Are you an astronomy buff? Interested in prime seating for this year`s total solar eclipse? LanChile is preparing a charter flight for tour operator TravelQuest International and the prestigious Sky & Telescope magazine, which are offering a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with an exclusive chartered flight over Antarctica to view the total solar eclipse of November 23, 2003. So whether you`re an experienced eclipse chaser or a novice eager to learn more, a limited number of spaces are still available on this “Antarctic Eclipse Flight Through Totality,” considered to be one of the most awe inspiring spectacles in all of nature.
The flight will depart from the city of Punta Arenas, Chile and fly over the Antarctica region and the South Pole. According to plans, the flight will last approximately 13 hours round-trip. In addition to breathtaking scenery throughout the flight, TravelQuest International and Sky & Telescope will provide expert commentary about the Antarctic landscape. Plans include flying over the Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole at an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet, as well as Palmer Station, and possibly a pass near Vinson Massif, the highest point in Antarctica. The pinnacle of the adventure will then intercept the moon`s shadow over the Antarctic and provide two minutes and 26 seconds of totality - 29 seconds longer than is possible from the ground - with the sun positioned 12 degrees above the horizon. The planned intercept altitude of 38,000 feet will virtually assure this cosmic spectacle to be completely unhindered by clouds.
Viewing seats start at just $5,500 per person. The operation will take place using a LanChile Airbus A340. In order to assure the most optimum eclipse viewing for everyone on board, the adventure is limited to only 75 observers.
Each person will receive professional-quality video and photography capturing this moment in time. LanChile`s renowned culinary and wine menus will be featured throughout the adventure.
While in Chile, guests have the opportunity to select a variety of optional pre- and post-excursions. The six-night “Glaciers, Peaks and Penguins” excursion in southern Chile is available November 17 - 23, 2003, and features Patagonia`s famous Torres del Paine National Park, as well as the nesting site of more than 10,000 Magellanic penguins. Or why not explore Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, Chilean wine country, the Galapagos Islands, or take advantage of a special Chilean observatories tour that are all available through TravelQuest.
LanChile is a member of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IATTO) and has been operating charter flights over the Antarctica during the year using Boeing 737-200 aircraft. In order to prepare for this charter, LanChile has applied to the relevant authorities for the respective permits.
For additional information or to make a reservation, contact TravelQuest International at 800-830-1998 (toll free in the U.S. and Canada), 928-445-7754 (outside North America), e-mail at [email protected], or visit http://www.tq-international.com/AntarcticaFly/AntarcticaFlyHome.htm.