Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Victoria, British Columbia

    Today we awoke in the heart of Victoria, a beatiful and vibrant city here on the south end of Vancouver Island. Today we took in all the city had to offer; historical and architectural walks, bicycle tours, trips to the Royal British Columbia Musuem, garden tours, all culminating in a private reception at the Robert Bateman Center and Gallery. A fantastic final day here in Canada.

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  • Hells Canyon

    The jet boat reached 145 miles from the Snake River mouth. Lewiston, our port of call, was Idaho’s former capital and westernmost city. The neighboring city of Clarkston, Washington (once called Jawbone Flats) lined the western shoreline. Further upriver lay the town of Asotin, Washington (named for the onetime plentiful lamprey eels in the river). The Grand Ronde River at Heller’s Bar marks the 30-mile point southward. Sparse evidence of human activity is seen after this point. We were on a wild river for the rest of the exploration.

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  • Isabela Island

    Today we woke up in the center of the archipelago, at Lindblad Expeditions adopted island, Santiago. This island has an interesting story of introduced animals eradicated with the help of Lindblad Expeditions and the Galapagos National Park, making it today one of the most beautiful places to visit on earth.

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  • Southern Patagonia Icefield

    Patagonia is usually considered one of the windiest and wettest regions on Earth, but that was not the case today. Thanks to the high-pressure system working as a barrier out in the Pacific Ocean, we’ve been able to enjoy a lovely, unusually sunny and warm day as we sailed around the perimeter of the Southern Patagonia Icefield. This enormous icefield, spanning about 12,500 square kilometers and spreading across the border between Chile and Argentina, hosts a spectacular array of outlet glaciers and associated glacial landforms in an intricate network of fjords and channels.

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  • Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove at Isabela Island.

    Today aboard National Geographic Endeavor II we had the opportunity to start the day with our morning walk at Urbina Bay, a black sandy beach located on the rim of Alcedo volcano on Isabela Island. As we walked along the trail, we had close encounters with yellow land iguanas and giant Alcedo tortoises! After the hike, some guests returned to the ship by Zodiac, and others had a refreshing swim at Urbina Bay beach, sharing the space with pelican birds that were feeding at the coast. Today we had a delicious and traditional Ecuadorian buffet lunch where we learned the proper way to eat ceviche.

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  • Tortel, Chile

    An early wake-up call alerted everyone to a photo opportunity and view of the full moon setting in clear skies among snow-capped peaks. We were approaching the small, remote community of Tortel. Spread out over a high, rounded hill south of the mouth and delta of the Rio Baker, Tortel consists of 500 inhabitants whose homes and businesses are connected by wooden boardwalks. A spur route off the Austral Highway connects the town to the outside world. But the road ends on the edge of the town and turns into boardwalks spiderwebbed throughout the village.

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  • Alert Bay and cruising Black Fish Sound

    Early this morning National Geographic Venture arrived at the Government Dock on Cormorant Island in the community of Alert Bay. It was extremely calm, not a breath of wind and high clouds moving in slowly from the north. After the gangway was lowered and secured, everyone onboard made their way down the dock and walked a short distance to the Namgis traditional burial grounds. We were greeted by Trevor Issac from the U’mista Cultural Center.  The ‘Namgis original burial grounds is more than one hundred years in age and is the ancestral burial grounds that have been located on Cormorant Island for many generations. Trevor presented much information about totem pole commemorating deceased members of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Figures on the poles depict family crests and these were the bulk of the questions many of us had for Trevor. He went into much detail about the origin of crests and how families trace their ancestry through those crests.

    From the burial grounds, we could either walk the one mile to the U’mista Cultural Center or take one of two small vans to the center. The U’mista Cultural Center was established in the early 1980s. It houses an exceptional collection of traditional and ceremonial masks and artifacts all vital regalia for the Potlatch. This system of governance and ceremony has been the central foundation of the cultural lives for the people of the Northwest Coast for thousands of years. After seeing the Potlatch collection, we saw a short film about the continuum of potlatching. Afterwards we were introduced to Chief Bill Cranmer who leads the Board of Directors for the U’mista Cultural Center. Born and raised in Alert Bay he has spent nearly all of his eighty years involved in many central issues of the lives of his people. He has spent much of his life fighting for the retention of Indigenous languages throughout British Columbia. A quiet man but fiercely observant he stepped forward and gave just a glimpse into the life and value of elders in the world of Indigenous peoples. Bill answered many questions, opening our eyes to the current issues faced by Indigenous peoples up and down the Northwest Coast.

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  • Hells Canyon, Snake River

    The weather was a bit warmer and sunnier on our last full day of our journey up the Columbia and Snake rivers. We got off National Geographic Quest early this morning and loaded into three large jet boats. We spent the day on these specialized vessels, going more than 100 miles round-trip into Hells Canyon on the Snake River. At 8,000 feet from rim to river, Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America.

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  • Desolation Sound, B.C.

    Captain George Vancouver sailed into Desolation Sound on his Pacific Northwest exploration in 1792. He saw steep tree lined mountains rising from blue-green waters that were 500 feet in depth. Glacier-scoured granite peaks reached 10,000 feet high in the far background. Snow-filled crevasses stay frozen all year long. Marine birds fished along the water, and songbirds sang in the trees.  If he had stayed long enough to explore the deep woods, he might have seen black bears foraging along the coastline. However, he was not impressed. He saw a bleak grey waterway that dead-ended to the east, without any possible use for his exploration. He called it Desolation Sound, and over 220 years later, the name still stands. Today, Desolation Sound is a popular destination for all boaters and kayakers, and its magnificent beauty is unsurpassed along this beautiful British Columbia coastline.

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  • Palouse River | Washington

    As we continue eastward, we are very much in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains. The short grass “Palouse” area was mentioned in the journals of Lewis and Clark for the shortage of wood for their campfires at night. The lush trees we found today were planted and irrigated in Lyons Ferry State Park and in Palouse Falls State Park. Water continued to contribute to our highlights of the day as we traveled to Palouse Falls, where the tumble of water into the massive plunge pool carve about 10,000 years ago by the Bretz Floods continues to impress us. A bookend to the falls, the calm waters of the Palouse River. There we navigated upstream winding our way through cattails, bulrushes and a bit of tree debris left by a busy beaver. In all it was a lovely, crisp fall day to be exploring in the wake of Lewis and Clark.

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


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