End of the World and other Great Astronomy Trips

| November 13, 2012 | 2 Comments

My husband is an astronomy buff. He talked about buying a telescope for years and I often thought of buying him one as a gift, but wasn’t quite sure what he wanted. I was thinking of one of those cute white telescopes that you set on top of a desk or even the classy brass ones that you find standing in front of a tall window in decorating magazines. When he actually bought one online and had it shipped to the house, I realized that I clearly misunderstood his preferences. He called it a beginner telescope, but I was amazed at the size of it! Basically it fills up the whole back seat of the car when we take it out and it’s much too heavy for me to even pick up. He has fun with it though. He keeps track of the schedules on meteor showers, planetary movements, eclipses etc. and sets up the telescope whenever he has the chance. He listens to podcasts about Astronomy and reads books and magazines on the subject.

So, in honor of his passion, I thought I’d share about a few Astronomy related trips that I’ve discovered.

The Great 2012 NOT The End of the World Cruise – Caribbean

Mayan Calendar

You’ve probably heard the rumors about the end of the world prediction based on the Mayan calendar. Well, in celebration of this momentous occasion (and so you won’t be alone on the big day) you can book a 7-day Western Caribbean Cruise and hear from experts about the possibilities and probabilities of the end of the world. On board will be scientists, science fiction writers, astronomy experts, rocket scientists, and even an astronaut who will be speaking and sharing about all things relating to the heavens. December 16 – 23, 2012

Hurtigruten Northern Lights-Astronomy Cruise– Norway

Northern Lights Norway Cruise

Set sail and join this popular 12-day voyage that will teach you about the Arctic night sky and the greatest light show on earth, the Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Enjoy a series of lectures and a guided tour observing the night sky from the deck of your ship, with either astronomer Dr. John Mason, or Ian Ridpath, editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy. They will bring the world of stars, planets and meteors closer while also exploring the numerous myths and legends linked to the constellations in our skies. Choose one of four departures between January – March 2013.

The Aurora Borealis colors are particularly beautiful during the winter nights. The lights are usually yellow-green, but can also be green or reddish-violet. The magnificent colors light up the sky and usually form a bow from east to west or a slightly more even belt of color. The formations can arise at any moment, filling the sky at an incredible speed.

On the Hurtigruten ships, you’ll also find adventurous eating.  Check out this sample menu which includes reindeer, venison and a generous variety of local seafood.  Also in celebration of the company’s 120th Anniversary you can find discounts and special deals here, some need to be booked before November 30, 2012.

The Great Last Eden Total Solar Eclipse – Western Africa

Solar Eclipse

View the Solar Eclipse of 2013 as it passes over the west coast of Africa near Libreville, Gabon, one of Africa’s most prosperous cities. From the port city of Libreville the journey continues to Marrakech, Morocco and through the Atlas Mountains’ pine forests before descending into the valley of ancient Kasbahs and the caravan town of Quarzazate. Explore rocky landscape and food abundant palm oasis. Continuing to Zagora and Erfud which offer illuminated manuscripts on gazelle-skin parchment, the oldest dating from the 13th century and extensive fossil beds and meteorites. Fez, one of the oldest of the Imperial Cities, sparkle with ceramics and the famous blue fez. You’ll join Astronomy magazine editor, Dave Eicher, and noted sky photographer, Dennis Mammana, on this fascinating journey to Gabon and Morocco in search of an eclipse, Kasbahs, meteorites and dark skies.  Oct 31 – Nov 12, 2013

Visit 3 World Class Observatories – Chile

Gemini South Observatory Extreme Star Trails

Spend 14 days in South America visiting world renown observatories. Dark, clear skies and low humidity are pristine conditions for gazing into deep space and Chile is one of the best countries to find this environment. You’ll visit the Gemini South Telescope in the Andes Mountains, one of the best observing sites on the planet. Then, La Silla Observatory is distinguished by presenting totally clear skies at least 300 days a year. You’ll also visit the Paranal Observatory, in one of the driest areas in the world. Between visits to the observatories you’ll have a chance to explore Santiago, learn about Pisco, Chile’s famous brandy, experience Valle de la Luna salt and rock formations and El Tatio Geysers. October 2014

Manned Missions– Moon


For the ultimate in Astronomy travel, you’ll need to have either buckets of money to pay for a private spaceflight or excel in your engineering, science, or mathematics degree as a minimum requirement in becoming an astronaut. Then if you’re selected for the program you can hope for the prospect of being chosen for a manned-moon mission or a deep-space outpost near the moon. Well, I guess this is more of a career goal instead of a vacation plan. But hey, why not think big?

Would you be interested in an Astronomy trip?  Have you ever been on one?  Any other recommendations?

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Category: 1 - 9 Days, 10 - 21 days, All Year, Astronomy, Caribbean, Chile, Fall, Gabon, Gardening, Learning Travel, Norway, Photography, Science & Technology, Winter

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  1. Great article, i loves South America too much and everyone should go there..

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