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Djupivogur

The guests and crew of National Geographic Explorer arrived today in Djúpivogur, which is a typical small fishing village in the southeast edge of Iceland. We boarded a bus for an ice-themed day in southern Iceland. Most of us went up on to the Skalafells glacier for a ride on snow vehicles. Read More>

Jul 27, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Isabela Island

Isabela Island is the largest island in Galapagos, and today we explored two sites on its west coast. After breakfast we went ashore to Urbina Bay, where we had a long walk, looking for Galapagos land iguanas, land birds of different species and also the heads of white coral that were uplifted in 1954. Most of the coast where we walked was underwater, prior to the geological event in 1954 which brought the 3.3 miles of the coast up to form the new seashore. As we walked to the interior, there were many shells, sea worms still attached to the rocks, and fragments of corals all along the trail. After this walk, everyone returned to the beach to swim and to enjoy the landscape of towering volcanoes surrounding us. At the end of the morning, we returned to the ship and started to navigate towards Tagus Cove, where we had some options to explore. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Isabela and Fernandina Islands

The National Geographic Islander continued its voyage around the Galapagos Islands. This time it navigated to the western part of the archipelago. During the morning we visited a place on the Island of Isabela called Punta Vicente Roca. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Lonkanfjorden & Skrova

Late last night we pulled into Lonkanfjorden, experiencing our first taste of night as the sun disappeared behind the high mountains. Waking early, the Captain took a group of brave guests on an epic hike to the top most reaches of the mountain. Scaling the rocks with deft maneuvers, the hikers, epic and otherwise, were treated to a spectacular view of the salt waters below. Whereas other guests chose to take to Zodiacs to cruise the shores carved long ago by the reaching ice. Without hardly looking into the water, the amount of moon jellies were undeniable – thousands of ancient creatures pulsed along with the current in search of the tiny planktonic life upon which they feed. Even more spectacular was their predator, the largest jelly in the world – a lion’s mane. Swimming through the density, the lion’s mane scooped up all it could with tentacles reaching over ten meters. It was a morning of great views all around, on high and in the water just below the surface. The afternoon brought us to Skrova, a small fishing village with a long history. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Arctic

Glacier Bay National Park

Today dispelled the notion that one needs a blue sky to have an amazing day. Despite mist-shrouded forests and fog-covered peaks, out journey through Glacier Bay National Park today showed us so much that any less cloud cover might have been overwhelming. After several close up looks at brown bears foraging along the intertidal zone, one of which providing a perfect example of the fact that some brown bears can be black in color, a sow and her three cubs were spotted on the beach. The bow of National Geographic Sea Bird was full as we watched, utterly transfixed by the antics of these fuzzy young mammals, trundling about around their mother. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Sifnos, Greece & Sailing

With the help of Aeolos, the ancient Greek god of wind, we enjoyed an amazing sail in the morning on our way to Sifnos, one of the westernmost Cycladic Islands. We arrived later in the afternoon, and from the main port, Kamares, we started our drive to Kastro. Kastro is the oldest inhabited and fortified settlement in the region. It is definitely one of the island’s major highlights if not its most fascinating attraction. It was chosen for its strategic importance on top of a steep, rocky promontory, which is where they built the first acropolis in the ancient times. It was the island’s fortified citadel throughout the times as well as the capital until 1836. Our visit to the Kastro was an experience where time seemed to stand still as we walked on very narrow walkways along which people have always walked. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Port Althorp and the Inian Islands

The guests aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion awoke to a beautiful and typical Southeast Alaska morning. Southeast Alaska is best characterized by fog, stillness, and brisk temperatures. The fog sits between topographical forest layers, framing each tree to show its height and majesty. The stillness of this portion of Alaska is nearly breathtaking. Since the open ocean is buffered by an island archipelago, the waters of the inside passage are most often serene and calm. Morning activities took the National Geographic Sea Lion to Port Althorp, a secluded bay on Chichigof Island. Read More>

Jul 26, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Fernandina & Isabela

The youth of an Island such as Fernandina is well appreciated in all terms by ecologist visiting the Galapagos, understanding how ecosystem works is even harder especially during El Niño phenomena. Last event just occurred in 1997 and its effects lasted almost until 2001. Animal populations related to ocean food supply may decline because of the lack of nutrients. Other land based ecosystems instead will flourish with the arrival of the prevailing rains that will last for a longer period of time. We started our day with a mega-hike in Punta Espinosa began quickly as the temperature increases, we managed to explore the colonies of marine iguanas and flightless cormorants. Read More>

Jul 25, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Myvatn Area

We left the coast today and headed inland towards Lake Myvatn and some of Iceland’s most dramatic geology. Although we split up into different groups with different areas of focus, we all spent our time investigating the active volcanic areas that make this country so special. A first stop was Godafoss, a beautiful waterfall that has become a popular stop thanks to its beauty. Read More>

Jul 25, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Bartolome and Rabida Islands

We woke up today anchored in the northern side of Bartolomé Island and right after sunrise we walked a wooden boardwalk all the way up to the top of the mountain. This walk is special as it allows one to explain the succession of life in newly formed islands. Galapagos was never part of a landmass and as the islands were created by volcanic eruptions life had to arrive somehow, establish, and reproduce here. For this process we have four endemic settler plants to thank: the lava cactus, Mollugo spp., Tequilia, and Chamaesyce. These plants are like epiphytes in the sense that they derive all their nutrients from the air and the root system is there only to secure the plant. They open the surface of the island to other forms of life that can benefit from the organic material left by them. Without these plants no life would be found on land in Galapagos. As we walked up the mountain. Read More>

Jul 25, 2016 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.

 

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