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Astronomy tours for adventurous travellers

23rd June 2010 Print

Explorers has introduced a new range of astronomy tours which are designed to help holidaymakers witness some of the most remarkable events in the celestial world.

After 25 years of specialising in solar eclipse holidays, Explorers’ upcoming guided trips will take in some of the night sky’s most extraordinary natural displays. From the Draconid Meteor Shower’s forecasted peak of hundreds of shooting stars per hour to the unadulterated stargazing bliss offered by the unspoilt Kenyan stars.

The three new astronomy tours, all accompanied by acclaimed astronomer and expedition guide Dr John Mason MBE, include:

Northern Lights tour (Iceland): With the sun’s 11 year activity cycle set to be high over the next few years, the 8-day tours are selected around the new moon to ensure dark skies to witness the Aurora Borealis. By day the group will enjoy winter activities, from snowmobiling and cross-country skiing to horse-riding and swimming in natural geothermal springs, before marvelling at the undulating colours by night. To ensure pristine conditions, the group will be based in a remote area around Lake Myvatn, just a few kilometres from the Arctic Circle, where an outdoor hot tub provides the ultimate way to take in the ‘show’. Departures 26 February and 2 March 2011. Prices from £1189pp.

Galactic Safari (Kenya): Having witnessed the Masai Mara’s world famous wildlife on daytime game drives, the combination of frequent cloudless nights and low light pollution levels provide a perfectly dark sky which ensure prime opportunities to view the centre of the Galaxy. Departures in May and June 2011.

Rain of Shooting Stars (Turkey): From vibrant Istanbul, the group will travel to the fascinating region of Cappadocia with its famous fairy chimneys. Rich in history and spectacular geology, this is an ideal location from which to view the Draconid Meteor Show and computer models suggest the 2011 display will be one of the finest for many years, with peak rates of several hundred meteors per hour. Departure 4 Oct 2011. Prices from £1299pp.

Claire Wilson, MD of Explorers, said: “When people head off on holiday there’s an assumption that the daylight hours offer the only real chances to explore. However, the reality is that clear night skies are now as endangered as many of the animals we hope to see on our travels and star-gazing - something our parents used to take for granted - has become a forgotten pleasure. The irony, of course, is that now more than ever before we are living in a star-obsessed age.

“We hope our new range of memorable astronomy holidays - accompanied by our very own ‘Galactic Ranger’ - will allow adventure travellers to continue getting the best value out of their time away, exploring the destination’s culture and natural beauty by day and before being encouraged to look up to rediscover the incredible world above us by night.”

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