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Lastest Expedition Reports

Bartolome and Sombrero Chino Island

A volcanic moonscape of rust-colored spatter cones contrast with large light brown tuff cones and young lava flows, no older than 100 years. Pioneer plants inhabiting these new flows astonished us during our splendid hike up the stairs of Bartolome Island early this morning. In the morning, the National Geographic Endeavour found anchorage in the calm bay of Bartolome Island. Read More>

Feb 4, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

South Plaza and Santa Fe

Today we started on the northeast end of Santa Cruz Island, in between two small uplifted formations known as South and North Plazas.  South Plaza is one of the smallest islands but we had so much to see. As soon as we landed we spotted many sea lions of all ages and sizes, swallow tail gulls nesting, and marine and land iguanas greeting us. This is also quite different from the other islands for its impressive vivid colors due to the plants called carpetweed, which are red or green depending on the time of the year and rainfall. Read More>

Feb 4, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Scotia Sea

We spent the day sailing across the Scotia Sea as National Geographic Orion kept on her northeasterly course towards South Georgia. The seas were pretty much as we expected, knowing this can be among the roughest waters in the world. Actually, it wasn’t bad. Yes, it was quite windy, and there were many whitecaps in evidence, but our great ship with her big stabilizers made for a comfortable ride in two to three-meter (seven to ten-foot) seas. Ernest Shackleton’s astonishing 1,200-km (almost 800-mile) small boat voyage through these waters from Elephant Island to South Georgia during the winter (April) of 1916 was very much on our minds today. Read More>

Feb 4, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Antarctica

Boca del Soledad, Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur

The relentless wind stirred the bay into small waves as our guests boarded expedition landing craft. Gray whale mothers and their several-week-old calves floated nearby. These 40-ton creatures have held our imagination since our travel plans were made, and now we had our chance to finally meet them. Every round of outings had different experiences. Read More>

Feb 4, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California

Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park

Early in the morning, National Geographic Sea Lion started anchoring in front of an incredible green tropical rain forest: the Osa Peninsula. From the ship, we not only admired the famous Corcovado National Park but also got all our gear ready to enjoy this incredible destination. Our expedition landing craft drivers mastered a challenging landing in the pristine beach of Playa Caletas so that the first group could depart for a horseback riding adventure. Read More>

Feb 4, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Chatham Bay, Union Island

We all slept soundly with a quiet night at anchor, sea shanties still ringing in our ears after the big night before. Dawn was enchanting and unusually quiet with hardly a breath of wind. It had been dark when we anchored in Chatham Bay last night, a remote bay on the west side of Union Island in the Grenadines, with no road connection to the main towns of the island. Now we could see the beauty of the bay and Union Island’s surrounding hills, and the gorgeous arcuate white sand beach.  It was the quintessential Caribbean beach morning, with Zodiacs running back and forth for a leisurely swim or stroll along the beach, and the best snorkeling of the week. With the sun warming up through mid-morning, many of us took shady refuge at Boll Head’s Beach Bar, where Tim and Boll Head mixed Caribbean specialty drinks like Pain Killers and Rum Punches, and a laid back reggae beat set the tone for the morning. It was a Caribbean morning to remember. Back on board for lunch, we noticed a flurry of activity on the decks, as the sailors were already aloft preparing to set the sails. Read More>

Feb 3, 2016 Sea Cloud in Caribbean

Santa Cruz Island

Charles Darwin was an amazing observer. During his five weeks in the Galapagos, he managed to recognize the different kinds of mockingbirds and their specific islands of origin, and the reasons behind the uneven shape of tuff cones. I marvel at the many details about barnacles, coral reefs, and finches that he described in his prolific publications. I also admire the talent of observation in my colleagues on board, who can recognize subtle changes in the behavior of Galapagos animals and in the population changes in certain organisms. During our last snorkeling outing, Jason Heilmann witnessed broadcast spawning of rainbow wrasses. Read More>

Feb 3, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Antarctic Circle, Petermann Island

We were south of the Antarctic circle by the time we left our beds, The views of the scenic Crystal Sound sent snow flurries around our heads. Read More>

Feb 3, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

Santa Cruz Island

A very sunny sky over Santa Cruz Island was an indicator that a fantastic expedition was about to begin in the Galapagos archipelago.  Our goal was to get underway to the Charles Darwin Research Station in order to learn about the different giant tortoise breeding programs in captivity. Puerto Ayora, the biggest town in all of the inhabited islands, is where the headquarters for both the National Park and the Charles Darwin Station are located. The visit to the rearing center of tortoises gave us the opportunity to witness one of the most successful projects the Galapagos Islands has had, The Española Island breeding program. Read More>

Feb 3, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Phnom Penh & Kampong Chhang

Some early birds got up and snuck one last visit to Phnom Penh—they had to be up early as Jahan was leaving for our next destination at 7 a.m. Our destination was Kampong Chhang or the “Pottery Village.” As always the journey can be the greatest part of any expedition. On our journey the river became much more narrow, the human occupancy dropped, and the foliage increased—this was prime birding conditions. We were able to see varied species including egrets, terns, sparrows, and kingfishers. The birdwatchers needed to take a break for Dr. Read More>

Feb 3, 2016 Jahan in Vietnam & Cambodia

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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