1. Solar eclipse in Chile
The total solar eclipse that takes place on July 2 will be visible across parts of South America including the Coquimbo and Atacama regions of Chile. At the city of La Serena, astronomy expert Dr Stuart Clark will be on hand to lecture before and during the eclipse, which takes place around 4pm local time.
2. Milky Way over Namibia
South-west Africa’s vast desert regions are among the world’s best places to admire the night sky – if you get the timing right. During spring and autumn, the Milky Way’s constellations and star clusters can be seen especially clearly.
[Want to touch a meteorite, see stars up close? Head to Al Thuraya Astronomy Centre]
3. Planet-themed cruise
Queen Mary 2’s space-themed voyage from Southampton to New York departs during World Space Week and is accompanied by astronomer Dr Dan Wilkins and astronaut Prof Ulrich Walter. Much of the vessel’s accommodation is sold out, but top-price suites are still available for stargazers with deep pockets.
World Space Week cruise departs September 26 2019.
4. Norwegian Lights
The Northern Lights are never a guaranteed sighting — but Norwegian cruise operator Hurtigruten offers a second week-long voyage for free if they don’t appear on the first occasion. A special Astronomy Voyage sails the length of Norway’s coast, from Bergen to Kirkenes, with a lecture series by leading astronomers and a visit to the Northern Lights Planetarium in Tromso.
Astronomy Voyage from about Dh8,300 for 11 nights, full-board. Excludes flights and transfers. September to March.
5. Constellations in the Canaries
Tenerife’s mountainous interior makes it an ideal destination for stargazers. The mountains of the 19,000-acre Canadas del Teide National Park rise to more than 12,100ft above sea level, and this altitude — combined with lack of light pollution — results in very clear night skies.
Twin room at Parador de Las Canadas del Teide about Dh700.
6. Alpine summit
The Kulmhotel Gornergrat is, at 10,170ft, the highest hotel in the Swiss Alps — but you can get there easily by train on the Gornergrat railway from Zermatt. The three-star hotel has views of the Matterhorn and an in-house observatory. A Star Week runs from October 7-12, 2019, with observatory tours and a stargazing walk in the company of expert astronomer Timm-Emmanuel Riesen.
Double room with Monte Rosa view from about Dh1,250 per night B&B. Kulmhotel Gornergrat (gornergrat-kulm.ch).
7. Iceland’s dark skies
Star-gazing in the remote Icelandic wilderness isn’t just for the diehards. Two hours south-east of Reykjavik, the four-star Hotel Ranga offers luxurious accommodation and a state-of-the-art observatory with a roll-off roof and two powerful telescopes. Staff provide a Northern Lights wake-up call and guests can contemplate the constellations from the upstairs balcony or from outdoor hot tubs.
Standard double or twin room at Hotel Ranga from about Dh1,000. September to April.
8. Highland fling
The Torridon Resort is a tranquil, 18-room hotel and activities centre in rural Wester Ross, overlooking a sea loch in 58 acres of parkland in one of the darkest parts of Scotland. In combination with an overnight stay, you can arrange an after-dark excursion to the surrounding Highlands for a guided viewing of the constellations with local astronomy expert Stephen Mackintosh.
Torridon Stargazing Experience from Dh2,400 for two, with dinner. Rooms from about Dh800 per night B&B. Available from October to March. The Torridon (thetorridon.com).
9. Christmas eclipse in Oman
On Boxing Day this year, a partial solar eclipse will take place over Oman. The itinerary offered by adventure operator Explore schedules the viewing from a remote desert camp on the Wahiba Sands, with an expert astronomer on hand to answer questions. Further highlights of the holiday include a boat trip in a traditional dhow on the Gulf of Oman, a city tour of Muscat and a drive through the Hajar Mountains to Nizwa’s 17th-century fort.
10. Meteors in the desert
Jordan, with its clear desert skies, is one of the best places to see shooting stars. This summer, the Earth passes through the path of the intriguingly named Comet Swift-Tuttle, with a shower predicted to peak on August 12.
The Daily Telegraph