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Lastest Expedition Reports

Isla San Estéban & Isla Rasa

Enthusiastic photographers bounced towards shore early in the morning with the purpose of capturing a few sunrise shots. Yellow-footed gulls called as we made our way along a shoreline full of baseball-sized rocks. Usually round nests of seaweed line the shore just above the high tideline. This year seemed to be a late one for nesting. The diffuse morning light helped photographers capture images of the endemic hedgehog cactus. Later in the morning we hiked into the long arroyo that crosses most of the four-mile width of this mountainous island. Read More>

Mar 31, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Floreana Island

The day started with a beautiful sunrise as we landed at Point Cormorant, Floreana Island at 6:30 in the morning. The beach where we landed had a green sheen on the sand due to the presence of fine pieces of olivine crystals. The light was great for photography and the groups went searching for the best compositions and to learn about the natural history of flamingos and green sea turtles. At the brackish water lagoon of this site we found about 20 Greater flamingos that were feeding on Artemia shrimp, which is the main food for flamingos in the Galapagos.  We also visited a nesting site for Pacific green sea turtles where we saw a good number of tracks and nests that had been built the night before.   It was 7:30 am and everyone returned to the ship for breakfast. On the way back to the ship we were lucky to encounter three Galapagos penguins that were feeding in the area. After breakfast, by 9:45 am, the National Geographic Islander had changed her position for Champion Islet. Read More>

Mar 31, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Charles Darwin Research Station, Highlands, Santa Cruz Island

Today we are visiting Santa Cruz Island, home of the largest giant tortoises that inhabit this enchanted archipelago, and we are ready to learn about their behavior. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park Service have the Breeding Centre; the two as partners have managed to save the giant tortoises of the Galapagos from going extinct.   The program started back in the 1960s with the Española sub species. Read More>

Mar 31, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

San Marcos Island & Santa Rosalia

Our day today started in a grand way; after having sailed north all night long, the first lights of the morning found us sailing the waters south of San Marcos Island. Our mornings at sea are usually pretty interesting, but today it was something special. We saw a lot of different kinds of creatures, some flying around, some swimming or jumping, and a few just cruising slowly just under the surface, including birds, mammals, and fishes. Numerous Craveri’s murrelets, the most tropical members of the puffin family, were seen all around, the same as many species of storm petrels, shearwaters, boobies, and gulls. Read More>

Mar 30, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Maputo, Mozambique

After a spectacular two days of safari expedition, we enjoyed a comfortable morning at sea. The wild, sandy coastline of southern Mozambique glided past as National Geographic Orion made her way towards the Beira estuary, where we arrived just before lunch. The weather change from South Africa was dramatic—we left behind the refreshingly cool air of the Dolphin Coast, and were welcomed into the near-tropics.  As we sailed northward, we prepared to trade our South Africa safaris for the next chapter of our expedition: water sports!  We are approaching clear tropical waters, so snorkeling and diving will begin very soon. Read More>

Mar 30, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

Española Island

Today we anchored off the northern central coast of Española at Gardner Bay. An early kayaking outing was offered this morning.  The conditions were great, overcast, warm, and the sea was calm.  It was amazing to observe many young sea lions playing along the coastal area and sea birds, like brown pelicans, feeding. After breakfast our guests were briefed about our snorkeling procedures and were out-fitted. Once ready, we went to explore the underwater world under heavy rain! Nevertheless we enjoyed great snorkeling with large schools of Razor surgeon fish, king angelfish, Panamic sergeant majors and playful Galapagos sea lions!  Some guests opted to go to snorkeling off a beautiful white sandy beach, a great place to learn and practice. Read More>

Mar 30, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Santa Maria Island, Azores

Santa Maria, home to the smallest bird in Europe, Santa Maria Goldcrest (Regulus regulus sanctaemariae), was the first island to be discovered by the Portuguese, and its main town, Vila do Porto, the oldest village in the Azores, dating back to the 15th century. Welcomed by a local folklore music group, we started our day dancing the Azorean traditional songs. Read More>

Mar 30, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Azores, Madeira & Beyond

Floreana Island

Today we visited Floreana Island, to follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps. Before breakfast, we went ashore on Punta Cormorant, with a fascinating beach of olivine sand. Read More>

Mar 30, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

At Sea & Isla Santa Catalina

It was a magically tranquil morning in the Sea of Cortez. Mirror seas reflected the sumptuous colors of the Sierra de la Gigante mountain range to the west. The powers-that-be teased us with a brief visit from a small group of long-beaked common dolphins. As the sun moved higher, the National Geographic Sea Bird headed around the northern end of Isla Carmen in search of marine mammals. We were not disappointed as we encountered more groups of common dolphins followed by pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins. The pilot whales were wonderfully close to the ship, showing themselves underwater as they slowly surfaced, a perfect opportunity for the many eager photographers to capture great images.  As we made our way south from Carmen, the ship’s Global Market opened for shoppers. Read More>

Mar 29, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Faial, Azores, Portugal

This morning the National Geographic Explorer arrived in the port of Horta, on the southern coast of Faial, one of the five islands that constitute the central area of the Azores. The people of these islands have had a long tradition of whale hunting and the original factory where these animals were processed has been transformed into a museum. Here local guides explained about the history of whaling and the various processes that were involved in the rendering of the carcases into oil. The building complex is still intact and includes much of the original equipment and adjacent slipway up which the dead whales were pulled in preparation for sectioning. Read More>

Mar 29, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Azores, Madeira & Beyond

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