From: TerryMoselat

Date: 20 November 2008 03:23:20 GMT

Subject: China Eclipse Trip

Hi all,


We have been offered an excellent opportunity to see the next Total Solar Eclipse, in China on 22 July 2009. This will be the longest Total Solar Eclipse of the next century.


This has been arranged specifically for astronomers (and others) in Ireland, with the total package being priced ex Dublin & return. The travel company, Ulster Travel in Armagh, is fully ABTA-Bonded, and the airline(s) used will be fully ATOL bonded, so all is safe and secure on the travel side. They arrange travel for Armagh Observatory and Armagh Planetarium.


All local arrangements in China are being handled by the Travel Agents' local bilingual guides, and I have been asked to look after the astronomy side. Those of you who were on the previous eclipse trips to Bulgaria in 1999 and Turkey in 2006 will know that those were totally successful as far as the eclipse viewing was concerned! All Hotels are 4 star and air-conditioned, and all coaches used will be air-conditioned.


Weather prospects for this eclipse are not guaranteed (they NEVER are, at any eclipse!) but the prospects of successful viewing, using last-minute travel flexibility, are probably around 60%. However, as you will see, the itinerary has lots of other attractions, and we hope that this will make the trip especially worthwhile.


There are two options: a 6-night option concentrating on the eclipse and the Shanghai area, and an extended trip, taking in the Terracotta Warriors, Beijing, etc. Details of these are given below. We will have to finalise bookings fairly soon, to avail of the current quoted prices, so please let me know BY RETURN, if you are interested, and


(A) which Trip you would prefer; and

(B) how many extra persons (if any) would likely be going with you.


At the moment this trip is available to IAA members (& family etc) only, but I hope that we can facilitate everyone else who may be interested, somehow!


I will then send out actual booking forms.


Terry Moseley.




China Trip Quotation – July 2009


I am pleased to offer the following quotation for the proposed trip to China next July.




Departure Airport

Departure Time

Arrival Airport

Arrival Time

17 July 09



London LHR


17 July 09

London LHR


Pu Dong

0840 (18th Jul)



Coach transfer (based on group of 15 pax) from Airport to Hotel



Staying 7 nights in the 4-star Sofitel Hyland Hotel, Shanghai in superior rooms on a bed and breakfast basis.


The  Shanghai Hyland sits on Nanjing Road, in the city's commercial centre, making it a premier Shanghai hotel. This Central Shanghai hotel features 401 rooms including over 180 Sofitel Club rooms with access to the Sofitel Lounge. Additional facilities at the Shanghai business hotel include two restaurants, a coffee shop, bar, gymnasium, sauna, massage centre, and conference rooms for up to 400 delegates. Nearby attractions include The Bund, Peoples Square, and the Shanghai Museum.



Coach trip to Qiantang River (approx 4 hours)


Package Price:                                               £1,462 per person


Optional Extra Excursions:


v     Full Day Excursion to Suzhou (Approx. price £95pp)

v     Acrobatic Show (Approx. price £35pp)

v     Day Tour of Shanghai including a River Cruise (£85pp)











18th July 2009:     Depart from Dublin at 09:05 for the domestic flight to London connecting with the International flight scheduled to depart at 21:05hrs.


19th July:               Arrive in Shanghai at 16:25hrs local time. You will be met and transferred by

                                Air conditioned motorcoach to the excellent Shanghai Garden hotel for two nights.


20th July:               Orientation tour of Shanghai that will include visits to the Jade Buddha Temple, Yuyuan Garden, and the Bund. Afternoon and evening at leisure.



21st July:                After breakfast we depart for Hangzhou (approximately three hours drive by air conditioned motorcoach).  We check in to the Sunny Hotel Hangzhou for two nights.  There will be an orientation to of one of China’s historic Imperial cities before returning to the hotel. In the evening there will be a presentation at the hotel about the forthcoming eclipse on the 22nd July.


22nd July:              After an early breakfast we depart for the one hour journey to the banks of the Qiantang River. We will have to arrive fairly early as a lot of people are expected. Once settled in place we can then assist with the setting up of astronomical equipment prior to the spectacular event. As most people know this will be the longest in the century the next being on the 21st June 2132, the event will be followed by one of the highest tidal bores ever to be experienced. Afterwards we will return to the hotel for an overnight.


23rd July:               Breakfast at the hotel before we depart by air conditioned motorcoach back to Shanghai for one night at the Shanghai Garden hotel. In the afternoon there will be time set aside for shopping.


24th July:               Depart Shanghai for Xi’An by air. On arrival Xi’An you will be met and transferred to the excellent Jinaguo hotel for two night’s accommodation.


25th July:             After breakfast we have included an excursion to visit the

Terracotta Warriors at Qin’s tomb.  Return to hotel in the evening where dinner is included.


26th July:             Check out of the hotel for the short transfer to Xi’An for the domestic flight to Beijing. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the 4 star Grand View Garden hotel for 2 night’s.



27th July:               In the morning we will have a tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square followed by

                                an excursion in the afternoon to view the Great Wall. In the evening we will return to hotel.


28th July:               After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our return flight back to the UK. The flight is scheduled to depart at 13;10 with an  eta in London around 18:10hrs. We will then connect with our  flight to Dublin at 21:10 with an eta 22:20.




Price:     £2199 per person (sharing twin/double room)


Package Includes:

·                     All flights and current taxes as detailed above.

·                     10 night’s accommodation on a half board basis. Meals include breakfast and western style food in the evening with a touch of local dishes (hotels as listed or similar subject to availability).

·                     Ground transportation as indicated on the above itinerary.

·                     Sightseeing tours as indicated.

·                     Terracotta Warriors.

·                     Great Wall of China

·                     Fully escorted with local guides as well.



NOT INCLUDED is the Chinese entry VISA. This has to be obtained prior to departing on the trip and costs in the region of approx. £45 per person. We can assist with this.



NB: Full optional excursion itinerary available upon request.