A unique new cruise is offering passengers the opportunity to witness a "spectacular cosmic event" while at sea — the 2023 total solar eclipse.
Cruise line PONANT and Smithsonian Journeys are teaming up for the 16-day cruise to eastern Indonesia next spring onboard the ship Le Lapérouse.
The luxury ship's route is timed so that passengers can watch the total eclipse of the sun on April 20 while sailing across the Timor Sea, which lies between northern Australia and the small island nation of Timor-Leste.
The celestial event is one of only five total solar eclipses left this decade. It is also a hybrid eclipse, meaning it will only appear as a total solar eclipse as the moon passes over Western Australia and Timor-Leste, according to Smithsonian Journeys.
Alex Young, associate director of Science at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Australian-American historian Craig Benjamin, and a team of Smithsonian experts will guide guests' viewing of the three-plus-hour cosmic event while onboard.
The cruise itself sets sail from Bali, where passengers can enjoy two days of swimming, snorkeling and sightings of mythical Komodo dragons. It then moves on to Timor-Leste and the Coral Triangle's abundant underwater reefs.
After crossing the Timor Sea, guests will arrive in Wyndham, the northernmost township of Western Australia. Often referred to as the "Antarctica of the tropics," the area boasts waterfalls, sandy beaches and dense mangrove forests.
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Following the solar eclipse, the itinerary also offers more chances to enjoy the remote, rugged Kimberely region in Australia, followed by a trip to the Lacepede Islands, a breeding habitat for green turtles and other exotic species. Le Lapérouse's final stop is at Broome, on the far north coast of Western Australia.
Prices for the cruise start at $20,480 for a double-occupancy deluxe stateroom on the trip, which is scheduled from April 9 to April 24, 2023.