Each week we select the top photos that came in with our Daily Expedition Reports for a photo slideshow. The top photos this week came from our naturalists, expedition leaders, and guests in the Amazon, Galápagos, the Falklands, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Guests exploring the Galápagos Islands aboard National Geographic Endeavour had the surprise of a lifetime in a rare encounter with the world’s largest fish—a whale shark. They’d just climbed into Zodiacs to visit one of our favorite wildlife-rich snorkeling spots when the whale shark was spotted. Our naturalist Tommy Acosta last saw one of these magnificent, bus-sized fish about seven years ago.
Our onboard video chronicler also managed to capture the encounter on film.
Photographer and researcher Rachel Sussman is aboard the National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica right now. She’s joined us as a guest speaker and is embarking on a quest of her own—a search for a 5,500-year-old rare Antarctic moss. It’s part of her project called The Oldest Living Things in the World. See some of her work and follow her reports from the ship on The New York Times photography blog, Lens.
Our exclusive Expedition Photography program lets you travel aboard the ships of the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet with professional photographers at your side and at your service. Our photo instructors, along with our guests and traveling National Geographic Photographers, send photos to our New York office every day—and the top shots are selected for the Photos of the Week.
Every ship in the Lindblad/National Geographic fleet sails with a Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor aboard. Besides being charged with helping guests with camera settings and ensuring they go home with great photos, these specially trained Naturalists often send back some of the expeditions’ finest images. Those are combined with shots from our Expeditions Leaders, other Naturalists, and National Geographic Photographers for these Photos of the Week.
If you’ve never seen a photo or even heard of hourglass dolphins, you can count yourself among the majority. These dolphins are found only in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, and when ships are in these waters it’s often too rough for photographers to spot them. And with a small worldwide population, it takes quite a bit of luck to spot one or two. During an onboard lecture Wednesday as National Geographic Explorer sailed through a calm Drake Passage bound for Antarctica — these two were spotted. They approached the ship and took advantage of the bow wave, matching our 14-knot speed until fatigue or boredom sent them off in another direction 15 minutes later. A rare and thrilling encounter for guests on our Antarctic expedition. Photo: Doug Gualtieri, Naturalist
Every day photos from each of our ten ships spread around the globe cross our desks. And at the end of the week, our design director picks the top shots for our Photos of the Week.