Astronomy by liuqingyan



                      & Special Interest Expeditions

                                      JULY 2010
                                      Tahiti - Total Solar Eclipse
                                      (pages 7, 8 & 9)

                                      JANUARY 2010
                                      Kenya/Tanzania- Annular Solar Eclipse
                                      (pages 4, 5 & 6)

                                      DECEMBER 2009
                                      Libya - Geminid Meteor Shower
                                      (page 3)
Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379
                            Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379     email:
                                                                                                                with a purpose always feels more meaningful. The
                                                                                                                journey objectives also mean we have to travel
                                                                                                                off the beaten track to places not frequented by
                                                                                                                regular tourists, and that can result in some very
                                                                                                                interesting experiences. Somehow these trips
                                                                                                                never turn out to be boring...

                                                                                                                Empty space in our solar system is not actually
                                                                                                                empty as there are many millions of tiny particles
                                                                                                                hanging around between the planets. As the
                                                                                                                Earth races on its orbit round the Sun, some of
                                                                                                                these particles are swept into the atmosphere and
                                                                                                                even something the size of a grain of sand will
                                                                                                                become a bright meteor in our sky. On any clear

Welcome to Astro-Expeditions                                                                                    night away from the city lights you are likely to
                                                                                                                see perhaps two or three meteors every hour, but
                                                                                                                occasionally there can be far more. These “meteor
The night sky has always been a source of wonder and curiosity even                                             showers” can usually be traced back to the
when glimpsed occasionally from a city backyard.                                                                passage through the solar system of a comet or
                                                                                                                asteroid, sometimes centuries in the past. The tail
The sight of a “shooting star” or perhaps the planet   or fifty meteors or “shooting stars” every hour rather   of a comet is astronomical scale pollution but the
Venus when it makes a dazzling appearance as           than just one or two. We know when and where an          resulting meteors can contribute some very useful
an evening star will attract attention and at least    eclipse of the Sun is going to happen and we can         data for scientists to analyse and of course they
passing interest from most people. It is, of course,   call on over thirty years’ experience in arranging to    can produce a spectacular natural firework show.
possible to live for months or years without being     be in the right place at the right time.
aware of the stars above - then on a clear night,      We also know that if you are interested enough to        Solar Eclipses
perhaps when you are away on holiday, you              join a group travelling to see such events, you are      An eclipse of the Sun occurs when the orbit of the
suddenly get a view of a myriad glowing points         going to be interested in the sights and sounds          moon crosses in front of the Sun as seen from the
of light.                                              and the flora and fauna in the world around you.         Earth. The shadow of the moon follows a narrow
If such a sight has ever stirred your interest, we     We don’t expect you to come with any specialist          path on the surface of the Earth, bringing daytime
think we may have something to offer you. Along        knowledge or expertise, although you may find            darkness for a brief period and allowing observers
with the ordinary “extraordinary” sights in the sky,   some of your fellow passengers are very well in-         to see a range of unusual natural phenomena.
there are also some rare, special events. We can       formed.                                                  The most spectacular sight is a total solar eclipse,
for instance, guide you to a place where the sky is    One delightful aspect of these trips is that they        when the moon completely covers the Sun, with
likely to be clear at a time when there may be forty   have a clearly designated objective, and travel          flames of crimson prominences licking around the
                                                                                                                jet black disk and streamers of the solar corona
                                                                                                                reaching far out into space.
                                                                                                                As the moon goes around the Earth it follows an orbit
                                                                                                                which is elliptical, appearing very slightly smaller
                                                                                                                when further out and larger at the closer point.
                                                                                                                Whilst it is not possible to detect this difference in
                                                                                                                size without accurate instruments, when the moon
                                                                                                                is at its closest point it is large enough to completely
                                                                                                                obscure the disk of the Sun and the closer it is the
                                                                                                                longer the duration of the eclipse. At a more distant
                                                                                                                point the Sun is not completely covered and a
                                                                                                                very small, bright circle or annulus remains visible.
                                                                                                                This is known as an annular eclipse and although
                                                                                                                it lacks the unique drama of a total, it remains an
                                                                                                                unusual and interesting event particularly when it is
                                                                                                                possible to observe the effect of the declining light
                                                                                                                levels on wildlife.


Geminid Meteor Shower
From the Sahara Desert Departing Saturday 12th Dec 2009
Currently the most active of the regular annual Showers. The Geminids’ low speed and
abundance of bright events makes them a prime photographic target. Our desert location
and the absence of a moon in the sky, makes this an even more favourable occasion. The
trip includes a side visit to Leptis Magna, a magnificent ancient Roman city.

Depart from London late morning for the three hour        the flight to Tripoli for an overnight stay in a hotel
flight to Tripoli and on arrival join our touring coach   before an early morning flight back to London on
for the one hour journey along the Mediterranean          Wednesday 16th December.
coast to the small town of El Khums. Overnight            Price £995 per person
stay in a local hotel and an early start the next day
for our visit to Leptis Magna, when the morning           Price includes flights to Tripoli, hotel or camp
light offers the best opportunity to photograph this      accommodation as indicated, local flights to
spectacular site. We return to Tripoli in the afternoon   Sebha, ground transfers and transportation, local
and join a short flight to the small town of Sebha        guides and all meals from Saturday evening to
and continue our journey for a further two hours by       Wednesday breakfast, visa charge is not included.
off-road vehicles into the heart of the desert. The
camp provides comfortable accommodation with              Leptis Magna
private bathroom facilities for each tent.                During the golden age of Rome, Leptis Magna was
The meteor shower radiant (the point in the sky           the third largest city in the Roman Empire, with a
from which the meteors appear to originate) will          population of around 100,000 inhabitants. Now it
have risen at sunset and will be almost directly          is the best-preserved ancient city in the world and
overhead for the peak of the shower at midnight.          was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage
We have a two night stay at the camp, with local          Sites in 198. Excavations were started during the
trips to the famous salt lakes in the area during         Italian occupancy in the 190s but only about 10%
the day, and a second opportunity to observe the          of the original area has so far been excavated, as
meteors on the following night. Our final full day        a 5-meter layer of sand covered the city. Leptis                                          Ubari tented camp
gives time for a visit to an oasis before joining         Magna has the most theatres, thermes, basilicas,

                                                                                                                   and market places on Libyan soil and these consist
                                                                                                                   of rare and valuable marble and are of a size that
                                                                                                                   may only be rivalled by the remains to be found
                                                                                                                   in Rome.

                                                                                                                   The Urabi Sand-Sea
                                                                                                                   Vast sand dunes dominate the south west part
                                                                                                                   of the country, with the shifting sands rapidly
                                                                                                                   engulfing roads and tracks. This spectacular barren
                                                                                                                   landscape is broken by the occasional oasis, often
                                                                                                                   with a large salt water lake. Local guides will take
                                                                                                                   you to the points of interest in the area, including
                                                                                                                   some ancient cave paintings and carvings.
 Ubari tented camp

                                                          Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                   email:                              
Annular Solar Eclipse
Kenya/Tanzania Departing Monday 11th January 2010
We have created a varied choice of outstanding safari options where you                                          in Nairobi. Transport by specially designed
can witness the eclipse and enjoy the sights and spectacular wildlife of                                         safari vehicles (guaranteed window seat) with
                                                                                                                 experienced English speaking driver/guide and all
East Africa.                                                                                                     game park entrance fees.
The base for the eclipse is the world famous               Eclipse Safari
Masai Mara Game Reserve, home to the ‘Big                                                                        Eclipse Safari + Mombasa
                                                           Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (4 nights)
Five’ (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, rhino).                                                                 Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (4 nights),
Longer safaris include Tanzania’s Serengeti and            11 Jan Overnight flight from Heathrow to Nairobi.     Mombasa (4 nights)
Ngorongoro Crater, Northern Kenya’s Samburu                12 Jan On arrival transfer to the Jacaranda Hotel     11-16 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE SAFARI
game park and a safari specially designed for              for day at leisure in Kenya’s Capital city.
birdwatchers. Beach extensions on Kenya’s                                                                        17 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Mombasa.
                                                           13 Jan Depart for the Masai Mara - world famous       Transfer to Indian Ocean Beach Club -  nights.
Mombasa coast or the mystical ‘Spice Island’ of
                                                           game reserve and our base for the eclipse. Lunch
Zanzibar are also available.                                                                                     18-20 Jan Relax on Kenya’s coast. Dinner and
                                                           and afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight
This will be an exceptionally long Annular                 Mara Sopa Lodge.                                      overnights Indian Ocean Beach Club.
Eclipse, therefore the ring of sunlight (the                                                                     21 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
                                                           14 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Morning at
annulus) around the disk of the moon will be                                                                     flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
                                                           leisure. Lunch and afternoon game drive. Dinner
quite bright. Because of this our expedition will
                                                           and overnight Mara Sopa Lodge.                        £1,795 per person (single supp £269)
be based at the edge of the eclipse track, where
the most interesting effects can be observed.              15 Jan Day of the Eclipse. Positioning of vehicles
                                                           to allow best viewing location. Meals and overnight   Eclipse Safari + Zanzibar
                                                           Mara Sopa Lodge.                                      Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (4 nights),
    Our Expert...                                          16 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Morning at
                                                           leisure. Lunch and afternoon game drive. Dinner
                                                                                                                 Zanzibar (4 nights)
                                                                                                                 11-16 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE SAFARI
    Dr Nick Hewitt is well known among astronomical        and overnight Mara Sopa Lodge.
    societies, particularly for his experience and         17 Jan After breakfast drive to Nairobi. You may      17 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Zanzibar.
    expertise in deep sky astronomy. As a former           wish to pre-book a day room before transfer for       Transfer to Breezes Beach Resort for four nights.
    president of the British Astronomical Association,     your overnight flight to Heathrow.                    18-20 Jan Relax on this mystical Spice Island.
    he is able to communicate his enthusiasm for the                                                             Dinner and overnights Breezes Beach Resort.
                                                           Price: £1,395 per person (single supp £165)
    subject to a wide audience at all levels of interest
                                                           Price includes flights from London, accommodation     21 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
    and knowledge. On this trip we particularly look
                                                           as indicated, full board on safari, half board        flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
    forward to sharing his knowledge of the southern
    sky, with views of objects that are not visible from   in Mombasa or Zanzibar and bed & breakfast            £1,995 per person (single supp £399)
    our latitude. The very dark sites in the game
                                                                                         Annular Solar Eclipse of 2010 January 15th
    parks will add a special element to Nick’s night
    presentations, with his expert knowledge of this
    region of the sky.


                                                        Eclipse & Tanzania Safari
                                                        + Mombasa
                                                        Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights),
                                                        Serengeti (3 nights), Ngorongoro (2 nights),
                                                        Amboseli (2 nights), Mombasa (3 nights)
                                                        11-22 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & TANZANIA
                                                        23 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Drive to             Mara Sopa Lodge
                                                        Nairobi for flight to Mombasa. Transfer to the Indian
                                                        Ocean Beach Club for three nights.                      Eclipse & Northern Kenya Safari
                                                        24 & 25 Jan Relax on Kenya’s beautiful Indian           Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Kigio
                                                        Ocean coast. Dinner and overnights Indian Ocean         (1 night), Lake Nakuru (1 night), Treetops (1
                                                        Beach Club.
Eclipse & Tanzania Safari                                                                                       night), Samburu (2 nights), Nairobi (1 night)
                                                        26 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights),                                                                       11 - 15 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE SAFARI
                                                        flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
Serengeti (3 nights), Ngorongoro (2 nights),                                                                    16 Jan Depart for Kigio Game Sanctuary. Lunch
Amboseli (2 nights), Nairobi (1 night)                  £3,349 per person (single supp £555)
                                                                                                                and afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight
11-15 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE SAFARI                                                                           Kigio Wildlife Camp.
                                                        Eclipse & Tanzania Safari
16 Jan Depart for Sirari on the Tanzania border.                                                                17 Jan Game walk with bush breakfast. Depart for
                                                        + Zanzibar                                              Lake Nakuru National Park – the brilliant display of
Complete Customs & Immigration formalities.
Change vehicles and continue to the Serengeti           Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights),               pink flamingo on the soda lake is an unforgettable
with game viewing en route. Picnic lunch. Dinner        Serengeti (3 nights), Ngorongoro (2 nights),            experience. Lunch and afternoon game drive.
and overnight Seronera Wildlife Lodge.                  Amboseli (2 nights), Zanzibar (3 nights)                Dinner and overnight Lake Nakuru Lodge.
17 & 18 Jan Full days of game viewing in the            11-22 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & TANZANIA               18 Jan Depart for Nyeri. Lunch at the Outspan
Serengeti – one of the last great wilderness areas      SAFARI                                                  Hotel. Afternoon transfer through the Aberdares
left in Africa. Meals and overnight Seronera Wildlife                                                           National Park. At leisure game viewing at the lodge
                                                        23 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Drive to
Lodge.                                                                                                          water hole/salt lick. Dinner and overnight Treetops
                                                        Nairobi for flight to Zanzibar. Transfer to Breezes
                                                                                                                – Kenya’s most famous lodge where Princess
19 Jan Leave the Serengeti game viewing en route.       Beach Resort for three nights.
                                                                                                                Elizabeth learned she had become Queen.
Picnic lunch. Visit the famous archaeological site of   24 & 25 Jan Relax on this mystical Spice Island.
Olduvai Gorge. Dinner and overnight Ngorongoro                                                                  19 Jan Return to the Outspan for breakfast.
                                                        Dinner and overnights Breezes Beach Resort.
Wildlife Lodge.                                                                                                 Continue to Samburu Game Reserve for lunch.
                                                        26 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight       Afternoon game drive to see the abundant wildlife
20 Jan Full day game drive in the crater – ranked       flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.                         along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River. Dinner
amongst the seven Natural Wonders of the World.
                                                        £3,599 per person (single supp £649)                    and overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge.
Picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight Ngorongoro
Wildlife Lodge.                                                                                                 20 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Morning at
                                                                                                                leisure. Lunch and afternoon game drive. Dinner
21 Jan Drive to Arusha for lunch at Riverhouse.
                                                                                                                and overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge.
Continue to Namanga on the Kenya border.
Complete Customs & Immigration formalities.                                                                     21 Jan After breakfast depart for Nairobi. Overnight
Change vehicles and continue to Amboseli                                                                        Jacaranda Hotel.
National Park, game viewing en route. Dinner and                                                                22 Jan Midday checkout. You may wish to pre-
overnight Amboseli Sopa Lodge.                                                                                  book a day room before transfer for your overnight
22 Jan Game drive before breakfast. See                                                                         flight to Heathrow.
spectacular views of snow capped Mt Kilimanjaro                                                                 £2,259 per person (single supp £435)
– Africa’s highest point. Morning at leisure. Lunch
and afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight
Amboseli Sopa Lodge.
23 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Morning
at leisure. Lunch and afternoon drive to Nairobi.
Overnight Jacaranda Hotel.
24 Jan Midday checkout. You may wish to pre-
book a day room before transfer for your overnight
flight to Heathrow.
£2,995 per person (single supp £475)

                                                        Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                  email:                              5
Eclipse & Northern Kenya Safari
+ Mombasa
Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Kigio
(1 night), Lake Nakuru (1 night), Treetops
(1 night), Samburu (2 nights), Mombasa
(3 nights)
11-20 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & NORTHERN
21 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Mombasa.
Transfer to the Indian Ocean Beach Club for three
22 & 23 Jan Relax on Kenya’s beautiful Indian
Ocean coast. Dinner and overnights Indian Ocean
Beach Club.
24 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
£2,495 per person (single supp £485)

Eclipse & Northern Kenya Safari
+ Zanzibar                                                 Eclipse & Birdwatching Safari                            Eclipse & Birdwatching Safari
Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Kigio            Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Lake           + Mombasa
(1 night), Lake Nakuru (1 night), Treetops                 Nakuru (1 night), Lake Baringo (2 nights),               Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Lake
(1 night), Samburu (2 nights), Zanzibar                    Samburu (2 nights), Nairobi (1 night)                    Nakuru (1 night), Lake Baringo (2 nights),
(3 nights)                                                 11-15 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE SAFARI                    Samburu (2 nights), Mombasa (3 nights)
11 - 20 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & NORTHERN                16 Jan Depart for Lake Nakuru National Park – the        11 - 20 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & BIRDWATCHING
KENYA SAFARI                                               brilliant display of pink flamingo on the soda lake is   SAFARI
21 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Zanzibar. Transfer   an unforgettable experience. Lunch and afternoon
                                                                                                                    21 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Mombasa.
to Breezes Beach Resort for three nights stay.             game drive. Dinner and overnight Lion Hill Lodge.
                                                                                                                    Transfer to the Indian Ocean Beach Club for three
22 & 23 Jan Relax on this mystical Spice Island.           17 Jan Game drive before breakfast. Depart               nights.
Dinner and overnights Breezes Beach Resort.                for Lake Baringo. Lunch and afternoon cruise
                                                                                                                    22 & 23 Jan Relax on Kenya’s beautiful Indian
                                                           around the island viewing the hot springs and visit
24 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight                                                                   Ocean coast. Dinner and overnights Indian Ocean
                                                           to Njemps fishing village. Dinner and overnight
flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.                                                                                     Beach Club.
                                                           Island Camp.
£2,795 per person (single supp £610)                                                                                24 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
                                                           18 Jan Morning cruise across the lake to the
                                                                                                                    flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
                                                           mouth of the Molo River. Waterfowl and hippo can
                                                           be viewed. Continue cruising to the east of the lake     £2,595 per person (single supp £489)
                                                           where fish eagles can be seen feeding. Return to
                                                           the camp for lunch. Afternoon at leisure with time       Eclipse & Birdwatching Safari
                                                           to walk around the camp and along the lake shore.
                                                           Dinner and overnight Island Camp.
                                                                                                                    + Zanzibar
                                                                                                                    Nairobi (1 night), Masai Mara (3 nights), Lake
                                                           19 Jan Depart for Samburu and view the abundant
                                                           wildlife along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River.       Nakuru (1 night), Lake Baringo (2 nights),
                                                           Dinner and overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge.                 Samburu (2 nights), Zanzibar (3 nights)
                                                           20 Jan Game drive before breakfast. A one hour           11 - 20 Jan Itinerary as ECLIPSE & BIRDWATCHING
                                                           morning walk within the lodge premises bird viewing      SAFARI
                                                           with resident naturalist. Lunch and afternoon game       21 Jan Drive to Nairobi for flight to Zanzibar.
                                                           drive. Dinner and overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge.          Transfer to Breezes Beach Resort for three nights.
                                                           21 Jan Depart for Nairobi. Overnight Jacaranda Hotel.    22 & 23 Jan Relax on this mystical Spice Island.
                                                           22 Jan Midday checkout. You may wish to pre-             Dinner and overnights Breezes Beach Resort.
                                                           book a day room before transfer for your overnight       24 Jan Transfer to the airport for your overnight
                                                           flight to Heathrow.                                      flight to Heathrow via Nairobi.
                                                           £2,279 per person (single supp £409)                     £2,795 per person (single supp £589)


Total Solar Eclipse
Tahiti Departing Tuesday 6th July 2010
Weather prospects for this event strongly favour Polynesia so our Total
Solar Eclipse Tour will be based in Tahiti with observation from the islands
of Anaa or Hikueru.
The programme includes flights from London to                hour flying time from Papeete, the second is to
Papeete with a stay on the islands of Tahiti and             Hikueru a journey of about 1 hour 5 mins.
Moorea, and a special charter flight to Anaa with
one night on this remote coral atoll. Extensions to          Standard Programme (8 days)
the programme will include an extended stay in               £,99 per person, twin share (single supplement
French Polynesia, a stopover in Los Angeles with             £97) Includes international flights from London, all
a visit to Mount Wilson Observatory, a tour of both          transfers, hotel accommodation as indicated (room
islands of New Zealand, and a choice of “round the                                                                         These times are for a location just south of the air
                                                             and buffet breakfast only in Moorea and Tahiti),
world” itineraries.                                                                                                        strip on the island, but the duration of totality could
                                                             private charter flight to Anaa Atoll and accompanied
                                                                                                                           increase if the event can be observed further south
                                                             by expert guest lecturers and an experienced tour
Itinerary                                                    escort. Supplement for observation from Hikueru is
                                                                                                                           on the island.
Your midday flight to Tahiti will be from Paris              £5 per person.
(connecting flights to Paris from London or local
                                                                                                                           Observation from Hikueru
airports are included) with an en route stop in Los          Observation from Anaa                                         This island is about as remote as it gets! We will
Angeles. Arrival in Tahiti is late evening the same          Accommodation for one night will be either in                 be staying two nights on this island and you will
day (plus the time zone difference!). Your first night       simple beach chalets or in islanders’ homes and a             need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping
will be at the Manava Suite Resort on Tahiti and             communal feast will be provided in the evening by             mat. We are renting the local school ( rooms) for
the next morning we join the ferry for the one hour          the local people (with a little imported help...). The        our accommodation and we have the use of the
crossing to the idyllic island of Moorea, where we           eclipse starts at around 7.0 in the morning and after        showers and toilets. Other than that we will be
stay at the luxurious Moorea Pearl Resort. Although          the event your charter flight will return you to Tahiti for   taking in our own rations and water so dining will
just 1km from the island of Tahiti, this volcanic           a final night on the island at the Manava Resort.             not be a highlight. In return for the inconvenience,
island has spectacular scenery with steep eroded                                                                           you will be one of just 0 people enjoying almost
cliffs soaring up to 1,00m and endless white sand                        Eclipse times for Anaa                           the longest eclipse duration of any island in
beaches. We have three nights on this beautiful                             1st contact 07.19.08                           Polynesia.
island before returning to Tahiti to join our flight to
                                                                            nd contact 08..                                     Eclipse times for Hikueru
the eclipse observation site.
We have arranged two special charter flights to                             rd contact 08.5.5                                         1st contact 07..10
observe the event, the first is to Anaa about one                           th contact 10.00.0                                         nd contact 08.7.0
                                                                                                                                         rd contact 08.1.
   Our Experts...                                                                                                                        th contact 10.07.
   We have two special guest lecturers with us on our trip to Polynesia to observe this event, broadcasters
   and authors Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest. Heather and Nigel are always good company and their
   communication skills will be a great benefit to the party.                                                              Times for the charter flight are not yet available,
                                                                                                                           but depending on those times you will either
   Nigel Henbest is an internationally recognized                                  Heather Couper is a leading             connect with your international return flight or we
   writer and broadcaster on astronomy, space                                      international communicator
                                                                                                                           will arrange an overnight stay at an airport hotel
   and science. He was Astronomy Consultant                                        on astronomy and space.
   to New Scientist magazine and Editor of the                                     She studied astrophysics                in Papeete (additional cost).
   Journal of British Astronomical Association. A                                  at Leicester and Oxford
                           prolific author, (Nigel                                 Universities and went on to run
                           is also an award-                                       the Greenwich Planetarium.
                           winning TV producer                                     After presenting two TV series
                           and scriptwriter                                        for Channel  Heather was
                           and runs Pioneer            the producer of Universe and of the international award-
                           Productions, bridging       winning programme Electric Skies – the classic film on
                           the arts and sciences       lightning. Having left Pioneer to concentrate on a wider
                           and specializing in         range of ventures, she divides her time between writing
                           factual and scientific      and broadcasting, she has presented many radio and
                           programming.                television programmes including a profile of Stephen
                                                       Hawking for BBC Television.

                                                           Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                        email:                                   7
                                                                             Manava Suite Resort

                                                                             Manava Suite Resort

Moorea Pearl Resort
Accommodation will be in the Garden Bungalows
at the resort. Upgrade to Garden Bungalow with
private pool is available for an additional £169 per
person or an Overwater Bungalow for £9 per
For additional information on the resort please see                    Moorea Pearl Resort   Moorea Pearl Resort

Moorea extension
Enjoy an additional two nights on this spectacular
£242 per person (twin share), room and buffet
breakfast only.

Manava Suite Resort
A new hotel with a private beach on Tahiti,
just 10 minutes from the centre of Papeete.
More details on http://manavasuiteresorttahiti.

Tahiti extension
Four extra nights at the Manava Resort giving
additional time to explore the main island of French
£436 (twin share, single supplement £396),
room and buffet breakfast only.


Los Angeles stopover

Mount Wilson Observatory
Fly out earlier and enjoy a three day stopover in
Los Angeles, with a tour of the highlights of this
vibrant city plus a trip up the spectacular Angeles
Crest Highway to visit the historic Mount Wilson
Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Stopover price £349 (3 days) per person
(twin share)
Includes airport transfers, three nights’
accommodation in the stylish Figueroa Hotel in
downtown LA (room only), half day tour of the city
and a visit to Mount Wilson Observatory.

New Zealand tour
After the eclipse, fly on to Auckland, the New
Zealand capital and join a seven day tour of
the scenic highlights of New Zealand.
£1,100 per person (twin share). Includes onward
flights from Tahiti, private charter coach travel, all
accommodation with breakfast. Full itinerary will
be available shortly.
                                                          Fix your own flights?                                 best weather prospects, but land-based sites are
New Zealand fly drive                                     If you wish to arrange your own flights to
                                                                                                                scarce... Mangaia and Easter Island are the largest
Fly down from Tahiti and enjoy your own tour                                                                    islands in the track, with more-or-less the same
                                                          Papeete, the price for the base programme
of this beautiful country.                                                                                      chances of sunshine – about 50%. If observing
                                                          without international flights will be £1,98
Price £217 per person (based on 2 people)                                                                       requirements dictate solid ground, then the choice
                                                          or US$,69 (subject to exchange rate
                                                                                                                is among one of these or the few reachable islands
Includes onward flights plus 7 days car hire.             movements, we will confirm on request).
                                                                                                                in the Tuamotus (French Polynesia). Easter Island
                                                                                                                has, by far, the most developed infrastructure and
Round the World options                                   Weather prospects for the eclipse                     the most convenient travel, but the small French
Various options taking advantage of “round                The following summary is taken from the definitive    Polynesian atolls offer the best weather.”
the world” air tickets can be used to include             analysis published by NASA as part of their
tailor-made stopovers in the Far East, please             work in assisting observations of solar eclipses      from NASA’s Annular and Total Solar Eclipses of
call for information on this.                             – “French Polynesia is the clear-cut choice for the   2010, Espenak & Anderson 2008.

                                                         Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                 email:                             9
Astronomy Notes
2009 Geminid Meteor Shower                                  show that bright Geminids become more numerous
                                                            some hours after the rates have peaked, a result of
Currently the most active of the regular annual showers,
                                                            particle-sorting in the meteor stream. The absence
with rates outstripping those of even the Perseids for
                                                            of a moon in the sky makes this an even more
a -hour interval centred on their 1/1 December
                                                            favourable occasion to view these meteors, with a New
maximum, the Geminids are a real treat for observers
                                                            Moon just three days away from the peak (Dec 16).
prepared to brave the winter cold (or to travel to warmer
                                                            Edited from an article courtesy of British Astronomical
locations...)! Unusual in being associated with an
                                                            Association -
asteroid - (00) Phaethon - rather than a comet, the
shower has grown in intensity since the 1980s as a result
of the meteor stream orbit being dragged gradually
                                                            Observing the 2010 Annular Solar
outwards across that of the Earth. A consequence is         Eclipse from the Edge
that we currently encounter the most densely-populated      For most people who travel to see solar eclipses, the
parts of the meteor stream.                                 intent will be to observe from at or near the “centre line”
Geminid meteors enter the atmosphere at a relatively        of the shadow track. For an annular eclipse however a
slow 5 km/sec, and thanks to their robust (presumably      better choice can be to travel to the edge of the track,
rocky/asteroidal as opposed to dusty/cometary) nature       and this is what we shall do in 010. Baily’s Beads are
tend to last longer than most in luminous flight. Unlike    numerous, tiny points of light that pop up as the irregular
swift Perseid or Orionid meteors, which last only           shape of the moon moves tangentially across the solar
a couple of tenths of a second, Geminids may be             disc. At the time of central eclipse, bits of sunlight peek
visible for a second or longer, sometimes appearing         in and out of the darkened lunar valleys at the polar
to fragment into a train of ‘blobs’. Their low speed and    regions. For those stationed near the projection of either
abundance of bright events makes the Geminids a             lunar pole onto the Earth, a prolonged enjoyment of the
prime photographic target.                                  beads can be had. Baily’s Beads are only seen for a few
At our location in the desert, the radiant rises shortly    seconds at the centreline; but from the graze zone the
before sunset and activity is expected to peak around       beads can be seen for perhaps a full minute or more,
.00 (local time) on Dec 1. The maximum is broad,         depending on the length of the eclipse, as they form,
however, and observations should be productive even         merge, dissipate and shift along the edge of one limb of
ahead of the peak. The following evening of Dec 1/15       the moon. The detail seen can be incredible.
is also likely to be graced with high Geminid activity,
with the added bonus of an increased proportional           The Total Eclipse Experience                                  create a thousand small arcs of light. The temperature
abundance of bright events. Past observations               A total eclipse of the Sun is visible from a very small       only drops a degree or two, but there is a sense of chill
                                                            strip on the Earth’s surface, lasting only for a few          in the air as the radiant heat from the Sun is cut off. A
                                                            minutes once every eighteen months or so. Unless you          blue sky has turned to a pale morning grey and bright
                                                            are exceptionally lucky, you are almost certainly going       planets have reappeared. The last couple of minutes
                                                            to have to travel away from home to see this event.           before totality race through at top speed as the moon’s
                                                            Success in observing the eclipse is going to require          shadow hurtles towards you. The sun is reduced to a
                                                            a mix of detailed research and as far as the weather          single searing point of brightness and as this final point
                                                            goes an element of good luck. First of all plot the track     is extinguished, bright beads remain momentarily along
                                                            the shadow will follow, then look at the climate data         the edge as the sunlight shines through the valleys on
                                                            along the track for that time of year. The eclipse will be    the moon. Suddenly the brightness is gone, leaving a
                                                            of shorter duration if your observation point is towards      jet black disk of the moon clothed in the flowing robes
                                                            either end of the track, but it is better to sacrifice some   of the solar corona and surrounded by the delicate red
                                                            duration in favour of better prospects of a clear sky.        rim of the chromosphere. Crimson licks of prominences
                                                            On the day of the eclipse the observation starts with         reach out from the rim and as your eyes become
                                                            “first contact”, when the edge of the moon first touches      accustomed to the dark, the fine structure of the corona
                                                            the edge of the Sun. At this stage you will need a special    becomes visible. There is an unearthly red glow around
                                                            viewer to look at the Sun as a curved ‘bite’ is taken from    the horizon and a sense of a large dark shadow looming
                                                            one side. The light level gradually goes down, but at         above. The time of totality ticks by, then a few flickers of
                                                            the same time your eyes adapt to the changes so the           bright beads on the edge of the dark disk herald the end
                                                            change remains almost unnoticed until the eclipse             of the performance. The burst of light which shocks your
                                                            is well advanced. The landscape is drained of colour          dark adjusted vision is the final climax. Always expected
                                                            and shadows sharpen as the Sun is reduced to a                but always a surprise: sunlight returns, colour and
                                                            bright crescent and eventually a single point. Look at        warmth are restored and everything is back to normal.
                                                            the shadows under a tree and you will see the leaves          Until next time...


Terms and Conditions
                                                                                                                                        originally booked, in the case of tours, a significant change or deletion of a major part of the itinerary, where we have arranged
                                                                                                                                        your holiday for a specific purpose (e.g. diving), inability to carry out that purpose for an extended period during the holiday, for
                                                                                                                                        stays at particular accommodation for five nights or more, the withdrawal of the only or all advertised swimming pool(s) for an
                                                                                                                                        extended period. All other changes are treated as minor changes. Where known, minor changes will be shown on your Final
                                                                                                                                        Itinerary which will be sent to you with your travel documents about two weeks before departure. In the event of a significant
Your Financial Protection                                                                                                               change, we will advise you as soon as possible and give you the choice of:- (a) accepting the changed arrangements as notified
When you buy an ATOL protected air package or flight from us you will receive a confirmation invoice from us (or via our                to you; or (b) purchasing different arrangements from us, of at least the same standard if available (with you paying or receiving
authorised agent through which you booked) confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s            a refund in respect of any price difference); or (c) cancelling your arrangements and receiving a full refund of all monies paid to
Licence number 910. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will             us. If we have to make a significant change within 56 days of departure, we will in addition pay you compensation in accordance
arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information visit the ATOL website at               with the scale set out below (providing we have received full payment from you) except where the change is made as a result of                                                                                                                        unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which we could not have avoided even with
The price of your holiday includes the amount of £1 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the          all due care. Such circumstances may include those amounting to “force majeure” as set out in clause 10 below. Compensation
CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices and will be shown separately on your confirmation invoice.                        is not payable in the case of minor changes. Minor changes further do not entitle you to cancel or change to another holiday
                                                                                                                                        without paying our normal charges. In all cases, our liability is limited to the payments set out in the scale below and we cannot
Terms and Conditions                                                                                                                    be responsible for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any change.
Astro-Expeditions is a trading name of Sportif International Ltd. and this contract is for the provision of travel arrangements on
the Astro-Expeditions programme. Please read these booking conditions carefully together with the General Information section           Period before scheduled departure date within which a significant change is notified to you, and compensation per person:
contained in our brochure or on our web site as they form the basis of your contract with Sportif International Ltd. The contract
is only for the provision of travel arrangements as indicated in the tour information and does not guarantee the successful               More than 56 days              56 to  days                to 9 days               8 to 15 days               1 days or less
observation of any specified natural event.
                                                                                                                                                    Nil                      £5.00                       £0.00                      £5.00                      £50.00
All references to a “brochure” in the following terms and conditions should be read as including any information published on
our website, leaflets or any other publication by Astro-Expeditions or Sportif International Ltd.
                                                                                                                                        8. Changes after Departure
1. Booking Your Holiday and Payment
Once you have chosen your holiday arrangements, you may make a provisional reservation. We will usually hold a provisional              After departure, our Tour Director or local ground agent has the right to make any changes to arrangements which they/we
reservation for seven days. To make confirmed booking, our booking form must be completed and signed by the first named                 consider to be necessary or appropriate in the interests of the safety of any of our clients, employees or suppliers or to be
person (who must be at least 18 years of age) on behalf of all party members. The signed booking form should then be sent to            beneficial to the operation of the arrangements or desirable to overcome weather, transportation or other problems beyond our
us accompanied by the deposit shown on the booking form or full payment if booking twelve weeks or less before departure.               immediate control or that of our suppliers, or if changes are required at any time by government agencies or organisations or
Bookings made by telephone, over the Internet, by email or any other electronic medium shall have the same effect as if they            other official bodies. We do not control the day to day management of your accommodation. Particular hotels may only be used
had been made as above. In addition, all applicable insurance premiums should be paid at the time of booking if you wish                infrequently. It is possible that we may be advised that your reserved accommodation is not available after you have departed on
to purchase the insurance we offer (see clause 18 and insurance details). We will confirm your chosen arrangements and                  holiday. If this occurs, we will endeavour to provide accommodation of at least the same standard in the same area.
acknowledge your payment by sending you a confirmation of your booking. Please check this confirmation together with all                9. Cancellation by Us
other documents sent to you carefully to ensure they fully accord with your instructions. If you have any queries, you must advise      Occasionally, it may be necessary to cancel previously confirmed arrangements which we reserve the right to do. Where your
us immediately. Fourteen weeks prior to your departure we will send you a final invoice showing the outstanding balance due to          arrangements are cancelled other than due to your default in payment, we will offer you the choice of either purchasing alternative
us (unless full payment has already been made), this balance must be received by us no later than 8 days (twelve weeks) prior          arrangements from us, of at least the same standard if available (with you paying or receiving a refund in respect of any price
to departure. If for any reason the balance is not received by us in full by the due date, we reserve the right to treat your booking   difference) or receiving a full and immediate refund of all monies paid to us. Except where you fail to make payment in full and
as cancelled by you so that the fees set out in clause 6 will be payable.                                                               on time, we will not cancel less than eight weeks before departure unless we are forced to do so as a result of “force majeure”
2. Your Contract                                                                                                                        as defined in clause 10 below. We regret no compensation will be payable if we cancel eight weeks or more before departure
A binding contract between us will come into existence when we issue our Confirmation of your booking. These booking                    for any reason or less than eight weeks before departure as a result of unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our
conditions form the basis of that contract. They may only be varied by a director of Sportif International Limited in writing. Your     control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even with all due care. Very rarely, we may be forced to curtail
contract is governed by English law and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.                    your arrangements after the date of departure where circumstances amounting to “force majeure” as defined in clause 10 below
                                                                                                                                        occur. In this very unusual situation, we regret we cannot make any refunds (except where these are obtained from the relevant
3. Prices                                                                                                                               supplier(s)), pay any compensation or be responsible for any costs or expenses you may incur as a result.
We reserve the right to make changes to and correct errors in advertised prices at any time before your holiday is confirmed. We
will advise you of any error of which we are aware and of the then applicable price at the time of booking.                             10. Force Majeure
                                                                                                                                        Except where otherwise expressly stated in these booking conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any
4. Price Guarantee & Brochure Accuracy                                                                                                  compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented or affected by or you
Please note, the information and prices shown in this brochure may have changed by the time you come to book your holiday.              otherwise suffer any damage or loss (as more fully described in clause 11 (1) below) as a result of “force majeure” Force majeure
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the brochure and prices at the time of publication, regrettably errors do         includes any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid such
occasionally occur. The brochure price is based on air fares and fuel costs at the date of costing, however these may change            as war or threat of war, civil strife, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire, terrorist activity,
during the currency of the brochure. You must therefore ensure you check all details of your chosen holiday (including the price)       governmental action and all similar circumstances beyond our control.
with us at the time of booking. We will confirm the price to you when you make your reservation and if you pay this price in full
at the time of making your reservation it will be guaranteed against any further changes. If you pay a deposit only at the time         11. Liability
of your reservation, the price of your holiday will be subject to any increase incurred by us as a result of currency exchange          (1)We promise to make sure that all parts of the holiday we have agreed to arrange, perform or provide as part of our contract
rate changes, fuel price increase or other factors affecting the direct cost of your holiday. In the event of such increases we will    with you are arranged, performed or provided with reasonable skill and care. We will accept responsibility if any death, personal
accept the first % of the costs and the balance will be charged to your account. If such change results in an increase of more         injury, failure or deficiency of your holiday arrangements is caused by any failure by ourselves or our employees (providing they
than 10% of the total price of your holiday (including any excursions or extensions), you will have the option of accepting the         were at the time acting within the course of their employment) or our agents or suppliers (as applicable) to use reasonable skill
increase or cancelling the holiday and receiving a full refund. This brochure is our sole responsibility. It not issued on behalf of    and care in performing or providing the service in question. Please note it is your responsibility to show that reasonable skill and
and does not commit any independent organisation/carriers whose services are featured in it.                                            care has not been used if you wish to make a claim. We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (for example
                                                                                                                                        loss of enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the
5. Amendment by You                                                                                                                     following: - (a) the fault of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party or (b) the fault of a third party not connected
Should you wish to make any changes to your booking after it has been confirmed, please advise us as soon as possible in                with the provision of your holiday which we could not have predicted or avoided or (c) an event or circumstance which we or
writing. We will endeavour to assist although we cannot guarantee that requests for amendment can always be met. Where                  the supplier of the service(s) in question could not have predicted or avoided even after taking all reasonable care (see clause
an amendment can be made, a fee of £5 per booking per amendment will be charged together with any costs or charges                     10) (d) the fault of anyone who is not carrying out work for us (generally or in particular) at the time. In addition, we will not be
incurred by us or incurred or levied by our suppliers. An amendment constitutes a change to the existing booking. A request             responsible where you do not enjoy your holiday or suffer any problems because of a reason you did not tell us about when
to transfer to another holiday or to other arrangements will be treated as a cancellation incurring the cancellation fees set out       you booked your holiday or where any problems you suffer did not result from any breach of our contract or other fault of
in clause 6. Where you or a member of your party is prevented from travelling (e.g. as a result of personal illness/injury, the         ourselves or, where we were responsible for them, our suppliers or agents or where any losses, expenses, costs or other sum
serious illness or injury of a close family relative, jury service or unavoidable work commitments) the person concerned may            you have suffered relate to any business. Please note, we cannot accept responsibility for any services which do not form part
transfer their booking to another qualified person, providing we are notified of the need to transfer not less than 8 days prior       of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which your hotel or any other supplier agrees to
to departure. An amendment fee of £5 will be payable together with any costs or charges incurred by us or incurred or levied           provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised in our brochure and we have not agreed to arrange them and
by our suppliers to effect the transfer.                                                                                                any excursion you purchase in resort.
6. Cancellation by You                                                                                                                  ()The promises we make to you about the services we have agreed to provide or arrange as part of our contract - and the laws
You have an option to cancel your holiday arrangements which must be exercised in writing. The fees for the exercise of this            and regulations of the country in which your claim or complaint occurred - will be used as the basis for deciding whether the
option are shown below. Notice of exercise of your option to cancel should be sent to us by Recorded Delivery. No refunds               services in question had been properly provided. If the particular services which gave rise to the claim or complaint complied with
can be made for any part or parts of any holiday, tour, excursions or other arrangements cancelled on or after your scheduled           local laws and regulations applicable to those services at the time, the services will be treated as having been properly provided.
departure date or not utilised by you. Period before departure within which written notification of cancellation is received by us      This will be the case even if the services did not comply with the laws and regulations of the UK which would have applied had
and the applicable fees:                                                                                                                those services been provided in the UK. The exception to this is where the claim or complaint concerns the absence of a safety
More than 85 days a sum equal to deposit paid                                                                                           feature which might lead a reasonable holiday maker to refuse to take the holiday in question.
8 to 5 days 70% of total cost                                                                                                         ()We limit the maximum amount we may have to pay you for any and all claims or parts of claims which do not involve personal
 days to 1 days 90% of total cost                                                                                                    injury, illness or death. Except where loss of and/or damage to luggage or personal possessions is concerned or a lower
1 days or less 100% of total cost                                                                                                      limitation of liability applies to your claim, the maximum amount we will have to pay you for such non personal injury claims if we
Total cost means the total cost of the cancelled arrangements excluding insurance premiums and any amendment charges                    are found liable to you on any basis is twice the price (excluding insurance premiums and amendment charges) paid by or on
which are non refundable in the event of your cancellation. Depending on the reason for your cancellation, you may be able to           behalf of the person(s) affected in total. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you
claim a refund of the above fees from your insurance company if you have taken out an appropriate travel insurance policy.              have not received any benefit at all from your holiday. Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or
                                                                                                                                        personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is £50 per person affected as you are
7. Changes by Us
                                                                                                                                        assumed to have taken out adequate insurance at the time of booking. Please also see clause 11() below.
We reserve the right to make changes to your booked arrangements and our brochure at any time both before and after
bookings have been confirmed. Most changes will be minor ones. Occasionally, it is necessary to make a significant change.              ()Where any claim or part of a claim concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on
A significant change is one made before departure involving a change of outward or return international flight time by 1               and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, rail or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, the maximum amount
hours or more, a change of UK departure airport to one which is more inconvenient for you (except as between Heathrow and               of compensation we will have to pay you will be limited. The most we will have to pay you for that claim or that part of a claim
Gatwick and vice versa), a change of accommodation where specific identified accommodation has been booked (except in                   if we are found liable to you on any basis is the most the carrier or hotel keeper concerned would have to pay under the
the case of one or two night stays), a change of accommodation for the whole or a significant part of the holiday to that of a          international convention or regulation which applies to the travel arrangements or hotel stay in question (for example, the Warsaw
lower standard or which is lacking important advertised features or is located in a different resort in all cases to that which was     Convention as amended for international travel by air and/or for airlines with an operating licence granted by an EU country, the

                                                                                          Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                                              email:                                                                             11

EU Regulation on Air Carrier Liability for national and international travel by air, the Athens convention for international travel by          services are used in the course of any tour or other arrangements.
sea). When making any payment, we are entitled to deduct any money which you have received or are entitled to receive from the                  14. Delays
transport provider or hotelier for the complaint or claim in question.                                                                          Unfortunately, delays in transportation (e.g. flights) can sometimes occur. We regret we cannot accept any liability in relation
(5) This clause 11 is intended to set out our obligations to you as a tour operator/organiser in the light of the Package Travel,               to any delays which are beyond our control or any expenses or losses you incur as a result. Depending upon terms of any
Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 199. Please note, we regret we cannot make any payment to you or any                            insurance policy you have taken out, you may be able to seek reimbursement of any such expenses or losses together with
member of your party if the person concerned is not entitled to one from us under these Regulations. You must provide ourselves                 compensation for the delay from the insurance company. We do not accept liability for loss of earnings or consequential
and our insurers with all assistance we may reasonably require. If asked to do so, you must transfer to us or our insurers any rights           business losses resulting from any delay and you should take out an appropriate insurance policy to cover such losses. In
you have against the supplier or whoever else is responsible for your claim or complaint (if the person concerned is under 18,                  the event of your outward or return international flight being delayed, we will endeavour to arrange for the airline to provide
their parent or guardian must do so). You must also agree to cooperate fully with us and our insurers if we or our insurers want to             appropriate refreshments if possible.
enforce any rights which are transferred. It is a condition of our acceptance of liability as set out in this clause that you fully comply      15. Conditions of Suppliers
with our complaints procedure, as set out in clause 1 below.                                                                                   In respect of all services, the conditions of the supplier concerned (e.g. airline, coach operator, hotelier or other provider)
(6) If you or any member of your party suffers illness, injury or death, through misadventure, as a result of an activity which does            will apply. Such conditions will often limit the supplier’s liability to you usually in accordance with applicable international
not form part of your contracted holiday arrangements, we will provide you with all reasonable assistance. All assistance (financial            conventions. Copies of these conditions are available from the suppliers concerned direct.
or otherwise) is subject to our reasonable discretion and a maximum total cost to ourselves of £5,000 per booking form. If you are              16. Pre-Departure Contact
entitled to have any costs and expenses arising from such an incident met by or from any insurance policy or if you obtain a costs              It is essential to ensure you provide us with a telephone number or address where you can be reached up to  hours prior to
order against anyone in relation to the incident, you must repay to us the costs and expenses we spend in assisting you.                        your departure in the event of late changes or other problems.
(7) Higher risk activities - Certain activities (e.g. trekking, diving, rafting etc) are of their very nature dangerous and carry a greater     17. Special Requests
risk of personal injury and death. Such risks are compounded by the fact you may be participating in these activities in remote                 If you have any special requests, please ensure you notify us in writing at the time of booking. We will endeavour to pass such
areas where even limited medical assistance may be some considerable distance and time away. It is your responsibility to ensure                requests on to the supplier(s) concerned. We regret however that we cannot guarantee special requests will be met and failure
you and all members of your party are medically fit to engage in any particular activity. Certain activities (e.g. diving) have particular      to do so will not be a breach of contract on our part. Confirmation that a special request has been noted or passed on to the
medical, training or other requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you are familiar and comply with those requirements.               supplier or the inclusion of the special request on your confirmation invoice or any other documentation is not confirmation
In agreeing to these terms, you acknowledge and accept the risks inevitably associated, both directly and indirectly, with higher               that the request will be met.
risk activities and that we cannot accept responsibility if any such risks materialise and you suffer death, personal injury, loss or
damage as a result. If you are in any doubt as to possible risks, you should consult our staff before booking. You must ensure that             18. Insurance
any insurance policy you take out covers you in relation to higher risk activities.                                                             It is a condition of our accepting your booking that you take out adequate travel insurance for the whole period of your
                                                                                                                                                holiday. Details of the policy we offer are shown in this brochure. We do not accept liability for any losses suffered by yourself
(8) Special events, visits, observation programmes, exhibitions, excursions and facilities - All special events, visits, observation            or your party as a result of your being uninsured or under-insured. Insurance cover will only be effective when your premium
programmes, exhibitions, excursions and facilities referred to in our literature are shown in good faith and will, to the best of our           has been paid. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. We do not check alternative
belief be available. However, we do not control or arrange such matters. Where any special event, visit, observation programme,                 insurance policies
exhibition or facility which forms a significant part of your confirmed holiday arrangements becomes unavailable, is disrupted by
weather or other causes, cannot be provided or is not to take place for any reason, we will advise you before departure if possible.            19. Passport, Visa and Health Requirements
The provisions of clause 7 will then apply. Unfortunately, we may be unaware of such non availability prior to departure or may be              It is the party leader’s responsibility to ensure that all members of your party have all necessary passports, visas and health/
unable to inform you of this prior to departure. In this event, the rest of the holiday arrangements will be provided as booked and             vaccination certificates for your holiday prior to departure. Requirements may change and you must check the up to date
we will refund the direct cost of the event etc in question (together with the cost of any local transportation where applicable). Our          position in good time before departure. We cannot accept any responsibility if you are denied entry into any country or on to
liability in this situation will be limited to such refunds.                                                                                    any flight due to inadequate travel documentation. Any costs or expenses incurred as a result will be your responsibility.
12. Complaints/claims                                                                                                                           A full British passport currently takes up to six weeks to obtain. Such requirements do change from time to time and you should
If you are unhappy about any aspect of your arrangements, you must inform our tour escort or ground agents together with the                    accordingly check the up to date position in good time before departure. If you or any member of your party is not a British
supplier of the service concerned immediately. You must make every effort to bring problems to the attention of ourselves and the               citizen or holds a non-British passport, you must check passport and visa requirements with the Embassy or Consulate of the
supplier so that they can be resolved during your holiday and to mitigate any losses, expenses or costs you incur. Once we and                  countries to or through which you are intending to travel. If failure to have the necessary travel or other documents results in
the supplier concerned are aware of the problem, everything reasonably possible will be done to quickly resolve it. If you remain               fines or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly.
dissatisfied, you must write to us giving full details of your complaint within 9 days of your return to the UK (e mail messages               20. Behaviour
are not acceptable in this context). We regret we cannot accept liability in relation to any complaint which is not notified entirely           We, the tour director and any other person in authority (e.g. airline pilot or accommodation manager) has the right to
in accordance with this clause.                                                                                                                 terminate the holiday arrangements of any person whose behaviour, in our opinion or that of the person in authority, does or
13. Air Travel                                                                                                                                  is likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to themselves or any of our other clients, employees or any third party or to
At the time of publication, we are not in a position to confirm the airlines, aircraft types and/or airports of destination which will          cause damage to property. In this event, our responsibility for the person concerned (including any continuing/return travel
be used in connection with your holiday arrangements. Where this information is provided prior to departure (as will usually be                 arrangements) will immediately cease and we will not be liable to meet any expenses or costs incurred as a result, make any
the case) a subsequent change at any stage will be treated as a minor change and will not entitle you to cancel without paying                  refund or pay any compensation.
the normal cancellation fee. All flight times shown in our brochure or given on booking are subject to change. Please ensure                    Programme Costing Date 9th June 009.
you carefully check all travel documentation and information relating to your arrangements as soon as it is received by you. This
                                                                                                                                                Exchange rates £1 = US$1.6 1.16
brochure is our responsibility. It is not issued on behalf of and does not commit any airlines mentioned in it or an airline whose

       About Us
       Astro-Expeditions is a section of Sportif International, a
       specialist tour operator established for over 27 years and
                                                                                                                                              Future Tours
       for this programme we have the services of Brian McGee                                                                                 Make sure you keep an eye out for our future trips.
       as project manager. Brian first observed an eclipse from
       Kenya in 1980 and since that time as managing director of                                                                                                 May 2012              Annular Eclipse – Zion National Park Utah
       Explorers Tours he organised groups for almost every total                                                                                               June 2012              Venus Transit – Hawaii
       solar eclipse and many other astronomical events. His record                                                                                    November 2012                   Total Eclipse – Northern Australia
       of picking the right locations for observation and managing                                                                                     November 2013                   Total (Hybrid) Eclipse – Murchison Falls Uganda
       the travel logistics is unsurpassed in this very specialist
                                                                                                                                                             March 2015                Total Eclipse – Svalbard
       field. While the astronomy project
       is the main object of the trip, the                                                                                                                   March 2016                Total Eclipse – Sulawesi
       opportunity to visit the sights of                                                                                                                February 2017                 Annular Eclipse – Zambia
       the country and combine the                                                                                                                               July 2017             Total Eclipse – Yellowstone National Park
       event with an exciting holiday
                                                                                                                                                                 July 2019             Total Eclipse – Atacama Desert Chile
       should not be missed and again
       Brian’s extensive experience                                                                                                                    December 2019                   Annular Eclipse – India
       in general travel management                                                                                                                             June 2020              Annular Eclipse – Rajasthan
       enables us to offer the best                                                                                                                December 2020                       Total Eclipse – Atacama Desert Chile
       choice of programmes.
                                                                                                                                              Observatories Tours                      N & S America/Canary Islands

       A Booking Form is available on line at or please phone & we will hold your place and send a copy.

                                                                                                          Tel: +44 (0)203 195 7379                                               email:

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