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Cruise passengers depart San Diego for solar eclipse journey

Posted at 7:03 PM, Apr 05, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More than 2,400 passengers set sail aboard a Holland America cruise ship from San Diego on Friday, embarking on a journey to witness Monday's solar eclipse in its "path of totality."

“The eclipse is just a huge bonus,” said Mary Schimanke. She and her husband Hans traveled from Canada for the unique cruising experience.

“Even if it’s only 5 minutes or so it’s very exciting … I think everybody is going to be out on deck,” said Schimanke.

On board, UC San Diego Astronomy and Astrophysics professor Adam Burgasser will offer special lectures.

“So we’re going to be catching it right at the start of the totality path,” said Burgasser, who will be helping passengers experience the eclipse safely.

“These glasses protect the eyes. They block out everything,” he said.

The 22-day cruise commences in San Diego, then sails to Mexico, where passengers will witness the eclipse off the coast, followed by stops in Hawaii before concluding in Vancouver.

"It’s a special thing to have the Koningsdam here in San Diego to mark this solar eclipse,” said Adam Deaton, Principal of Cruise Business at the Port of San Diego.

Deaton said it’s an epic experience for guests and a boost for San Diego businesses.

“Every time a cruise line such as Holland America starts or ends a cruise in San Diego, that’s two million dollars injected into the local economy,” he said.

For those remaining in San Diego, a partial solar eclipse will be visible on Monday, peaking around 11:11 a.m.

The Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park is offering proper protective eyewear and hosting a viewing party on Monday.