A trip with an eclipse (literally): Watch a solar eclipse from the sea on this Ponant cruise

Aerial view of Hunter River and Prince Frederick Harbour.
Aerial view of Hunter River and Prince Frederick Harbour.

Seeing a solar eclipse is an event on its own, but a new cruise from French luxury line Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys offers travelers a special way to watch.

The 16-day sailing will take passengers from Indonesia to Australia with a special stop in the Timor Sea for an optimal view of the cosmic event next year. Guests will stop in destinations such as Komodo National Park and Australia's Kimberley region, and experts on board will guide guests through different parts of the itinerary.

"We think (passengers) will come back truly transformed and in awe of what they will have witnessed, what they will have experienced," Navin Sawhney, CEO, Americas for Ponant, told USA TODAY. Here's what guests can expect:

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When is Ponant's solar eclipse cruise?

The cruise will take place on the cruise line's Le Lapérouse ship from April 9 to April 24, 2023. The vessel has 92 staterooms and suites and can accommodate 184 passengers, according to Ponant's website.

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Where will the solar eclipse cruise visit?

The cruise will depart from Bali and make its way to Komodo National Park, where passengers can swim, snorkel, and take in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After stops in Dili and Baucau in East Timor, the ship will head to Wyndham in Western Australia and the Kimberley region, which boasts mangrove forests and white sand beaches. There, passengers can take Zodiac boats or tenders to the base of the 260-foot King George Twin Falls, among other activities. The ship will then cruise to a prime spot to see the total eclipse, akin to other solar eclipse sailings Ponant has operated before.

C. Alex Young, associate director for science at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and Craig Benjamin, an Australian American historian, will guide ship programming, including in the lead-up to the eclipse, Sawhney said.

A total solar eclipse from Union Glacier in Antarctica on Dec. 4, 2021.
A total solar eclipse from Union Glacier in Antarctica on Dec. 4, 2021.

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He said guests can attend talks in the ship's theater that will touch on the science behind the event. "And then they will get to experience it out on deck in the morning till midday," he said.

After several more days of exploration around Collier Bay and the Lacepede Islands, the cruise will disembark in the Western Australia town of Broome.

How much does the cruise cost?

Available rooms start at $45,340 based on double occupancy, including port tax, according to Ponant's website. The price includes transfers from the airport to the ship and back, an included shore excursion or activity at each port and all meals, as well as drinks, with the exception of some specialty options.

As of the time of publishing, flights from New York to Bali on April 8 go upward from $832.

There are also two accessible rooms on board for guests with disabilities.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Watch a solar eclipse from the sea on this cruise