Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Kodiak Island, Alaska

    All on board National Geographic Orion were excited this morning as the ship let go our anchor in Kalsin Bay on Kodiak Island. Deploying our fleet of expedition watercraft, we quickly fanned out to explore the myriad reefs and islets that are to be found in this bay. Our efforts were rewarded with sightings of sea otters, harbor seals, and a plethora of different sea birds. The morning highlight was undoubtedly a trio of humpback whales, subsurface feeding in the mirror flat waters of the bay.

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  • Genovesa Island

    Located on the northern hemisphere, Genovesa is one of the most incredible islands in the archipelago, due to it is home to over a million birds and because long time ago it was an active volcano with a large caldera, far from the central islands and far from the underwater Galapagos platform. This particularity could be the reason that land reptiles never arrived at the island, being impossible to find neither lava lizards nor land iguanas here.

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  • Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier

    Alaska’s last significant glacial advance is aptly referred to as the Little Ice Age. It began in the twelfth century and continued into the late nineteenth century, with some glaciers reaching maximum advances in the early twentieth century. However, a general glacial retreat began in the eighteenth century throughout Southeast Alaska. This is likely when the glaciers in Tracy Arm-Fords Terror began receding.

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  • Krasin Bay, Wrangel Island, Russia

    One would think that a day at sea would be a leisurely event. However, on an expedition voyage of this nature, our day would be filled with attending informational lectures, downloading and arranging our photographic records, studying our notes, and updating our species checklist among other endeavors. Although the skies were overcast, our visibility was a good couple of miles allowing us to scan the seas for whales and the skies for seabirds.

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  • Sombrero Chino and Sullivan Bay

    Early in the morning National Geographic Islander drops anchors in the turquoise waters near Bainbridge Islands around the corner of Sombrero Chino, an eroded spatter cone formed hundreds of thousands of years ago by a side vent of James Island.

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  • Pavlov Harbor

    One of the most strikingly unique aspects of the Alaskan wilderness is the connection between the land and sea. Over the past few days we have encountered whales swimming alongside the trees of the temperate rainforest and salmon making their way against the current up to their natal freshwater streams. Today, we woke up early to get a glimpse at one of the animals that directly links these ecosystems: bears. The coastal brown bears that live here in Alaska eat hundreds of salmon over the course of a summer, and in doing so, take nutrients from the ocean and fertilize the forest floor. So, we decided to explore the shores of Pavlov Harbor on the east coast of Chichagof Island to get a glimpse of this phenomenon ourselves. Here, guests patiently sat and waited in silence along the edge of a rushing waterfall and were eventually treated to an up-close encounter with an adult brown bear actively feeding in the stream. Later in the day we continued our explorations of Chichagof, this time by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, and bushwhack hike, in an area called Iyoukeen Cove where we ended our exciting day in Southeast Alaska with a different perspective of the land-sea connection.

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  • LeConte Bay

    National Geographic Sea Lion spent the morning exploring LeConte Bay by Zodiac boat. The bay is filled with icebergs and other ice bits that have calved from the LeConte Glacier at the head of the bay.

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  • Inian Islands & Glacier Bay

    National Geographic Sea Bird sailed through Icy Straits in early morning surrounded by a thick fog. As we anchored in the Inian Islands, we could hear humpback whales breathing somewhere out in the fog. Nearer to the ship, we saw sea otters floating by lazily. After a hearty breakfast, we boarded expedition landing crafts for a cruise around the Inian Islands.

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  • Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    Before we could see Marble Island through the fog, we could hear and smell its inhabitants. As we approached closer, we could see Steller sea lions lying in masses along the islands rocky shore, those who were not lying down were bellowing guttural sounds at one another. The gulls were squawking; some perched and others circling in the air. Tufted puffins zoomed this way in front of the boat, while a couple of otters floated serenely in the distance.

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  • Kolyuchin Island, Chukotka, Russia

    Had you been on the bridge of National Geographic Orion early this morning as we approached the north tip of Kolyuchin Island, as the first bear was sighted—the first polar bear of the trip—you might’ve heard a loud whooshing sound. That sound was expedition leader Jimmy’s sigh of relief. We had found a bear; we would undoubtedly find more; any anxiousness on that score was soon dispelled.

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

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