will be 49.2 km, the Sun/Moon altitude will be 66.3° alt, with their azimuth lying within one degree of 323.7°. Our distance from the exact center line will be only 18 minutes of arc in declination and 4 minutes of arc in longitude, meaning you could theoretically walk to the precise centerline in less than 20 minutes! Finally, our remote beach locale means we will have all the privacy and quiet you could wish for when experiencing such an extraordinary occasion, and any keen photographers won’t have to deal with any stability issues associated with being on deck.
The 10-day round-trip 2023 total solar eclipse cruise departs from Maumere on the island of Flores on April 16, 2023, returning April 25, 2023, and costs from USD $7,100 per person. The eclipse will take place around midday on day 5 of the itinerary on April 20, 2023 which you will witness from a small island near Maupora island. All guests will be provide with eclipse glasses for their safety.
Due to current Indonesian flight scheduling to the departure point, all guests will need to fly from Bali to Maumere on April 15, 2023 the day before the cruise, and stay overnight in their hotel of choice before being picked up and taken to the boat for embarkation early the next morning. Guests will sail aboard a choice of charming sister ships—either the 26-guest Ombak Putih or 12-guest Katharina—which will navigate the itinerary together as a small flotilla.
For more information please contact us.
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