Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Sand Dunes of Isla Magdalena

    This morning Baja greeted us with yet another glorious sunrise as National Geographic Venture lay at anchor close to the dunes of Isla Magdalena. After breakfast guests went ashore by Zodiac to explore the dunes and walk the short distance across the isthmus to Sand Dollar Beach. In the afternoon we enjoyed a fascinating presentation by Greg Marshall who established the remote imaging lab many years ago at National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC.

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  • At sea, Drakes Passage

    After our blustery afternoon yesterday at Ushuaia we were expecting a bit of a rougher Drake Passage, but today has been relatively peaceful! Long may it continue. For our first day onboard National Geographic Orion we spent it at sea with not a single mass of land in sight and only those onboard and the birds for company. Drake Passage supports an incredible number of sea birds and today we have seen at least five species including the enormous wandering albatross soaring gracefully behind the ship.

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Island

    After navigating through the night, we arrived at the western waters of the Galapagos archipelago. This is an area known for its biological richness, particularly its marine life. we woke up early in the morning to enjoy a fantastic sunrise, and we were lucky to find a pod of hundreds of common dolphins. With all that joy, we headed to breakfast and then celebrated crossing the equatorial line.

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  • Brown Bluff and Paulet Island

    Today was a very Adélie day. We awoke to bluebird skies, surrounded by icebergs. After a quick breakfast, we loaded our small boats and set off to land at Brown Bluff—an exposed portion of a glacial volcano. The rust-colored cliffs provided a striking contrast against the blue icebergs. We wandered down the beach to view breeding colonies of gentoo and Adélie penguins.

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  • Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

    Today aboard National Geographic Endeavor II we had the opportunity to start the day with a scenic morning walk at Urbina Bay, a black sandy beach located on the rim of Alcedo volcano on Isabela Island. As we walked along the trail, we had close encounters with yellow land iguanas and giant Alcedo tortoises! After the hike, some guests returned to the ship by Zodiac, while others had a refreshing swim from the beach, sharing the space with pelicans that were feeding at the coast. Afterwards, we had a delicious and traditional Ecuadorian buffet lunch, where we learned the proper way to eat ceviche.

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  • Lopez Mateos & Boca de Soledad

    Conditions were pristine as we set out in search of whales in the famous Magdalena Bay. After watching a fog kissed sunrise accented by brilliant colors that can only be found in the iconic Baja coastline, coaches stood ready to whisk an excited group to the shores of this haven for birthing gray whales. Zodiacs greeted us and we loaded up prepared to witness something few have the chance to see.

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  • Bartolomé & Rábida

    Today we explored two small islands of the Galapagos with unbelievably beautiful landscapes and wildlife. We began in the early morning on the young island of Bartolomé. It’s filled with cinder cones that give it a beautiful lunar look. After exploring the area, we walked 380 steps to the top for a spectacular view of the famous pinnacle rock.

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  • Elephant Island

    This morning, National Geographic Explorer finished the crossing of the Drake Passage with clear skies. There was a fascinating presentation, “What Ice Cores Tell Us about the Changing Environment,” by Global Perspectives guest speaker Joe McConnell, who told us how, why, and where scientists drill and study ice cores. In the late morning, we approached the remote, majestic Elephant Island, which is a 30-mile-long island made entirely of metamorphic rocks uplifted along an undersea fault. The ship anchored at Point Wild under clear blue skies.

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Islands

    Located in the westernmost region of the archipelago, Fernandina is considered the youngest island with one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Our day began early in the morning, sailing along the northern hemisphere admiring the impressive landscape of the Ecuador volcano, while in the ocean, we observed some mola molas (oceanic sunfish) swimming near National Geographic Endeavour II. At a distance, Fernandina looked barren and black; but when we arrived at the landing area, our first impression of the island changed completely due to the exuberant flora and fauna we observed.

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  • Bahia Almejas

    It was a gorgeous time with the grey whales at Bahia Almejas and a wonderful way to start our expedition! We loaded into pangas and went exploring the southernmost section of Magdalena Bay. The grey whales swim all the way down from the rich feeding waters of Alaska and use three specific areas in Baja California for breeding. The protected shallow bays create perfect mating grounds and a nursery for young calves and mothers. In the afternoon the ship remained in its morning anchorage as we went ashore to the beach of Isla Santa Margarita.

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

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