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Floreana Island

Floreana, also known as Charles or Santa Maria, is a peaceful island in the southern area of the Galapagos Archipelago. It is one of the four inhabited islands, and it was the first one officially inhabited by Ecuadorians, when Ecuador took possession of the Islands in 1832. Only three years later, the famous naturalist Charles Darwin visited Floreana Island, and after him many more visitors were part of a unique and bizarre human history: from marooned whalers to prisoners and colonists, and from a toothless dentist to a self-proclaimed empress. The island has many visitors sites, and one of them is Punta Cormorant—not named after the Galapagos flightless cormorants, as these endemic birds are not found in this location, but rather after a British navy ship, the HMS Cormorant, that was launched in 1877 and assigned in 1886 to the Pacific Station (an area along the western coast of South America and extending to the Galápagos Islands and possibly beyond). Read More>

Aug 31, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Española Island

By the time our guest woke up, the National Geographic Islander was already anchored at Gardner Bay on Española Island. The day started with a beautiful sunrise and some of our guests began this day with a stretching class.  After a delicious breakfast our guests had a snorkeling and kayak safety talk and got their snorkeling gear from the expedition staff of the National Geographic Islander.  Once our guests had their gear we went on a snorkeling outing to explore the waters off of the cliffs of Gardner Islet. This was a really fun experience for everybody since we saw many different species of fish.  We swam with parrot fish, creole fish, Mexican hogfish, giant hawk fish and schools of black striped snapper. After snorkeling everybody got back on board and changed very quickly because we still had time to go to the beach on Gardner Bay where we observed a good size colony of Galapagos sea lions. After the excursion It was time for lunch so we headed back on board. The action began again at 3:30 pm at Punta Suarez, Española Island. Read More>

Aug 31, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Ideal Cove & Petersburg

The day dawned inauspiciously, gray and drizzly, breezy and chilly. We anchored in Ideal Cove, a lovely spot where we could see pieces of grounded ice from the LeConte glacier in the distance. Expedition landing craft zipped to shore to drop off hikers, where staff greeted them and offered a hand slopping through boot-sucking mud at an extremely low tide. Mussels and barnacles underfoot, we made our way up to the top of the beach, dropped our life jackets and headed off into the forest. A narrow boardwalk wound its way through the trees, branches dripped with water droplets, and brilliant orange berries graced the side of the path. Photographers crouched in the greenery, framing up shots while naturalists pointed out interesting vegetation and signs of wildlife. Before lunch, naturalist David Stephens gave a fascinating talk on the art of the northwest coast and everyone had a chance to see beautiful handmade native art pieces up close and personal. For the afternoon we docked in the lovely town of Petersburg, a classic fishing town filled to bursting with a fishing fleet. Read More>

Aug 31, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Endicott Arm – Ford’s Terror Wilderness

What better way to start a voyage in Southeast Alaska than to experience a sampling of its grandeur? As day broke National Geographic Sea Lion was making her way up Endicott Arm towards Dawes Glacier. This narrow fjord is part of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness and is a classic example of a glacial U-shaped valley, with its smooth peaks that plummet down to the sea. We spent the early morning on the bow watching icebergs float by, and even had the good fortune of moments of blue sky peeking through the clouds. One beautiful scene after another played out before us as we neared the glacier. There is no better way to experience the scale and power of a glacier than to be as close to water level as possible. Read More>

Aug 31, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Kotorfjord, Montenegro

Overnight the scenery has shifted dramatically, and as dawn broke we found ourselves passing through the fjord-like Bay of Kotor. The winged lion of St. Mark, evidence of a lengthy Venetian rule in this area, was spotted throughout the picturesque town of Perast as well as the walled city of Kotor. From Perast, a short boat ride took us to the GospaodSkrpjela (Church of Our Lady of the Rocks), where sailors have been depositing a wide variety of votive finds—from rigging blocks and guns to paintings of ships and silver plaques—for several hundred years. From Perast we proceeded to Kotor, where a walking tour with our local guide introduced us to various city landmarks, including the 12th-century Catholic church of St. Triphon. We marveled at the church’s interior, where Roman-era columns mingle with late medieval wall paintings and ultra-modern confessional booths. This afternoon, while some chose to further explore the walled city of Kotor, others opted to experience the steep, narrow road to the interior of Montenegro. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Espanola Island

Our expedition is heading south to a small island today. The Galapagos archipelago was formed around fifteen million years ago, but the islands we see today are not those formed that long back. The oldest islands of this beautiful archipelago are close to five million years. Espanola is our destination today, and along with the island of San Cristobal which we saw yesterday, they are the oldest islands. Although, they have been completely reformed from how they used to be. Española is an island with great attractions and today we get to see it all. For the morning we have reserved a visit to a place called Gardener Bay. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Loch Nevis, Loch Hourn, Pockton & Eiean Donnan

We awoke to a quiet, moist dawn in Inverie, mainland Britain’s most isolated village. The village thrives on fishing and tourism, the latter mainly independent travellers walking the region’s challenging long distance trails, many of whom we had met the previous evening slaking their thirst in the cozy village pub, The Old Forge Inn. Casting our lines, we spent the rest of the morning exploring the magnificent scenery of this remote area of the western Scottish mainland, sailing out of Loch Nevis and into Loch Hourn before entering the narrows at Kyle Rhea en route to our final berthing of the voyage at Kyle of Lochalsh. The afternoon had two options: a tour of the local area to include Eilean Donan Castle and the fishing village of Plockton and a more physically challenging hike in the Cuillin hills on the Isle of Skye. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 Lord of the Glens in Scotland

Endicott Arm

Though we awoke to a gray and drizzly morning, excitement still buzzed through the air as our first morning aboard National Geographic Sea Bird began. As we made our way along the vertical granite walls down the 30 mile fjord of Endicott Arm, we noticed the icebergs getting more abundant. Shortly after breakfast we saw a blue hue at the end of the fjord—Dawes glacier! The wind had a strong bite near the face of the glacier but was worth the wait to hear the white thunder of the calving glacier. Harbor seals roamed the surrounding water and curiously poked their heads above the surface to view our boats. Even some harbor porpoises came out to play! As guests thawed out during lunch, we made our way back out of the fjord and headed towards Ford’s Terror through narrow, twisting channels. Read More>

Aug 30, 2015 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Durres to Kruje & Tirane, Albania

Our Albanian adventure continued today with our berth in the largest cargo port of the country in Durres. Once a very important Roman port as the western terminus of the Roman Via Egnatia from Constantinople and the main connection across the 70km stretch of Adriatic Sea to Italy, Durres today is slowly but steadily regaining significance as the principal industrial port of Albania. Our day included visits to both the historic capital of Kruje under the impressive limestone cliffs of the Dinar Alps, and the modern capital of Tirane, which is expanding and evolving in front of our eyes. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Llanalpa and Yarapa River

A gentle fog covered the surface of the Ucayali River early in the morning. We had spent the night close to the town of Llanalpa and now, the area invited us to explore it. Right before breakfast we geared up and loaded the skiffs. Read More>

Aug 29, 2015 Delfin II in Amazon

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