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Lastest Expedition Reports

Sailing Georgia Strait

Yesterday evening we left the port of Seattle to start our adventure sailing along the Pacific Northwest. As we sailed north aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion, the city and its buildings became smaller and smaller. We were finally underway for our two week expedition bound to Southeast Alaska. Through the night and through calm waters, we sailed northward passing through the San Juan Islands and entering Georgia Strait. This protected waterway is located between the colossal land barrier of Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. By sunrise, we were not too far south of the town of Nanaimo, a town founded in the mid 1800’s by the coal industry. Read More>

May 4, 2015 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Fernandina and Isabela Islands

We are now on a journey back through time as we make our way to the western part of the archipelago. Surrounded by volcanoes, we opted to search for whales and dolphin as we navigate tours of our first and only land based visitor site for the day—we are headed towards Fernandina Island, the youngest and most pristine island in the Galapagos. Here at Punta Espinoza, we disembark on black lava rocks of all kinds of shapes and forms. Read More>

May 4, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

At Sea between the Maldives and Sri-Lanka

Days at sea always present us with a dilemma: catch-up on lost sleep after the hectic pace of the past days, or be on the lookout for rare encounters in the big ocean surrounding us. On the one hand, it is tempting to laze around a little and enjoy the peaceful motion of the ship rocking us gently in our comfortable beds. Read More>

May 4, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

North Malé Atoll, Maldives

What a spectacular way to finish our journey, exploring the dazzling cyan-blue waters and picture perfect white sand beaches of the Maldives.  We had the opportunity to go for our last snorkel and take the final plunge into the deep blue of these crystalline and tropical warm waters. The expedition has been blessed with some great weather and water visibility and today was no exception. We have been diving, snorkeling, enjoying the beach or just simply relaxing in outstanding conditions. Clear skies, gentle breezes and nice warm, clear waters have been a constant on our trip. During our voyage we have been able to observe different coral reef gardens and island ecosystems, some of them rated the best in the world.  The richness and variety in marine life is astonishing and remarkable. With nearly 1200 islands, the Maldives channels, reef edges and inner-slopes in sheltered waters inside atolls are home to schools of thousands brightly coloured tropical fish and hundreds of species of corals, turtles, dolphins, friendly reef sharks and the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. We have experienced it all, but wait – there was even more to come! The new itinerary also gave us the opportunity to take a scenic flight around the surrounding reefs and islands of Malé. It was a great chance to put things in perspective and this offered a splendid photo opportunity. Looking at these tiny little islands and spectacular reef ecosystems confirmed how lucky and privileged we have been to be able to explore and experience this unique paradisiac nation.  . Read More>

May 3, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

North Seymour and Rábida Islands

Today we landed on North Seymour Island, an island that is well known for the many colonies of seabirds that nest here all year long. As we began walking on the volcanic terrain, we quickly spotted swallow tailed gulls nesting, Galapagos land iguanas feeding on vegetation, and blue-footed boobies in their courtship rituals. Along the coast, we also observed groups of male magnificent and great frigatebirds with their red gular pouches inflated, trying to attract females. Read More>

May 3, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Genovesa Island

While we entered the collapsed caldera of Genovesa island, we were overwhelmed by birds heading to their fishing grounds.  This gave us a great idea of what was waiting for us.   The early risers enjoyed this wonderful and challenging approach to Darwin bay, while the rest were preparing for their first outing of the morning. Read More>

May 2, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atol, Maldives

This morning before dawn we arrived at Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and one of the premiere snorkel and dive locations in the Maldives. The scout boat left at dawn and reported back remarkable underwater conditions on the outer edge of the reef. After breakfast we boarded the Zodiacs and transferred out to the snorkel platform for our morning snorkeling activities. After donning our snorkel gear we slipped below the waves to be greeted by the huge biodiversity of marine life and colorful corals. We swam with an assortment of different butterfly fish darting in amongst the coral heads and when we looked off into the deep blue from the edge of the reef we were astounded by the thousands of fish that were swimming in the water column feeding on tiny organisms too small for us to see. Read More>

May 2, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

Genovesa Island

Our visit to Genovesa Island today could not have been better, and what a great way to finish our week of exploration in Galapagos. This volcanic island is located above the equator line, in the northern hemisphere. This oceanic island is the home of hundreds of thousands of sea birds of many different kinds, such us red-footed boobies, frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, pelicans, noddy terns, finches and the elusive short-eared owl. Read More>

May 1, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Harlingen, Netherlands

Today we began our exploration of the Netherlands. We started the day by entering the Wadden Sea, a large, very shallow inland sea that separates the Frisian Islands from the mainland of the Netherlands. The Wadden Sea is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and we were able to observe large numbers of birds, most of whom were participating in the annual northward migration from their wintering grounds in West Africa, or, in some cases, sub-Saharan Africa, to their rich breeding grounds in the sub- or high Arctic. Additionally we saw large groups of harbor seals hauled out on the sandbars. The harbor seal is the signature animal of the Wadden Sea. Among the harbor seals were a number of the very large gray seals warming themselves and resting on the sand bars. In the late morning National Geographic Explorer went alongside in the small harbor of Harlingen.   Harlingen had never before been visited by a cruise ship or expedition ship until we docked there last year with National Geographic Explorer. Read More>

May 1, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Holland & Belgium

Chinese hat and Sullivan Bay

Before breakfast we started our day with a Zodiac ride along the Coast of Santiago Island. The coastline has a large black lava flow that occurred 117 years ago. During our Zodiac adventure we spotted striated herons, sea lions and Galapagos penguins fishing and basking on the lava fields. One of the striated herons was very friendly and landed on our Zodiac allowing us to take great photos.  After a while the same heron took a tour and landed on the second and third Zodiacs, too!  It provided an amazing morning show for our guests.  The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin found in the northern hemisphere, over the equator line and it’s also the third smallest penguin in the world. Read More>

May 1, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

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