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Svalbard is known for its wildlife. Many of us choose to come here based on the notion that we will see polar bears and walrus. This morning we saw polar bears, this afternoon we saw over 100 Walrus. Our early morning wake up call was welcomed with flinging arms and a mound of thermals hurriedly piled one on top of the other as we rushed out onto deck to see a polar bear wandering across the rocky shoreline.  Any notion of our rumbling breakfast stomachs was immediately forgotten. We were immersed as this large male bear ambled along the shoreline of Sorgfjord in the northern Hinlopenstretet. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Arctic

Bartholomew and Chinese Hat

We dropped anchor off the coast of Bartholomew Island. . This area has been subject to violent eruptions, and although these events date back from at least a century through several dozens of centuries, the topography makes one think it was only yesterday. Volcanic features get preserved relatively long in Galapagos, for the climate is relatively stable and therefore maintains current conditions of the tuffs, basalts and cinders for many centuries to come. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Latrabjarg Cliffs & Flatey Island

As everyone began to stir from bed this morning we had already arrived at our first destination for this adventure, the Latrabjarg Cliffs, Europe’s largest bird cliffs. Centuries ago, volcanic eruptions after volcanic eruptions laid down Tertiary basaltic outflows that today provide the home for countless numbers of puffins, guillimots, kittiwakes, fulmars, and an astounding 40% of the world’s population of razorbills. At first, you think that the lens with which you view the cliffs must need a serious cleaning, then you realize all those specks of dust are actually thousands of birds flying along the cliff face. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Sailing & Milos, Greece

The morning was beautiful, the winds were strong, and the night was unadventurous despite the strong winds! Sea Cloud can really sail! After another great breakfast we sailed and sailed aiming for Milos, the beautiful Cycladic Island famous for the “Venus di Milo” now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Glacier Bay National Park

In 1794, Captain George Vancouver, sailing on the H.M.S. Discovery, came to the entrance to what is now Glacier Bay. At that time, the bay was filled with a complex of glacial ice that extended to within five miles of the mouth. In the ensuing 222 years, the ice has retreated more than 65 miles, relieving the land of its massive weight, and enabling the ground to rebound between 19 and 22 feet, or about a foot every decade. Plants and animals have returned to the once lifeless environment, repopulating it with lushness and diversity. Today, some of the glaciers are once again advancing, continuing the cycle of advance and retreat that has gone on for millennia. Early this morning, we entered Glacier Bay and picked up Park Ranger Fay Schaller and Tlingit Cultural Interpreter Alice Haldine at Bartlett Cove, about five miles from the mouth of the bay. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Fox Creek and the Inian Islands

Today we are stepping even deeper into the intense beauty of Southeast Alaska. A low layer of fog has rolled in, and with no horizon in sight, we are sailing into the clouds. The peaks are still hanging above, so the experience is somewhat ethereal. We are exploring the coastline of Chichagof Island the best ways we know how–by kayak, by inflatable expedition craft, and by foot into the rain forest. Read More>

Jul 21, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Santa Cruz Island

Situated in the center of Galapagos, Santa Cruz is the second largest island after Isabela. Its capital is Puerto Ayora, the most populated urban center of the islands, although there are some small villages whose inhabitants work in agriculture and cattle raising. Baptized after the Holy Cross, its English name was given after a British vessel, the HMS Indefatigable. Due its location and proximity to the other inhabited island, Santa Cruz hosts the largest human population in the archipelago at the town of Puerto Ayora where the headquarters of Galapagos National Park and Charles Darwin Foundation are found. After breakfast we landed at Puerto Ayora and after a short bus ride, we arrived at the Galapagos National Park’s breeding center. Read More>

Jul 20, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Santa Cruz Island and Daphne Major Islet

This morning we arrived to the north western part of Santa Cruz Island; after breakfast we headed ashore to Dragon Hill where we went looking for Galapagos land iguanas, we found some colorful males as well as females. The iguanas we saw today looked interested on each other and by their aggressive display these were ready to mate. Males usually bob their heads and walk slowly with trying to look bigger and showing off their bright yellow color skin. As we explored this place we found Galapagos marine iguanas along the coast sunbathing and others were heading to the water to feed. After this walk everybody returned aboard, and later on went to a nearby beach and to snorkel along the coast of Guy Fawkes Islet, this morning we found different types of fish and some of our guests swam with a large manta ray that was busy feeding off the coast of this islet. Read More>

Jul 20, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

The Arctic Ocean

When we hear the stories of the great explorers, those who ventured out into the unknown, far from certainty and ever closer to peril, the tales often finish in glory. This glory might be a story of survival after an encounter with a brutal and newly discovered land, or even some heroism where a man gave his life for another. What is too frequently left out are the details of the days, moments where the entire crew sits in silence with the sea as the moisture hanging in the fog painted their faces. In a similar mood, after a night travelling north from Svalbard, a place already well above the Arctic Circle, National Geographic Orion breached into new territory in search of the white bear. Expectations were high, as they are for all who come to these lands to see what is arguably the most touted carnivore on our planet, but as with the explorers of old, we encountered a wall of fog. Read More>

Jul 20, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Arctic

Inian Islands & George Island

The Inian Islands are part of the northern end of the inside passage that meets the might of the Gulf of Alaska. Luckily the power of the Pacific held back today and we were graced with calm conditions, punctuated by gentle rolling un-breaking waves. These rocky islands still have the vibrant green foliage and flora found on the mainland, but are ringed with something we have not yet seen this voyage, bull kelp. Read More>

Jul 20, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

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


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