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Galle, Sri Lanka

Our second day exploring this gorgeous corner of Sri Lanka saw most of us enjoying a mixture of nature, culture, and local flavor.   After traveling along a coast lined with rocky points, statues of Buddha, and beautiful waves, we arrived at the Madu Ganga River.  Here, we boarded some local boats to navigate through mangrove channels and a series of lakes dotted with islands, experiencing a bit more of the local lifestyle.  Onboard the boats, we enjoyed searching for wildlife. Read More>

May 6, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

Galle, Sri-Lanka

 I was tempted to say that this day started like any other day at sea, but every day is different at sea. This morning a pod of dolphins graced us with their presence rather early, prompting many people to get up earlier than they had intended. We spent the first few hours cruising south of Dondra looking for marine mammals and other sea creatures. Read More>

May 5, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean


The youngest and most active volcanoes of the archipelago are located in the western portion, and Isabela is the largest. There is lots to see here, so we will spend all day at different sites along its coast. Our first location of the day is called Urbina Bay, where our guests can chose between a short or long hike, both of which offer good opportunities for wildlife sightings, including large land iguanas and occasionally even giant tortoises. Land birds are everywhere here, from Darwin’s finches, Galapagos hawks, warblers and Galapagos mockingbirds to some waders and sea birds, like pelicans and the unique flightless cormorants. Read More>

May 5, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

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

Den Helder & Texel, Netherlands

Continuing our exploration of the coast of the Netherlands and the Wadden Sea we navigated southwesterly to approach Den Helder, the northernmost point on the North Holland Peninsula. Den Helder was a significant strategic location in various conflicts in the 18th and 19th centuries and now serves as the country’s largest naval installation. Later in the afternoon we sailed across the narrow passage to the island of Texel, the largest of the Frisian Islands in the UNESCO World Heritage site of The Wadden Sea. Texel, like most of the Netherlands, has been built up over the centuries to its present day size and has been a significant site both militarily and economically since the 14th century.   The morning began as we sailed into the port of Den Helder with the sun breaking over the flat and low lying Dutch landscape with purples, pinks, and dramatic shades of blue and gray and the characteristic billowing clouds of the countryside adding that component that so many Dutch masters captured in their paintings. Read More>

May 2, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Holland & Belgium

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

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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