Astronomy Tours to worldwide destinations since 1980.
Mark, my wife and I were with you for the 2019 Total Solar Eclipse in Chile (fantastic!!!) and we are wondering if you have anything in place for the April 2024 Total Eclipse? You guys are so classy and you are our choice to do the planning. I believe Mexico may have the best viewing conditions but we feel we need to be on a scheduled tour if we decide to go there so you are our choice to supply the comfort and security we need. Thank you!! Roy
Each eclipse presents a new venue, a new experience and an unforgettable journey for our travelers. A specialty of A Classic Tours Collection, our Solar Eclipse Tours amaze and delight travelers looking for an out-of-this-world experience. Our tours enjoy loyal following because of our success ratio for viewing Eclipses and careful planning and attention to detail in crafting and operating such unique tours. Each venue is hand selected keeping in mind the weather conditions/ predictions by experts (Jay Anderson), Eclipse routes/maps by (Xavier Jubier), NASA bulletins to ensure maximum success.
With A Classic Tours Collection, you enjoy a worry-free travel experience, because we look after all the options, spend time in research, planning and logistics. On each tour, we find the perfect balance of high-quality accommodations, great eclipse viewing venue, sampling local cuisines and comfortable transport to travel and sightsee. We select expert local guides, best in the industry, and our local representative’s open doors to venues, sights and events that in many cases would be inaccessible to independent travelers. You will be traveling with fellow travelers who share the same enthusiasm, deep passion and respect of local cultures and Mother Nature.
TOUR BOOKING PROCEDURE:
WE ARE ACCEPTING `BOOKINGS WITHOUT DEPOSIT’ ON ALL ASTRONOMY TOURS–Once the tour prices are finalized, you will be contacted with deposit requirements. You will have 15 days to accept, Change or cancel your booking.
FRIENDLY TOUR – TERMS AND CONDITIONS:We will be offering most traveler-friendly terms for our land tours. Travelers who were grounded by the pandemic too often found themselves on the losing end of stringent cancellation policies. Our goal is to provide lenient terms and lesser penalties.
Eclipse Sunrise Flight & Tours of Chile & Argentina
In this year of extreme challenges, I felt that Mark Sood of A Classic Tours Collection did a commendable job of pulling off a fine trip to Argentina and Chile, especially to the Patagonian regions of both countries. The limited number of domestic flights in both countries during the pandemic forced us to spend more than normal amounts of our time in the air, which was challenging. However, I feel that the quality of our experience did make up for this. In Argentina, we were treated to an outstanding tango performance in Buenos Aires. There was a memorable excursion to Iguazu falls, with its tropical vegetation and birds, most notably the toucans. Other highlights of the trip included visiting the Paleontological Museum and laboratory in Trelew, where our host was one of the principal investigators., whale-watching in Puerto Pirámides, observing sea lions and elephant seals, viewing Magellanic penguins and their chicks up close, traveling to Ushuaia in Tierra de Fuego with its amazing birding opportunities and taking in the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate.
Once in Chile, we were able to enjoy the city of Santiago before heading to Punta Arenas in the extreme south of the country. We visited an estancia for a delicious lamb barbeque. The meal was followed by a visit to a nearby condor nesting area, where many adolescent condors were nestled in cliffside aeries. The icing on the cake was the eclipse flight we took from Punta Arenas out over the southern Atlantic to observe a total solar eclipse. It was an awe-inspiring experience that I will long remember. My hat is off to Mark, and also to the very skilled local guides and support professionals on the ground in both Argentina and Chile. I would recommend Classic Tours to anyone interested in nature and astronomy! – Deborah van Hecke
“The Tour was amazing ” – Roslyn Scheer
Mark – As for the tour , I can hardly digest the amount of incredible experiences I saw day after day. Yes it was grueling but south America is so big it was the only way to take advantage of the richness. I think it would have been easier with what should have been that direct flight from Trelew to Ushuaia and land border to Chile. But you always responded with plan B.
But any way you look at this it was a trip of a lifetime. – Best, Suzie Clark
HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE SUCCESS : ” With borders closing and various travel restrictions, we still managed to see December 4th eclipse and that’s already a blessing”. In the end those two flights were mostly a great success. So yes all this was highly stressful and yet well worth it. – Xavier Jubeir.
On April 8, 2024, plants, animals and humans across North America will encounter a celestial experience like no other: ‘A TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE’. People on the Earth will experience two total solar eclipses from 2021 to 2023, but the April 2024 event will be the first to pass through the United States since the 2017 Great American Eclipse.
The 2024 eclipse first makes land on the Pacific coast of Sinaloa, Mexico, with the beautiful coastal town of Mazatlan just north of the center-line. While April is typically a rainy month in North America, so weather will be a major issue for those wanting to observe the eclipse. The best options appear to be in Mexico or Texas based on general climate statistics and decades of space imaging of clouds. We selected to travel to Mexico where the totality duration is longer and the weather prospects are much better even than in Texas.
MEXICO’S landscape has been blessed with every imaginable kind of natural feature, from dry and hot deserts to tropical white-sand beaches, from high plains to exotic jungles in the mountains. Explore narrow cobbled streets and discover architectural treasures hidden behind high brick and stone walls in Mexico’s colonial Highland. In addition to many natural wonders—volcanoes, canyons, lakes, deserts, jungles, mountains, and pristine landscapes—archeology buffs will find numerous Maya and Aztec ruins to stay busy for a lifetime. A visit to Teotihuacán near Mexico City, Cobá and Chichén Itzá in Yucatán, or Palenque, close to the Guatemalan border, are sure to make your travels in Mexico unforgettable.
GUATEMALA is home to volcanoes, rainforests, and ancient Mayan sites. The capital, Guatemala City, features the stately National Palace of Culture and the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Antigua, west of the capital, contains preserved Spanish colonial buildings. Lake Atitlán, formed in a massive volcanic crater, is surrounded by coffee fields and villages. The dizzying pyramids of Tikal are Guatemala’s most famous places to visit. The Spanish left behind plenty of footprints from their colonial conquest of Guatemala.
Oct. 14, 2023: America’s Southwest & Mexico Tour options
Experience the best that New Mexico and Arizona offer– from magnificent natural scenery to cultural history and fine Southwestern cuisine. We have chosen Albuquerque as our base to see the Eclipse and combined it with Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air ballooning event in the world and is said to be the most photographed event on earth!
3 tour options – 9, 11 or 14 days visiting: Albuquerque, Taos, Santa Fe, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon & Las Vegas
One of the hotspots for the 2023 annular solar eclipse will be the Mayan temple of Edzná in the Yucatán peninsula where a “ring of fire” will reign for 4 minutes 31 seconds while very high in the sky at 61°.”
(Pictures of our first Astronomy tour & start of Mark & Jay partnership)
Note from Journal of Birla Planetarium, Calcutta: published in 1980 (Editorial)
The foreign scientists had flown quite a few thousand miles and positioned themselves to take maximum advantage of this total solar eclipse which on the Indian scene had a maximum totality of 2m-52s in the Western coast. One observatory of our country had the unique privilege of being straight away under the path of totality and that was the Japal-Rangapur observatory of the Osmania University Hyderabad, India. Which is where our group observed the eclipse from.
FREE AUDIO SETS: IDEAL FOR POST COVID 19 TRAVEL TO MAINTAIN SAFE DISTANCE ON ALL ASTRONOMY TOURS– Our aim is to improve the conditions in which guided tours are conducted, meet WHO health requirements & safeguard health of our guests. There is no need to bunch around the tour guide to hear the commentary. Group members can spread out, take photos, or linger in front of particular exhibits without missing a word.
COVID-19: Important Update from A Classic Tours Collection
Watch videos of our Solar Eclipse tours
2019 – CHILE
2015- SVALBARD- NORWAY
2017 Eclipse over America- By NOVA
Featuring Professor Jay Pasachoff,our tour & eclipse viewing site – Salem, Oregon
View the eclipse with world-renowned Astronomy expert
Prof. Jay Pasachoff
Field Memorial Professor and Director of the
Hopkins Observatory at Williams College.
Prof. Pasachoff is also Chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses. He is the co-author of “The Sun (2017),” “The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium (2014),” “Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun (2014),” and of “The Solar Corona (2010).” His “Peterson Field Guide to the Stars and Planets” is widely used by the general public as well as the amateur astronomy community. 2019 will be his 71st eclipse observation trip.
To learn more about Prof. Pasachoff and his study of eclipses, check-
Tours are led by Mark Sood of A Classic Tours Collection
Mark Madhukar Sood has been organizing and leading tours to worldwide destinations for many years. His first eclipse group tour was in 1980 and he is proud to be hosting his 18th Total Solar Eclipse group tour in 2020. Mark’s meticulous planning and expert handling of every detail have resulted in the highest level of success on all of the past 16 Solar Eclipse Tours. As a testament to the success, a large number of participants are repeat customers who anxiously await the next tour and even the next after that.
“TRAVEL TALES WITH DEBIKA”– Behind the scenes on a Solar Eclipse tour:
Mark Sood and Prof. Jay Pasachoff
Hi Mark,We were just reminded on the SEML that tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of our 1995 TSE in India. It was such a wonderful tour and always gives us great memories when we think about the places that we visited and the interesting hotels in which we stayed. ggg We were fortunate to meet you then and to travel with you since then. We are very much looking forward to March 2016 in Indonesia and to traveling with you again.
Kind regards, Joyce and David
“2019 ECLIPSE – I wanted to take a minute to compliment you on the outstanding work you did setting up the eclipse tour and viewing. I imagine the only sensation you were feeling was relief, but suffice to say, from our side, it could not have gone better. Well done.”
“I have been on 6 Total Solar Eclipse Tours with Mark Sood and his companies, beginning in 1999 in Romania. I have traveled with him to observe eclipses in Zambia, Australia (twice), Turkey, and Chile. I took my Mom on two of those trips before she died, and she loved it! If I were not satisfied with Mark’s professionalism and caring service, I would choose another company. Mark does eclipse planning with Prof. Jay Pasachoff, who has observed 70+ eclipses, many with Mark’s company since the 1990’s. Mark has always done the legwork (years in advance) to scope out and reserve the best locations for our group to observe the eclipse with minimal disruption. He always arranges very comfortable accommodations, transportation, and provisions, along with excellent tours and guides, and bends over backwards to address the needs of his clients. He makes sure you make your connections, and helps you if you don’t. When he found out my friend who can’t eat dairy would have a birthday during our Chile trip, he made sure she was presented with a delicious, beautiful vegan chocolate cake (better than Trump’s, I’m sure).