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Lastest Expedition Reports

Hells Canyon and the Clearwater River

The National Geographic Sea Bird remained docked in Clarkston, Washington overnight and throughout the day so that we could explore areas east and south of here. We awakened to overcast skies, 58 degrees, with the sun peeking in and out.  After breakfast, one group boarded a motor coach to follow along the Clearwater Connection, where they began the conversation about the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery’s expedition in the area and saw some of the historical sites along the Clearwater River. Read More>

Oct 23, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Pacific Northwest

Larantuka, Flores Island

We got off to a great start this morning with glass-smooth seas. Our ship had spent the entire night cruising off the southern shore of the large island of Flores as we headed eastward towards our afternoon destination of Larantuka. Several of us were up for the sunrise and we were entertained by lots flying fish as they scooted away from our vessel. A small group of spinner dolphins was sighted before breakfast, but they were not particularly interested in us. Later, we saw a pod of short-finned pilot whales and a single pigmy sperm whale. A relaxing morning at sea was appreciated by everyone as we reminisced over the past two very full days spent in the western region of the Lesser Sunda Islands. And, it gave us a chance to present a couple lectures by the expedition staff. Conditions were hazy, but we could easily discern the impressive volcanic mountains on Flores all morning, as well as on nearby islands as we approached the town of Larantuka at the eastern end of Flores in the early afternoon. Larantuka is the capital of Flores Island. Read More>

Oct 23, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Santiago Island

We left the new islands behind us and navigated towards the central part of the archipelago again today. Our next destination is Santiago Island. This is a special island for different reasons. There are many different ecosystems here. Santiago has highlands, which are home to unique species such as the endemic rat or the emblematic giant tortoise. The lowlands are decorated with the most amazing volcanic landscapes. This is also an iconic Island for conservation. Read More>

Oct 23, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Santa Cruz Island

Our expedition is almost coming to an end, and yet we continue to marvel at these enchanted Islands’ unique landscapes and fauna. After breakfast we disembarked at the municipal dock of Puerto Ayora (the main town of Santa Cruz) in order to explore the rearing center of giant tortoises located in the facilities of the national park service. Even though we already had the chance to see giant tortoises in the wild in Isabela Island, all of us have been looking forward to this visit because the Charles Darwin Research Center has tortoises from many islands. Therefore we saw many endemic species, starting with tiny hatchlings and then going to the pens of the adults. It was very special to get to see the rearing program step by step. After the visit to the rearing center, we had some time to walk through town followed by a quick visit to a farm with sugar cane and coffee crops. Read More>

Oct 23, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Isabela Island

We swung quietly at anchor all night off the island of Fernandina, and in the wee hours Captain Teran ordered the engineers to start our engines. We navigated a short distance across the Bolivar Channel to the coast of Isabela. The sun rose in a cloudless sky and we knew it was going to be a hot walk on shore this morning! After breakfast we disembarked on a small black sand beach below the slopes of Volcan Alcedo.   This morning’s hike was unusual in that we walked on a section of the coast that, until the early 1950’s, had been sea floor! There was a sudden uplift along this shoreline which was recorded by the Walt Disney film crew in 1954. Read More>

Oct 22, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Our last day in wonderful Brazil started with the arrival of a local pilot who drove the National Geographic Explorer into the Lagoa dos Patos (meaning “the ducks’ lagoon”), docking in the town of Pelotas. Pelotas is very close to the entrance of the 90 mile-long coastal lagoon, at which opposite end lies the city of Porto Alegre, capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil’s southernmost state and borders Uruguay to the south and Argentina to the west. It is also an extremely nice place, with milder weather than the tropical portions of this very large country and a strong influence of its southern neighbors. We divided into groups and while some went to the Charqueada São João, a cattle ranch with all the flavor of the traditional gaucho culture, other went to the TAIM wetlands reserve. Read More>

Oct 22, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in South American East Coast

Santiago Island

This morning we had a pre-breakfast morning activity to explore one of the largest nesting grounds of the Pacific green sea turtles in Galapagos. For this activity we offer one group to do photography and a few groups to talk about natural history interpretation.  Photographers stayed along the beach for photographing ghost crabs, Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, finches, yellow warblers, and the interesting landscapes formations. Read More>

Oct 22, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Komodo Island National Park, Indonesia

We awoke this morning to another glorious Indonesian sunrise and enjoyed a relaxing breakfast on deck before preparing for our morning activities. Full of anticipation, we made the short Zodiac transfer to Rinca Island, part of the Komodo Island National Park. We were greeted on the jetty by a very cheeky group of long-tailed macaques who were playing in the mangroves all around us. Read More>

Oct 22, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

At Sea off the South Coast of Brazil

Brazil is definitely a country facing the sea. It is also one of the most spectacularly beautiful coastlines on the planet. From the recesses of the Amazon region to the dumbfounding straight lines of the south, through the paradisiacal vertigo in the Northeast and the lush sea-mountain combination of the Southeast, Brazil has it all. As the National Geographic Explorer cruises to the south coast of Brazil, we wonder about the Brazilian beaches that came into existence between 90 and 130 million years ago when tectonic process of colossal proportions separated the mega continent Gondwana, thus creating the coasts of Africa and South America. Read More>

Oct 21, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in South American East Coast

Fernandina and Isabela Island

Early in the morning we entered Bolivar Canal. We went with our coffees to our outer decks to observe this majestic scenario: the new Islands of Isabela and Fernandina, both with their volcanoes and lava fields.   Six active shield volcanoes are standing in this area. Read More>

Oct 21, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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