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Komodo Island: Indonesia

Today we were full of anticipation, to come face to face with the legendary Komodo dragon. We made the short Zodiac transfer to Loh Liang, the entry point for Komodo Island National Park. We all gathered at the Ranger Station for a briefing by the Park Ranger. The evolutionary development of the Komodo dragon started with the Varanus genus, which originated in Asia about 40 million years ago and migrated to Australia. Read More>

Aug 22, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Sailing the Caledonian Canal & Excursion to Glenfinnan

Today the changeable weather provided some spectacular skies with sunshine and showers. Our journey took us through the locks of Kytra and Cullochy and on to Loch Oich, where Steve Blamires gave a splendid talk about the Jacobites, with many insights from his research not to be found in history books. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 Lord of the Glens in Scotland

Ucayali River & Dorado River

Going for the early skiff ride this morning paid off very well. We were treated to excellent views of the colorful, three-foot-long, blue-and-yellow macaws. We saw up to six at once sitting in the tops of trees, mutual preening and flying around in pairs. Macaws are the largest of the parrots and mate for life. This morning we saw them in a stand of dead palm trees, an area they will use for nesting.  After breakfast our explorations took us to the bottom of the flood forest. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 Delfin II in Amazon

Port Althorp & Inian Islands VIDEO

The soft rays of the early morning sun greeted us as we gently edged into the secluded bay called Port Althorp. As the sun rose, so did the birds and their calls could be heard all around the ship. Ahead of us was a large meadow guarded by thick forest. Behind the ship the Fairweather range was visible and displaying its massive snow covered peaks in all their glory. After a hearty breakfast we boarded the expedition landing craft for our explorations ashore. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

What could be better than waking up in front of a breathtaking landscape? Well, that is exactly what we did this morning when we had the chance to admire the beautiful Margerie glacier before breakfast; after having picked-up a National Park Ranger and a Tlingit Cultural Interpreter last night in Gustavus, the National Geographic Sea Bird navigated all night long through the 57-mile-long bay to be in front of the glacier. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is an immense protected area that includes numerous glaciers, but the Margerie is possibly its most famous one. It certainly is impressive with its magnificent spires of ice, its thunderous sounds, and its frequent calving episodes. Much less conspicuous but very important, is the Grand Pacific glacier, its quiet neighbor. Covered with dirt and rocks gathered by one of its tributaries, the Ferris glacier, the Grand Pacific looks like an innocuous hill but is actually the glacier that carved the whole bay.   After having witnessed numerous great calvings, we headed south towards Russell Island looking for wildlife; we were not disappointed, as we found a brown bear sow with her two cubs walking along the shoreline. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands VIDEO

Today was “reptile day” for us in the Galapagos. Cold blooded animals have successfully colonized these islands for millions of years. Some of these reptiles are bigger, more colorful and more attractive than others.  In the case of the land iguanas, there are three species within the islands. One species is located only in Santa Fe Island, another inhabits six different islands, and the recently discovered pink land iguana can only be found on one volcano within Isabela Island. Every one of them has found their niche and had to adapt to their home island.   There are two islands where life inhabits within a unique and astonishing landscape. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Bartolome and Chinese Hat Islands

Another day in the mysterious islands, as the Galapagos surprised us with their unique wildlife. This morning we were at Bartolome Island. This iconic part of the archipelago is one of the most visited by people all over the world.  The volcanic landscape and the pioneer plants growing on its barren volcanic soil with recent lava flows made our early outing unforgettable.  It gave us a deep understanding of the geology of the island as well as the process of founding. New organisms managed their way onto the island, surviving a long period of drought. The famous landmark of Bartolome Island is its Pinnacle Rock, which is a rock that has been shaped by Mother Nature through its elements, water and wind. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Larantuka, Indonesia

The warmth and humidity of Indonesia could definitely be felt as we ventured outside to have breakfast on deck of the National Geographic Orion this morning.  As we navigated between lush mountains and extinct volcanoes to find our anchorage, local fishermen passed close by in their colorful wood-planked boats in order to get a closer look at their visitors for the day.  After a brief clearance from the local authorities, the Zodiacs were dropped and we were on our way for yet another adventure in this capital city on the island of Flores.  Upon reaching the dock it was obvious that Larantuka is a central hub for this area that was once a colony of Portugal for 300 years.  The hustle and bustle was impossible to ignore and almost overwhelming with motorbikes, buses, cars and people everywhere.  Making our way through the crowds, we managed to find our local guides and be on our way to a local market.  The market was full of almost anything and everything one could possibly need, and plenty of things that one probably wouldn’t as well. Read More>

Aug 21, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Pacific Islands & Australia

Culloden, Clava Cairns, Loch Ness and Fort Augustus

Sunshine started to softly break as we boarded our coach this morning en route to Culloden Battlefield and Clava Cairns. Graham, our local driver, took us on a scenic tour of his hometown Inverness and pointed out many of its finer and more elegant features. As we neared Culloden Battlefield, Steve, our expedition leader, took over the commentary and gave us sufficient background information regarding Bonnie Prince Charlie and the failed Jacobite cause so that we could make better sense of what we were about to learn in the interpretation centre. This is a new purpose-built building which uses some very sophisticated audio and visual systems to help visitors understand the importance of the battle and to really get into the hearts and minds of the major figures on both sides. We shall encounter more Jacobite history in the following days. A short drive took us back a long way in time as we approached the three megalithic burial chambers known as Clava Cairns. Read More>

Aug 20, 2014 Lord of the Glens in Scotland

Marayali, Amazon & Ucayali Rivers

Today we experienced a diversity of aspects of the Amazon River Basin. Skiff cruises this morning along the Marayali—a shortcut “river” (the name is a hybridization of Maranon and Ucayali) presented the wildlife element. We started with fish jumping nearby as we navigated upriver and one errantly landed in one of our skiffs! We soon met a local fisherman and he displayed his catch of assorted catfish, along with two different piranha species. The highlight of the outing was a large troupe of common squirrel monkeys feeding in a tree at the edge of the river. Bits of flowers, leaves, and fruit fell into some of our skiffs as we delighted in this up-close and relaxed sighting.    For the late morning we visited the local village of Amazonas. Read More>

Aug 20, 2014 Delfin II in Amazon

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

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Daily Expedition Report Information

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