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Española, also known as Hood Island, is the oldest island in the Galapagos. Read More>

Apr 26, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

At Sea, from the Seychelles to the Maldives

It is not very often that Sunday morning on board National Geographic Orion feel like a Sunday morning. More often than not we are up at dawn and ready to go, no matter what day of the week it is. It just so happened that this Sunday was a day at sea and as such, many of us took the opportunity to have a gentle start to the morning, enjoying our breakfast in the sunshine on the aft deck before heading into the lounge to listen to Tom’s presentation on Island Plants of the Indian Ocean. With a variety of talks scheduled for the day and with the option to use the gym or make the most of the wonderful library in the observation lounge, a day at sea is only a quiet and relaxing affair if you want it to be. Read More>

Apr 26, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

San Cristobal Island

Today, we set food aground on the eastern most island of the Galapagos. After a dry landing, we had a nice hike up the tuff cones of an old caldera. The impressive volcanic landscape and the geological features surrounding us were just stunning. Here the guests of the National Geographic Islander had the chance to choose either going on a hike or going for a Zodiac ride along the coast in search of red footed boobies. During the hike we spotted red footed boobies nesting on the cliffs, some of them were incubating eggs while others already had chicks. We also had the chance to spot an endemic centipede and three Chattam Mockingbirds. After the hike and the Zodiac cruise, our guests had time to enjoy the beach and jump in the refreshing water and some of us had the chance to play with baby sea lions. During lunch we headed to an offshore islet located at the western coast of San Cristobal Island called Kicker Rock. Read More>

Apr 25, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

At sea, from the Seychelles towards the Maldives

No, after one day at sea, I have not gone crazy.  And yes, I am quoting Monty Python. Why you say?   Well, we spent the day cruising in the vast blue sea. After four glorious days exploring the Seychelles, we are on our way to the Maldives. It is over a thousand miles away and we spent all day without any sightings of land, with the sea around 12,000+ feet deep.  “The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in the winter, yet these are not strangers to our land? Are you suggesting coconuts migrate? Not at all. Read More>

Apr 25, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

San Cristobal Island

Today is our last day in paradise, an adventure which seems dreamlike; we all bonded as one even though we are from different places. The Galápagos brings magic to our souls and minds. From Fernandina to San Cristobal islands, the youngest and one of the oldest in the archipelago, this expedition has taken us on a journey of discovery through time. San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest in the Galapagos. Read More>

Apr 24, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Santa Cruz Island

Just at dawn, the National Geographic Islander entered Academy Bay in the southeastern corner of the island of Santa Cruz. It was a different view for everyone when they looked outside…civilization was here! All kinds of boats were in the harbor, from local motor-yachts of different sizes and shapes, to private sailboats most likely on their way across the Pacific Ocean in a few days. We were exceptionally fortunate in that the morning remained overcast, so we could avoid the intense equatorial sun overhead while in town. Read More>

Apr 24, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Aride Island, Seychelles

The Seychelles Archipelago, one of the world’s smallest countries, never ceases to enchant and captivate! Sailing these turquoise warm waters is a privilege for very few people, and today we were fortunate enough to spend an entire day at beautiful Aride Island. Read More>

Apr 24, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

Santa Cruz Island

What could be a better sign for a nobler future than to look at a young Galapagos tortoise, exploring its rearing corral on a sunny morning? This is the picture of a lovely little reptile, not older than a year, which was born at the National Park Breeding Center and which someday soon will be repatriated to its home island. It is hard to believe that these tiny little babies could one day weigh over 500 pounds! We spent the morning here, learning about the efforts to restore the populations of these incredible creatures in the wild. Read More>

Apr 23, 2015 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Santiago Island, Espumilla beach and James Bay

The day started with an early outing on Espumilla beach. Eager to explore the island was the most famous naturalist in the world, “Charles Darwin”, who spent nine days collecting specimens that led him to the development of the theory of evolution through natural selection. Unfortunately, due to the sea conditions on the landing beach we couldn’t disembark on the island, but we were able to improvise a Zodiac ride along the coastline. Our explorers were fascinated by the native brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies perched on the basaltic coastline.  Kayaking was a great alternative to approach the huge cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. Kayakers spotted swallow tailed gulls, brown pelicans, and noddies among other migratory birds.Today the National Geographic Islander was anchored in a calm bay at Santiago Island. Read More>

Apr 23, 2015 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Praslin and La Digue Islands

We spent the morning on Praslin Island, the second largest of the Seychelles central granitic group (population about 6,500 people). Like Mahe, it has a mountainous ridge running on an east-west line down the center. The island’s main attraction is, of course, the famous Vallée de Mai, which is now a World Heritage Site. Vallée de Mai is one of the few climax palm forests in the world and is best known for its amazing and mysterious growth of coco de mer palms, an endemic species that is distinguished by having both the largest leaf and the largest seed in the entire world. This spectacular palm got its name centuries ago from the belief that it grew on the sea floor somewhere in the Indian Ocean, because it was only known from seeds that had floated ashore in the Maldives or other coastal regions. These rare specimens were carved into ornate containers and were worth a fortune. Only a few examples survive today. Right after breakfast, most of us went directly to the beautiful palm forest in order to enjoy hiking among the fascinating endemic flora, which also includes an additional five species of palms. In spite of the typical heat and humidity of this tropical island, conditions were quite pleasant walking in the shade of the giant palms. One of the highlights of our hike this morning was the sighting of a rare, endemic Seychelles black parrot. At the same time, several guests opted to spend the morning at the beautiful white coralline sand beach known as Anse Lazio, just one of many excellent beaches found here on Praslin Island. During lunch, we sailed over to nearby La Digue (the fourth largest island, population about 2,500), where we spent the rest of the day. Read More>

Apr 23, 2015 National Geographic Orion in Southern Africa & the Indian Ocean

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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