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Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

Killybegs, Ireland

Our day in Killybegs and its surroundings offered a look into Ireland's past and a vision of its future. This is a country where history reveals itself around every turn, and sometimes the juxtapositions between the old and the new can be quite jarring. Today, we saw ancient monuments from prehistoric times incongruously sitting by the side of the road like druidic traffic signs. We visited a model village where we witnessed techniques for knitting traditional fishing nets and weaving ropes from straw on the same day we passed by factories of fast-growing, hi-tech electronics companies specializing in outfitting ships across the world with the latest technologies. The dock where National Geographic Orion berthed in Killybegs, a quiet, somewhat non-descript village that happens to be Ireland's largest fishing port, was lined with the enormous disassembled sections of brand-new wind turbines, destined to provide clean energy for this fast-developing country. Even our young guide at Glencolmcille Folk Center, which was established over 50 years ago to preserve the architecture, artifacts, and folk traditions of this region's rural communities represented Ireland's blend of old and new. Read More>

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

Pavlof Harbor

Dropping anchor early at Pavlof Harbor, on Chichagof Island, we seized the chance to really “get after it” in the backcountry. While others spend our last morning together kayaking past bedrock walls squirming with intertidal critters, or taking photo walks to the waterfall of a major salmon stream, I join some intrepid hikers for three hours off-trail, bushwhacking to Pavlof Lake the Alaskan way. We ducked into the woods, passing mud holes thick with skunk cabbage and deer tracks, and marveling at the engineering of a beaver lodge. Read More>

Jun 24, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Dubrovnik, Croatia

After a peaceful night of motoring down the Dalmatian Coast under warm, gentle breezes, the Sea Cloud approached the Old Town wharf just before 8:00 a.m. The rattle of the anchor chain joined the tinkle of coffee cups up on the lido deck as guests enjoyed another marvelous breakfast. Dubrovnik will be our final stop in Croatia before continuing south towards Albania and Greece. Read More>

Jun 24, 2016 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

North Svalbard

The day began calm and cool on National Geographic Explorer. The ship was in the extreme north of Svalbard, the Norwegian Arctic archipelago, and we were searching for bears. Svalbard’s northern section sits at about 80. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

South Plazas & Santa Fe Islands

Our expedition around this magical archipelago brought us today to one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the Galápagos archipelago, South Plaza Island. This small island, which is in fact only some few hundred yards long, was once part of the ocean floor. The amount of wildlife that inhabits this paradise is overwhelming. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Connemara, Ireland

There is a sense of permanence here, a sense that this is the only way it can be.  It seems so perfect, meandering our way through the landscapes of Ireland. We step forward and back in time at a rate that sometimes makes your head spin, every new vista hurling us back into the Mesolithic, or dragging us back to the modern world or perhaps even looking ahead to the way it might be. Time leaps to and fro in thousands of years, sometimes millions! It seems an age ago that we moved south from Dublin, through the fertile south coast and to the towns and villages of Kerry that welcomed us so warmly and to the Aran Islands and the fort of Dun Aoenghus. Read More>

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

George Island

We spent the day in what may be Southeast Alaska’s richest area in terms of natural as well as cultural history. We began at George Island. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Korcula, Croatia

We had calm seas as we sailed at six knots on a starboard tack into the jewel-like harbor of Korcula. The wind was fresh and the sun bright overhead. The sails were up by 9:00 a.m. and we were breezing along at six knots. Imagine the wind alone was moving 2,500 tons of ship through the water at such speed. I sometimes wonder why in this age of ecological concern we do not harness the wind to move freight again across the seas. At 9:30 Grace Fielder gave an informative talk on the myth of maps, designed to instill the spirit of skepticism in us. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Inian Islands & Fox Cove

There is something that happens to the soul when you wake up and immediately have wildlife to view. It centers you, and allows you to remember that nature is not something to visit; it is something to experience every day. Today was one of those mornings, here on board the National Geographic Sea Lion. The ship was still when everyone awoke, it was obvious that something special was happening, and there was no need to make an announcement to head out on deck, everyone just knew it was something you should do. Close to shore, there was a humpback whale feeding, a Sitka deer meandered along the beach, and a sea otter floated gently on its back, for this moment in time, all was right with the world. After a time, breakfast was served, and we prepared ourselves for the day ahead. First on our agenda were the Inian Islands, a small group of islands at the top end of the Inside Passage. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island has the largest human population of all of Galápagos. It is where the Charles Darwin Research Station is located, which is where the captive breeding program for giant tortoises and land iguanas got started. With these programs we have been able to restock the populations of giant tortoises in places where they became extinct. It is the pride of this Park to have been be able to repopulate areas that were affected by human activity. The day started overcast and with garua or drizzle as we went to the research station. Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

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