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Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

Point Wild, Elephant Island & into the Bransfield Strait

Point Wild, Elephant Island: a good place to spend an expedition morning in the early Antarctic summer, but four months, through an Antarctic winter??! Maybe not, but the men of Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance had no choice.  April 16, 1916: The three lifeboats from Endurance, newly named after the expedition's main sponsors James B. Read More>

Nov 23, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

Española Island

We started our trip by visiting the oldest Island of the archipelago: Española or Hood Island. This little landmass is situated at the easternmost point of the Galapagos Map. Our first stop was Gardner Bay and Gardner Islet. Read More>

Nov 23, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

San Cristobal Island

Today we are visiting the easternmost island in the Galapagos: San Cristobal Island. This is the most beautiful island in the archipelago and the one that has yielded the most famous naturalists of all time, Charles Darwin included. The place is full of sea lions, and sea birds such as the red-footed booby, red-billed tropic birds, brown noddy terns, frigates, Nazca boobies, and the always original blue-footed boobies. All enclosed in a magical, beautiful beach, and surrounded by rocky cliffs and blue waters.  In the morning, we started exploring a small offshore island which is home to a diversity of seabirds and many sea lions. Read More>

Nov 22, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

At sea bound for Antarctica

Despite having all the potential for providing us with “just another day at sea,” 22 November actually delivered a plethora of excitement and education. Read More>

Nov 22, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

Santa Cruz Island

It was time for the National Geographic Islander to visit civilization. Although we had pristine wildlife on our previous days, this was the day to learn about projects and all the efforts currently happening for the conservation of the Galapagos species. The town of Puerto Ayora holds the headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station, both of which work together for the conservation of the enchanted archipelago. We started our day by visiting the breeding center of the National Park. Read More>

Nov 21, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

At Sea, Scotia Sea

Yesterday in the afternoon our captain took the ship deep into Drygalski fjord, named after the famous German Antarctic explorer who sailed with his ship Gauss to East Antarctica in 1901. Drygalski has the last green vegetation, including some minor spots with tussock grass we will see until we arrive back to Tierra del Fuego.   Today we had our first encounter of “Antarctica feeling” with cold rugged glaciers, later followed by the sighting of a huge iceberg, B-17A, which has drifted from the Ross Sea. From now on our voyage will be about ice! To encounter a massive tabular iceberg is always a wonderful experience. Read More>

Nov 21, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

San Cristobal Island

Today was our last day in paradise, on this adventure which seems unreal. Even though we are from different generations and even centuries, today we were bonded together as one, and the Galapagos brought magic to our souls and mind. Traveling and reaching Fernandina to San Cristobal islands, the youngest and one of the oldest in the archipelago, on an expedition which takes us on a journey of discovery through time. San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos. Today we land on a green olivine beach. The volcanic scenery that we observed during our invigorating hike is spectacular; the peaks of tuff high in the sky make this site very different from what we have already observed. Punta Pitt also has impressive scenery from up above – here we could see the deteriorated inversion layer, ready to leave us, but for now keeping us cool and pleasantly comfortable for this walk. Read More>

Nov 21, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

At Sea to Tonga

As National Geographic Orion continues her voyage east through the South Pacific, today we were at sea between Fiji and our next island group of Tonga. It is a journey of about 400 miles, and in doing so we are leaving Melanesia behind us and heading out into the many islands of Polynesia. International boundaries and labels such as Melanesia and Polynesia are, to a certain extent, arbitrary, and the island groups are perhaps better thought of in terms of a continuum from west to east. However, in many respects the transitions between island groups are very real and we will encounter, and are looking forward to experiencing, some distinct cultural changes.  The day at sea was a great chance to watch for passing seabirds. Read More>

Nov 21, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Santa Cruz Island

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Charles Darwin Research Station, and what a better way to do it than by witnessing some of the great results of their dedication to the Galapagos Islands. The Research Station started with only a handful of people, mostly from elsewhere, but today it is a fully functioning, non-governmental organization with more than a hundred employees, mostly Ecuadorians, and most of whom were born and raised in the Galapagos Islands. Thousands of volunteers and visiting scientists have worked for the research station as well, and year after year, their new discoveries have provided us with a better understanding of the island ecosystems, to find ways to restore them. Right now, there is crucial research going on, regarding land bird species. They are facing a high risk of extinction due to an introduced fly. Only through science, can we learn how to protect and save them. The Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station, together with Puerto Ayora (a town of 20,000 people), grew up jointly, along the last fifty years. Read More>

Nov 20, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Taveuni Island and Ringgold Islets, Fiji

After a quiet night at anchor off the northwestern coast of Taveuni Island, we began our day heading ashore in various directions. Departing at first light were those interested in a birding walk on Des Voeux Peak. They were rewarded with sightings of 12 endemic bird species, most exciting being the beautiful silktail. The higher rainforest was lovely, loaded with epiphytes, and the rare tagimoucia, the Fijian national flower, in bloom.  The morning was brilliant with color, the rich cobalt blue sea complimenting the deep and bright greens onshore. Read More>

Nov 20, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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