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Bilbao, Spain

We had a quiet, beautiful morning on board as we were not arriving into Bilbao until 1:00 p.m. At 9:00 a. Read More>

May 26, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

A Coruña, Spain

Early risers watched A Coruña come into sight as the National Geographic Orion approached the port city this morning. An iconic tower was the first thing that we noticed. The Tower of Hercules stands on a point in front of the city. It is the world’s longest continuously running lighthouse, having been in operation since the 2nd century AD. Even though rain had been forecast for the morning, as we pulled into the harbor the clouds broke and the sun emerged, providing a wonderful setting for our various morning options. Some of us went to get a close up look at the tower, traveling there either by bus or by bicycle. The rest of the group set out on foot to explore the Old Quarter area of this Galician city. A Coruña is distinct in appearance when looking at it from the Atlantic with the prominent lighthouse. Read More>

May 25, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

As in Robert Frost's famous poem "The Road Not Taken," life is like a path. Most people like to know where the road leads. I'm not usually one of them, but for the thousands of pilgrims who walk El Camino de Santiago every year, there's comfort in knowing where the trail ends… at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. A steady stream of people have been walking tens, sometimes hundreds, of miles across Europe to this destination for over 1200 years, enduring blistered feet, hunger, exposure to the elements and probably the occasional bandit or two in their quest for spiritual growth and enlightenment. Our journey was considerably easier then most, aided is as it was by the extremely comfortable National Geographic Orion ship followed by a luxurious bus ride and a walk from the bus depot of about 500 yards that took us to the Cathedral. Read More>

May 24, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Oporto, Portugal

After a lovely evening sail out of Lisbon yesterday, we woke up to enjoy a relaxing but educational morning at sea. One of our cultural specialists, Miguel, gave a presentation on the Portuguese Age of Discovery and our photo instructor, Jennifer, gave us with tips and guidelines to improve our photography skills. After lunch we split into different types of vehicles to explore the charismatic city and World Heritage site of Oporto. Read More>

May 23, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Portimão, Portgual

Saudade is a Portuguese word that is almost impossible to translate, but you know it when you feel it. Some call is nostalgia or longing, a sense of sadness tinged with love, desire, regret, hope. Yes, it’s pain, but the kind of pain in which pleasure also finds a place. In English, you might just call it "the blues." The feeling is closely connected with Portugal's history and culture, and it is one of the most powerful and culturally significant words in the Portuguese language. Read More>

May 21, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Malaga, Spain

Our second day in Malaga greeted us with sunshine and high temperatures. Malaga is a great place to wander around and explore by foot as it has more museums than any other city in Spain and many interesting archeological sites and monuments from Roman, Moorish, and Christian eras. Read More>

May 19, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Motril, Granada, Chillar River and Malaga

The fog over the greenhouses of Motril was melting away with the first light of sunrise. We were already docked on the pier of the largest port of Granada’s coast thanks to an early morning arrival.  Some of us boarded buses going to Alhambra, others head to Motril for a tapas cooking class, and the most adventurous left for the River Chillar. National Geographic Orion then departed Motril to be relocated and await us in Malaga, the capital of the Spanish sunshine coast After one hour driving across the mountains of Southern Andalusia, the group going to Alhambra emerged on the Vega, the granary of Granada, a flat area surrounded by mountains and overlooked by the Alhambra. Read More>

May 18, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

The Mazarrón Escarpment and Cartagena, Spain

Our explorations today revealed many different sides of the Western Mediterranean world, from geology and marine biology to classical architecture, marine archeology and the vibrant modern culture of one of Spain’s most historic cities. The day got off to a leisurely start, with chance to sleep in a bit and a late breakfast – much appreciated after our long day out yesterday. Read More>

May 17, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion


Fin whales greeted us on our very first day of voyage, what a sensational beginning! Albufera was the first mission for our day in Valencia, the third largest city in Spain. Read More>

May 16, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Ciutadella, Menorca

Serendipity - The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident. Our day to explore Ciutadella, walking around the historic quarters surrounded by palaces, churches, and fortresses, was going as smoothly as planned. Read More>

May 14, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

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

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