China 2009 Six Day Total Solar Eclipse Itinerary

Day 1   Saturday, July 18, 2009                                                              No Meals
Arrive Shanghai

Upon arrival at Shanghai International Airport (SHA), you will be met and transferred to our hotel. The balance of the day will be free to relax and explore on your own.

Overnight: Skyway Landis Hotel or similar (5 nights)

Day 2   Sun, July 19                                                                                    B/L/D
Shanghai: Children’s Palace - Oriental Pearl Tower - Evening River Cruise

Today we will visit the Children’s Palace (a pre-revolution mansion turned school of arts) and the Oriental Pearl Tower (the third tallest tower in the world) to have a bird’s-eye view of Shanghai. After dinner, we will cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy a fascinating night view of Shanghai.

Day 3   Mon, July 20                                                                                    B/L/D

Today’s excursion will take us to the historic city of Suzhou, noted for its canals, incredible silk tapestries, and landscaped classical gardens. While we cruise the ancient Grand Canal with a history of more than 2400 years, we will experience the unique cultures and glimpse the daily life of the local residents. We will tour the Lingering Garden, one of the most famous gardens in China, also known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls and buildings. Afterwards, our visit to the silk embroidery factory will show us the complexity of creating these extraordinary textiles.

Day 4   Tue, July 21                                                                                     B/L/D
Shanghai: Yu Garden - The Bund - Nanjing Road

Today we will visit the five-acre Yu Garden highlighted by its Exquisite Jade Rock, which is over 10 feet in height and has 72 holes. What is intriguing about this rock is that smoke from a joss stick placed just below the rock will float out from all of the holes, while water poured into the top will flow out from each hole, creating a magical sight.    Other highlights today include the Bund, the historic waterfront road rich in diverse colonial-era architecture; bustling Nanjing Road, the city’s main shopping district that must be experienced even if you aren’t shopping; and the renowned Shanghai Museum of Art and History, which ranks among the great museums of the world. After dinner, don’t miss the briefing for tomorrow’s eclipse day activities. 

Day 5   Wed, July 22                                                                                     B/L/D
Eclipse Day outside Shanghai 

Early this morning we will leave Shanghai for our pre-selected eclipse viewing site. Join us this evening for a celebration dinner.

Local contact times from our approximate viewing site:
1st contact: 08:23.03 altitude 40 degrees
Totality Begins: 09:36.07  altitude 57 degrees
Mid eclipse:  09:39.03 altitude 57 degrees
Totality Ends: 09:42.01 altitude 57 degrees
4th contact: 11:02.40 altitude 73 degrees

Duration of totality:            5 minutes and 53.5 seconds

Eclipse Weather in Shanghai                                              by Jay Anderson

            Monsoon conditions over China during July offer unencouraging cloud prospects for the 2009 eclipse everywhere along the track – except on the coast of the South China Sea near Shanghai. The cooler temperatures flowing off of the ocean suppress the formation of convective clouds when winds blow onshore, bringing a sunnier climate and relief from the high humidity typical of inland regions. Climate data for Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, situated on the coast, reveals that the average cloud cover is 4 to 15 percent lower than at Shanghai city and Hongqiao Airport, both of which lie well inland.  The coast of China has some of the best cloud prospects anywhere along the eclipse track, and comes with the added benefit of an extended eclipse duration.
            Falling temperatures during an eclipse typically subdue the growth of small convective clouds and a further reduction of 5 or even 10% in cloud cover on eclipse day is a possibility.

Day 6   Thu, July 23                                                                                      B
Shanghai - Onward
After breakfast and check-out, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight onward, or you may wish to join one of our optional add-on tours.