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Lastest Expedition Reports

Playa Caletas and Corcovado National Park

A cool breeze passed by National Geographic Sea Lion. After spending the night in the calm waters of Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula, a lovely reddish sunrise was revealed to us. As the mist began to dissipate, the different colors of the forest began to appear.  Our desire to go out and explore was satisfied as our expedition leader announced the first activity of the day. Read More>

Dec 15, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Bartolome and Rabida Islands

Today our first activity took place before breakfast with a hike to the top of Bartolome Island. This hike included about four hundred wooden steps all the way to the top. Along the way we learn about the geology and history of Bartolome Island. The island, despite its very small size, provides our guests with many options to enjoy. Read More>

Dec 15, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

The Lemaire Channel, Booth Island & Penola Strait

This morning we woke up surrounded by fog and large snowflakes. We approached the entrance to the Lemaire Channel, this is one of the most scenic and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes on the Antarctic Peninsula. We cruised through the circular patterned sea ice heading for our first landing at Booth Island. The high snowy peaks towered over our ship, the National Geographic Explorer, as legendary ice Captain Leif Skog masterly navigated through the narrow ice-clad channel. We were the first boat to sail through the channel in the past week. Snowflakes continued to fall and were visible on our orange expedition parkas by the time breakfast was announced at 7 a.m.  Our first landing of the day was on Booth Island, where all three species of brushtail penguins; Adélies, gentoos, and chinstraps, were seen nesting close to each other. Read More>

Dec 15, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

Fernandina & Isabela Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a mixture of emotions, and today we visited the youngest area of the archipelago. Our first adventure of the day was a visit to Fernandina Island; and a comfortable dry landing at Punta Espinoza was the perfect way to begin our journey. As soon as we arrived, we found ourselves awe-inspired by the presence of a multitude of marine iguanas that were found covering the lava rock area. Read More>

Dec 15, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Manuel Antonio National park

National Geographic Sea Lion anchored in front of Manuel Antonio National Park. Before breakfast some of our guests went to the bridge to join in some exercises with our wellness coordinator.  Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, and was founded in 1972. Read More>

Dec 14, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Costa Rica & Panama

Cuverville Island, Orne Harbour & Danco Island

Our day aboard the National Geographic Explorer at Cuverville Island began at the northern end of Errara Channel. A low ceiling hung over the channel, and its calm waters enticed many guests into kayaks for the first time on the voyage. As the paddlers cruised among the floating blue ice, they witnessed a glacier calve multiple times, each with a thunderous boom as new icebergs were formed. The island also offered opportunities to observe several small gentoo penguin colonies, one of which was perched high up on a bluff. We watched patiently as several brown skuas sat lazily among the uneasy penguins, waiting for the chance to steal an egg. But the penguins prevailed and eventually the skuas flew off, without a meal, to harass the other colonies. In the afternoon, we traveled to Orne Harbour and landed our Zodiacs at Spigot peak on the Antarctic Peninsula proper. Read More>

Dec 14, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Antarctica

North Seymour & Rabida Island

After spending our first night in the Galapagos, we started our activities early in the morning by visiting one of the smallest islands, home of a great number of sea birds and land iguanas. Lying just to the north of Baltra, North Seymour is a flat and low island consisting of uplifted sea floor. It was covered with dry vegetation, mainly dwarf Palo Santo trees and sea shore bushes such as salt bush and sesuvium, whose red leaves gave a special contrast with the blue ocean. We walked along the boulders observing dry vegetation everywhere, with magnificent and great frigate birds nesting on their branches, producing their unmistakable calls, making it easy to distinguish one from each other.  Land iguanas rested along the boulders, just observing us indifferently while juvenile blue footed boobies walked along the ground, flapping their wings as practice to be ready to fly in a few weeks.   We left behind the forest of Palo Santo to walk along the sandy beach, where we observed many Galapagos sea lions resting in the bushes, which looked like real caves of vegetation, while on the top of them, a great number of juvenile frigate birds were the delight of our guests. Read More>

Dec 14, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Zapote River and Yanallpa

The Zapote River has a particularly well-preserved and healthy forest along its shores and today we boarded our skiffs to explore it before breakfast. There is something special about being out in the jungle during the first hour after sunrise. The temperature is very nice and most birds and other creatures are especially active. Everybody seems to be waking up and there is a lot of chattering and flying around. The tall epiphyte-covered trees are impressive enough, but when numerous yellow-rumped caciques or an entire flock of canary-winged parakeets use them as perches, they suddenly became full of life. It is completely worth it to jump out of bed early to watch the waking up of the rainforest, and the Zapote River rewarded us with amazing sightings today.  We also had the opportunity to visit the small fishing community of Zapote. Read More>

Dec 13, 2014 Delfin II in Amazon

Approaching Pitcairn Island, South Pacific

Yesterday evening we departed French Polynesia and set a course for a remnant of the British Empire: the Pitcairn Islands. While making the transition from French to British territory, we also made another significant transition as the National Geographic Orion crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and left the tropics. Whether psychologically or actually, it did seem cooler out on deck this morning, and a few people sporting fleeces suggested that the chill was not all in the mind.  Those enjoying the cooler weather out on deck in the afternoon were treated to a changing impression of our island destination from the first hazy glimpse at 25 miles range. Read More>

Dec 13, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Genovesa Island

Genovesa Island can be considered a jewel in the Galapagos. It is surrounded by warmer waters and located in the outermost region of this archipelago. It is home to hundreds of thousands of seabirds of different kinds. Great Frigate birds are just starting the breeding season. The first male just arrived to show its red pouch! Baby red-footed boobies are most prominent on Genovesa island. This island is made up almost completely of flat and rocky basalt and it is still dry at this time of the year. Read More>

Dec 13, 2014 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.