2016 SE Asia & Solar Eclipse cruise

I have just returned from a 30-day cruise through Southeast Asia aboard the Volendam, which also included a total solar eclipse of the Sun. The cruise started and ended in Singapore, making ports-of-call in Myanmar-Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. So I got to see quite a bit of SE Asia, but of course having only a few hours in each port limited my opportunities to do any extensive exploring. I mainly used shore excursions from Holland America, since they guarantee satisfaction, always cover the main sights to see in an area, and if the tour runs late, the ship will wait.

I had not experienced SE Asia before, so this was a great opportunity to gather some impressions, and decide if follow-up trips would be worthwhile. Of course, as an amateur astronomer, the icing on the cake was a chance to observe a Total Solar Eclipse! The weather and seas cooperated, the ship’s bridge crew maneuvered us to a great spot in the Makassar Strait in Indonesia, and there was lots of deck space for everyone to enjoy this apparition of the Moon sliding in front of the Sun, giving us a few minutes of sitting in the Moon’s shadow in the middle of the day.

 

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