On April 8, 2024, the sun, Earth, and moon will come into perfect alignment, creating a solar eclipse that will darken a large swath of North America for a few minutes. Astronomy-loving tourists are expected to travel from around the world to see the celestial show. Already demand for flights and hotels has skyrocketed—some cities in the path of totality are nearly booked up. However, a recently announced cruise could be the ticket if you’re keen on witnessing the skyward spectacle from the vantage point of the sea.
Holland America Line just unveiled a 22-day solar eclipse sailing that will bring passengers into the path of totality off the western coast of Mexico before heading onward to Hawai‘i and Canada. Along the way, travelers can sit in on lectures and create their own eclipse-viewing glasses with Adam Burgasser, a University of California San Diego astronomy and astrophysics professor and the principal investigator at the school’s Cool Star Lab.
“This first total solar eclipse in North America in seven years is something astronomers, amateur and professional, are all excited to observe, and there’s no better or unique place to observe it than at sea off the coast of Mexico,” Dr. Burgasser said. “I look forward to joining Holland America Line guests aboard Koningsdam to witness this phenomenon and help them better understand the science and history behind it.”
After embarking in San Diego, California, on April 5, 2024, the ship will first spend time in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, before heading out for a day at sea for the eclipse. Astronomer Jim McParland will also be on hand as a guest presenter. Then it’s on to Puerto Vallarta for a day before six days at sea en route to Hawai‘i, where the vessel will stop in Kona, Lahaina, Honolulu, and Hilo. Next are another five days at sea before stopping in Victoria and disembarking in Vancouver, Canada.
The sailing will be aboard the Koningsdam, which can accommodate 2,650 guests. Rooms range from the 143-square-foot interior cabins (which include a queen-size bed, a bathroom with a walk-in shower, and closet space) to the 502-square-foot Neptune Suite (featuring a king-size bed, a desk, a small living room area, a bathroom with a separate tub and shower, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a private patio). Koningsdam has four dining concepts (plus 24-hour room service), including the main dining room, a casual marketplace, a poolside grill, and a steakhouse. There are also five bars, a pool, spa, a fitness center, and five entertainment venues, including a blues club and a live theater.
Prices start at $2,779 per person, including meals in all restaurants except the steakhouse. Alcohol and off-ship excursions are available at an additional cost.
For those interested in a shorter cruise that includes a 2024 solar eclipse viewing, Holland America Line’s 1,432-passenger Zaandam will also be in Mexico (in Mazatlan, which is also in the path of totality) on eclipse day as part of a 14-day round-trip cruise that departs San Diego on March 30, 2024, stopping on Mexico’s western coast along the way before ending back in San Diego. It’s currently sold out, but cabins may become available at a later date if there are cancellations.