Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Astoria, Oregon

    At 8:30 a.m. photographic instructor Linda Burback gave a 25-minute presentation. With cameras in hand, the sun overhead, and in crisp temperatures, guests undertook several shore side expeditions.

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  • Dragon Hill and El Eden

    After visiting southern Santa Cruz and the highlands yesterday, this morning began with sunny skies and a hike on the north side of Santa Cruz. We arrived to step onto black lava rocks and then observed the lush green vegetation and a brackish pond with a Galapagos marine iguana basking in the sun pond side. But today, we were in search of a species we hadn’t seen yet – the Galapagos land iguana. We had to leave the breezy oceanside environment and traverse to the dry habitat of this terrestrial species. The land iguanas were hard to spot among the dry grasses and volcanic ash, but we were eventually able to glimpse their bright yellow markings and spotted several of them. We also had to be careful not to disturb their underground burrows.

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  • Desolation Sound

    Today we headed towards the northern end of the Salish Sea. With a heading towards Desolation Sound, we pointed out wildlife, stopping to watch two humpback whales. After a hearty brunch, we explored Laura Cove and the surrounding area by Zodiacs, kayaks, and on foot. As the moon jellies drifted by, and the moon rose, we continued north towards our next destination and adventure.

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  • Victoria

    Today was our first day in beautiful British Columbia! After disembarking from the ship, guests had the option to go on a guided tour or spend the day at their leisure. We all were graced with some classic Pacific Northwest weather, which oscillated between sunshine and rain all morning long. Options for tours included a historical walk, a cycling tour, a secret garden tour, an architecture tour, and a tour of the Royal British Columbia Museum. After lunch on the ship, guests embarked on another round of adventures in the sunshine. Appetizer hour was held this evening in the Robert Bateman Gallery, where we all got a chance to get up close with the work of the most famous wildlife painter in Canada. Dinner was held on the ship and followed by a haunted Victoria tour, for the bravest among us.

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  • Astoria, Oregon

    We woke up in Astoria and docked at pier 1 an hour after passing by Pillar Rock at 5:30 A.M. This is the famous campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of November 7, 1805 and the inspiration for Captain Clarks’ joyous words, “Ocian in view! O! The joy!”

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  • Channel Islands

    The last full day of the trip through the Channel Islands began with National Geographic Sea Lion anchoring at Little Harbor just off Santa Catalina. The morning was filled with hikes, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and a beach party! After lunch the ship moved to Avalon. Everyone disembarked and had a chance to wander through this beautiful little island town. As the sun sat on the island, all the adventurers enjoyed one last meal together before they all departed the next morning.

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  • Friday Harbor and Jones Island

    Our second day in the San Juan Islands of Washington was spent exploring the second largest, and most populated island, in the San Juan Island Archipelago. About 8,000 people inhabit this island, and 2,200 of them live in the only incorporated town in the all-island county of around 16,000 full time residents. Our morning options were touring the island by bus, visiting a farm, exploring town, and the Whale Museum. After lunch, we left the town behind and motored just a few miles to the north, anchoring at Jones Island, where we explored the uninhabited state marine park by foot or Zodiac tour.

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  • Floreana Island

    We woke up at Punta Cormorant and enjoyed an early outing here. We observed the unique vegetation of the island along the trail. Close to the shore there were blue-footed boobies courting and further inland by the brackish water lagoon we got to see flamingos. After a well-deserved breakfast, there were options for Zodiac rides around Champion Islet as well as deep water snorkeling with Galapagos sea lions and colorful fish. Glass bottom boat outings were a delight for our guests; a great opportunity to observe the underwater world of the Galapagos without getting wet!

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  • Santa Rosa & San Miguel

    As we have continued our journey through the Channel Islands National Park, we have discovered the unique story that each island here has to offer. Today we sailed towards the islands of Santa Rosa and San Miguel, the westernmost islands of the National Parks. Our morning began on Santa Rosa, the third largest of the islands with a rich history in both ranching and archaeology. Guests landed along the dramatic sandstone cliff faces that line the beach here to explore the hiking the island has to offer. Some took an adventurous hike to the rare Torrey Pines that grow only on Santa Rosa and near San Diego while others ventured into Cherry Canyon to learn about the diverse mosaic of native plants that have colonized and evolved over time. With some extra time, we were also able to paddle and swim before returning to the ship for lunch. Later in the day we continued our journey westward towards the island of San Miguel. This island is notoriously difficult to approach because it lies closest to the open Pacific Ocean and is exposed to extreme ocean swell. Luckily, for us, the conditions were calm and allowed us to sail close to the shoreline. We got close enough to see the spectacle that this island has to offer – hundreds of pinnipeds hauled out on the sandy beaches. northern elephant seals, California sea lions, and harbors seas utilize these isolated beaches as resting spots and mating colonies throughout the year. Together, these two islands added to the powerful story of isolation and conservation that the Channel Islands continue to tell us.

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Please note: Daily Expedition Reports (DER’s) are posted Monday-Friday only, during normal business hours.


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