P&O Cruises Takes Up Prime Position for Rare Solar Eclipse

Thursday, March 25, 2021

P&O Cruises has announced plans for an extraordinary cruise that will give its guests the chance to see one of nature’s most spectacular events - a rare solar eclipse.

Departing Fremantle on April 17, 2023, the once-in-a-lifetime five-night cruise will track over the North West Cape of Western Australia near Exmouth, the only location on mainland Australia where the event can be viewed as a total solar eclipse.

Also known as the ‘king of eclipses’, this solar eclipse will take place at 11.27am on April 20, 2023 and promises to be an unforgettable experience as the moon completely covers the sun for one minute and 16 seconds, creating darkness and making the sun’s fainter corona visible to the naked eye.

There were only five total solar eclipses visible from Australia last century and it has been almost 50 years since Western Australia has experienced one. The 2023 total solar eclipse is particularly special as it will occur as part of a rare hybrid eclipse, a form of eclipse which has not been visible from Australia for almost 1000 years.

P&O Cruises Australia President Sture Myrmell said the ‘Ningaloo King of Eclipse Cruise’ would give Australians the chance to experience a significant moment in time, with Pacific Explorer positioned off Exmouth to enable guests to enjoy a prime position for the eclipse.

“As the home grown cruise line, we’re always looking to create new and interesting sailings to iconic events around the country and we think this cruise will be next level,” Mr Myrmell said.

“Not only is North West Cape the only location on mainland Australia where the 2023 ‘king of eclipses’ will be visible, it’s one of only four accessible points worldwide where the phenomenon can be viewed, so we’re very excited to be offering our guests the opportunity to be part of this event.

During the cruise, guests will enjoy special talks from experts on the eclipse and will also be able to take in the beauty of the Western Australian coast, which is known for its unspoilt beaches and dramatic red ochre coastline.

P&O has partnered with the Astronomical Society of Australia, the epitomous professional body representing astronomers in Australia, to create a truly enlightening experience.

Astronomical Society of Australia Vice President John Lattanzio said he was thrilled that P&O Cruises Australia was offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for seasoned or budding umbraphiles – people that love eclipses and often travel to see them.

“The 2023 Ningaloo King of Eclipse will be a unique spectacle and to view it from a cruise ship will be a magnificent experience. Our members look forward to sharing their expertise on the subject of eclipses and astronomy with P&O’s guests while they sail the west coast."

The unique cruise headlines P&O’s new season of Western Australia sailings which will feature six round-trip itineraries from Fremantle between April 8 and May 18, 2023.

Guests can register their interest for the Ningaloo King of Eclipse Cruise by visiting pocruises.com.au/eclipsecruise, with tickets on sale from 9am on April 7, 2021.