Allentown School District (ASD) Planetarium: '98 eclipse expedition

Local Eclipse Cruise to Set Sail
in February 1998

S O L D   O U T

---40 happy eclipse chasers signed on---

About the Trip Ports of Call Prices

NASA Report on the 1998 Eclipse Princess Cruises


About the Eclipse Trip

The Lehigh Valley Motor Club, working in concert with Gary A. Becker of the Allentown School District Planetarium, has successfully negotiated with Princess Cruises to secure group space on the new Dawn Princess for the February 26, 1998 total solar eclipse. The ship will sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 21st and return on Saturday, February 28th. The ship will be positioned on the eclipse’s centerline off the coast of Aruba on the 26th. This location cannot be beat from a meteorological standpoint. The westerly positioning of the ship will also give participants an extra 15 seconds of totality, over a more easterly location, bringing the entire time within the moon’s shadow to about 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

The February 26th eclipse begins in the central Pacific and moves rapidly eastward across equatorial waters, making its first landfall in the Galapagos Islands. The moon’s shadow then traverses the border between Panama and Colombia before exiting into the Caribbean from northwestern Venezuela. The moon’s shadow passes over the islands of Aruba and Curacao about 2:12 p.m. The track then continues eastward across the Caribbean Sea, overtaking the Leeward Islands of Montserrat, Antigua, and Guadeloupe just 20 minutes later.

For many individuals the prospects of viewing a total solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience. Preparation for the successful observation and photography of a total solar eclipse make seeing the eclipse the overriding priority in arranging for travel plans. Because the weather can never be predicted with total accuracy, the ability to maneuver oneself into a clear observing location takes precedence over any other consideration. The solution is the maneuverability of a ship. You are virtually guaranteed a front row seat to one of nature’s most awesome displays of its beauty.

[Independence under Eclipse]

Left: Passengers on the Constitution view the total solar eclipse of July 11, 1991 off the coast of Hawaii.
Right: The Independence, sister ship of the Constitution, seen under the eclipsed sun.

The eclipse cruise package, including airfare to San Juan from Lehigh Valley International Airport, will range in cost from $1435 for an inside cabin (category I) to $1885 for an outside cabin with a balcony (category BB). This cost is per person, based upon double occupancy. Other intermediate categories include II, $1455 (inside), E, $1615 (outside), and D, $1665 (outside). Port taxes are currently $114 per person, additional. Remember that in cruising, your ship serves as your hotel and that all meals are included while on board.

Other planned ports-of-call on the 1998 Princess eclipse expedition include St. Thomas (F/22), Dominica (F/23), Grenada (F/24), and Caracas, Venezuela (F/25). If you are currently interested in becoming a participant in this locally organized trip to view the ’98 total solar eclipse, please contact the AAA Lehigh Valley Group Department at 610-778-3418 or 1-800-552-6679 at your earliest convenience. Ask for Laurianne Daugherty or Ann Marie Meckes. Group space includes 16 cabins for our local contingency. Updated eclipse information can be found at this site or by calling Gary A. Becker at 610-820-2204 (W).
Guaranteed, your voyage into darkness will be an unforgettable experience.


Caribbean Ports of Call


Map of cruise route drawn by Jerry Levy


SAN JUAN--Saturday, February 21

ST THOMAS--Sunday, February 22

DOMINICA--Monday, February 23

GRENADA--Tuesday, February 24

CARACAS (LA GUAIRA)--Wednesday, February 25

ARUBA--Thursday, February 26--Eclipse Day

AT SEA--Friday, February 27

SAN JUAN--Saturday, February 28



ABOVE: An ultra wide-angle image of the July 11, 1991 eclipse taken about 10 seconds after totality. Inset, reveals the gossamer glow of the corona about three minutes into totality. All photography courtesy of Gary A. Becker.

BELOW: The exuberant group from the Lehigh Valley Motor Club that beat the clouds and witnessed one of the most spectacular solar eclipses of the 20th century...



1998 Dawn Princess Eclipse Cruise Price Quotes


The new Dawn Princess will have its inaugural sailing on May 10, 1997.

CategoryDescription of LodgingsNo. of Cabins AvailableAAA Rate
Air included
from LVIA
Savings3rd/ 4th Person Rate
IInside Cabin, two lower beds, Baja or Caribe Decks6
6 sold
Sold Out!$133.00Sold Out!
IIInside Cabin, two lower beds, Riviera or Aloha Decks1
1 sold
Sold Out!$133.00Sold Out!
FFInside Cabin, two lower beds, Plaza Deck1
1 sold
Sold Out!$134.00Sold Out!
EOutside Cabin, two lower beds, Emerald Deck3
3 sold
Sold Out!$103.00Sold Out!
DOutside Cabin, two lower beds, Dolphin Deck1
1 sold
Sold Out!$113.00Sold Out!
BBOutside Cabin, two lower beds, private balcony, Aloha Deck5
5 sold
Sold Out!$143.00Sold Out!

Table created by Mike Stump.

Welcome Aboard

Priscilla Andrews: Baja-509
James and Judith Barsic: Emerald-315
Dr. Earl A. and Elsie M. Becker: Dolphin-341
Gary A. and Susan B. Becker: Aloha-515
Paul Becker: Baja-509
Jennifer Bolognese: Baja-425
Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss: Baja-505
Mrs. Sandra Conover
Christopher, Cheryl, and Jason Gaydos: Baja-510
David Goodwin
Rod, Diane, Timothy, and Jonathan Hatcher: Plaza-349
Fred and Cheryl, Lore and Erika Herzer: Emerald-353
Harry and Saretta Hodge: Baja-427
Dr. James Hoffman: Baja-504
Mary Ann Jenkins and Kathleen Jenkins: Aloha-602
Marilyn and Casmir Michalski: Aloha-612
Janice Marie Morris: Baja-504
Vince and Laverne Scheetz: Aloha-505
Mrs. Fay Shaffer
Michael Stump: Baja-505
Mary Therese and Robert Yost: Aloha-601
Lee, Karen, and Elaine Zelley: Aloha-640

The Fine Print

PORT TAXES: $114.00 per person-subject to change
DEPOSIT: $250.00 per person due at the time of booking
FINAL PAYMENT: Due approximately 75 days prior to sailing
PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP: Acceptable forms of proof of citizenship are a valid passport, an official certified birth certificate and photo ID such as a driver’s license, or government employee photo ID card

CANCELLATION PENALTIES: Cancellation penalties of up to 100% may apply. Once deposit is received, a $25.00 per person AAA cancellation fee applies. AAA Travel Agency imposes a 12% cancellation penalty on all cancellations made after final payment has been received.

59 to 31 days prior to sailing: $250.00 per person
30 to 15 days prior to sailing: 50% of total charges
14 to 03 days prior to sailing: 75% of total charges
Less than 72 hours or no shows: NO REFUND!


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