While we'll take any opportunity to kick back and relax on a cruise ship, some cruises are bucket-list adventures that you just know you need to book early or risk being left at the dock. That's why I'm so excited about the upcoming total solar eclipse next year. On April 8, 2024 a truly remarkable astronomical event will occur: a total solar eclipse! While this isn't exactly a once-in-a-lifetime event (partial solar eclipses happen two to three times a year and total eclipses about every 18 months), this time is special. Unlike other opportunities to view one, the 2024 total solar eclipse combines three very important factors: Location, Weather, and Prime Cruise Area to make it an amazing cruise experience.
What Is The Path Of The 2024 Eclipse?
This will be the first time since 2017 that a large part of the United States population will be in the path of totality (where the moon completely covers the sun). What makes this unique is that while the weather in places like Dallas, Indianapolis, Toledo, Toronto, and Montreal all lie in the path ... let's face it, spring weather can be pretty unpredictable that time of year. For example, Dallas averages only nine fully sunny days, Indianapolis averages six, and Buffalo only five days of full sunshine in April!
That means that even if you stayed home or took a road trip to one of these cities, chances are you would, at best, have a partly cloudy day. That's a far cry from the average of 29.3 sunny days in the month of April for folks in Mazatlan.
Why Is Mazatlan The Perfect Viewing Spot?
Mazatlan one of the best spots on Earth for viewing the 2024 total solar eclipse because of its weather and position along the path of totality. When you combine that with a Mexican Riviera cruise, things just get that much better.
Mazatlan is ideally situated to view the full annular phase of the eclipse when it reaches its peak (the moment when the moon completely covers the sun). This is expected to last approximately 4 minutes and 16 seconds as the moon passes fully in front of the sun and blocks it from view.
Observers on board cruise ships will have access to an unobstructed view of the sky as well as interpreters who will help guests safely view the eclipse. Depending on the exact cruise line and itinerary, there will also be educational seminars that will transform a less than 5-minute event into an experience creating memories that last a lifetime.
Exact plans are still being developed by Uncruise, Holland America Line, and Princess Cruises and but this is something that Heather and I are extremely excited about seeing for ourselves.
Cruises Offering Total Solar Eclipse Experiences
We'll be updating this list as cruise lines update their plans but right now there are three options for seeing the eclipse at sea.
Uncruise Safari Voyager:
This cruise will depart from La Paz on the Sea of Cortez and probably offers the best experience if you are a true eclipse chaser since the small intimate nature of the vessel and the focus on exploring and learning from the world around us is at the core of this expedition cruise line. Guests on this itinerary will cruise down to near Mazatlan for the eclipse viewing on Monday before heading back up to explore the Sea of Cortez. While this ship won't have the posh amenities and spa services of larger ships ... without a doubt, this is where you'll want to go if you're a true nature and science lover.
Holland America Line Koningsdam:
This 22-Day cruise combines Mexican Riviera and Hawaii itineraries departing round trip from San Deigo for the ultimate spring cruise experience. Konignsdam will not stop in Mazatlan but will offer a "Solar Eclipse Experience" throughout the day on April 8.
Holland America Line Zaandam:
This 14-day cruise is an extended coastal Mexico cruise that includes destinations that we don't often see on Mexican Riviera or Sea of Cortez cruises, such as Santa Cruz Huatulco and Manzanillo. The itinerary includes an overnight in Puerto Vallarta before heading up to Mazatlan for an Eclipse Viewing at sea before heading into port there so you can enjoy some beaches and delicious drinks and freshly caught seafood.
Princess Cruises Discovery Princess:
Discovery Princess will depart from Los Angeles (San Pedro) on April 3 for a 10-day Mexican Riviera cruise that will feature an overnight stop in Cabo San Lucas before heading to Mazatlan on Monday, April 8 for the eclipse viewing. This itinerary allows for viewing the eclipse from the ship or one of the many beautiful beaches in town.
Heather from Flow Voyages is booking spots on these ships now but If these cruises are something you can't do for whatever reason, she can also find you all-inclusive resort options where you can view the eclipse from land in Mazatlan.
This part of the world is one of our favorite spots for a cruise and I also love astronomy. It isn't often that I can combine three of my favorite things together and I'm sure there are a few of you out there just like me. So if you're looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure with unparalleled views of one of nature's most remarkable events, then look no further than Mazatlan, Mexico, for your April 2024 total solar eclipse journey!