Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Guerrero Negro & Ojo de Liebre Lagoon

    Our busy day ashore began with expedition landing craft rides through Ojo de Liebre, a coastal lagoon within the El Vizcaino UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. An essential habitat for multiple endangered species as well as migratory birds and gray whales, this dynamic environment was worth careful exploration. While the whales have not yet arrived from their Bering Sea summer feeding grounds, we observed many types of sea and shorebirds along the sandy beaches and marsh edges.

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  • Isabela Island

    Today we woke up to a beautiful sunny day in the west of the Galapagos, on Isabela Island. National Geographic Islander anchored right off the coast of Alcedo Volcano, one of the six volcanoes that formed the seahorse-shaped Island of Isabela. This volcano is home to giant tortoises, which migrate down to lay their eggs. One of the places they go to is called Urbina bay, which we visited today.

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  • Lemaire Channel & Penola Strait

    Rays of sunshine rolled in off the snow-kissed mountains this morning as we headed down the famed Lemaire Channel, so named by Belgian explorer, Gerlache. The channel is a tapering seven-mile stretch, reaching on average only a mile wide and lined on either side by a series of panoramic and magnificent peaks. At its end, the Channel opens out into the wide sweeping Penola Strait, with Girard Bay off to one side. The whole area was filled with beautiful glistening clusters of brash ice, interspersed with burgs and crystal clear growlers. Penguins porpoised in between the chunks of ice and Crabeater seals were hauled out and sunning themselves on burgs.

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  • Isla San Martin

    Continuing our journey southward along the Baja Peninsula, changes in the landscape, vegetation, and culture began to make themselves apparent. Isla San Martin, an extinct cinder cone volcano and our stop for the morning, is considered the southernmost of the Channel Islands. In contrast to our earlier stops at Northern Channel Islands like Santa Rosa and Santa Catalina, San Martin was never exposed to the pressures of grazing by introduced ranch animals and features a unique community of native species, including six native reptiles and a host of succulents and lichens. Guests took the opportunity to explore to island’s coastline by Zodiac and spotted marine life like harbor seals and bullwhip kelp alongside the small vessels used by the island’s fishing cooperative.

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  • Brown Bluff, Antarctica

    The sun was out and the sky was clear, so this morning all guests set foot on the mainland of Antarctica at Brown Bluff in the Antarctic Sound. This site has towering volcanic cliffs, up to 745m (2,225 ft), rising from just beyond the water’s edge. The breathtaking sight is made even more so by the thousands of Adélie penguins packed into the area between the cliffs and shore. 

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  • Urbina and Tagus Cove, Isabela

    It was our second day on Isabela Island, and we’ve had the chance to observe marine creatures found only in this part of the archipelago, where the water is very rich in nutrients.

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  • Isabela and Fernandina islands

    With the ship still moving, we started our day with early cetacean watching. A small group of common dolphins showed up and for most of the trip, we enjoy the landscape and some seabirds along with the traditional crossing of the Equator line. Anchored at Punta Vicente Roca on Isabela, our first outing started with a Zodiac ride to admire the imposing geology and the various animals that live here. We found flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins, large marine iguanas, and a good number of Pacific green turtles which feed and rest in this area.

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  • Fernandina & Isabela Islands

    A drastic contrast is encountered as we awaken close to Fernandina Island in the western realm of the archipelago. A deep blue sky is a backdrop for the massive volcano La Cumbre, which is the shield volcano of Fernandina. This barren island is home to one of the largest populations of marine iguanas in Galapagos. Marine iguanas slowly make their way to the water to feed as they warm up and become active. Young sea lion pups play in the shallows and a Galapagos hawk soars just over our heads. Galapagos penguins flit about along the coast as Pacific green sea turtles feed in the tidal pools. This “barren” island is vibrantly alive with activity! Afternoon arrives along with our navigation to northern Isabela. Flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins are found along the coast of Punta Vicente Roca as we explore. A massive cliff is before us showing this area’s violent volcanic past as we eventually bring our Zodiacs aboard and head north, crossing the Equatorial line as the sun finishes its duty of the day and sets.

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  • Barrientos & Deception Islands

    The South Shetland Islands and their textbook columnar basalt cliffs appeared shortly after breakfast this morning. We’ve arrived in Antarctica! By mid-morning, we got our first practice with parkas, life jackets, and Zodiac embarkation. All went smoothly for our trip over to Barrientos Island where we walked between gentoo and chinstrap penguin nests. It was our first experience waiting at penguin crossings and observing their signature behaviours, such as moving rocks back and forth to build and rebuild their nests. Their eggs will be hatching any day now.

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  • Valle de Guadalupe

    As National Geographic Venture sailed south, we crossed into Mexico and stopped at the port of Ensenada. Just outside of town lays the hidden gem of Valle de Guadalupe. This valley is known as the Napa Valley of Mexico. It is famous for producing wine and olive oil. We all had a chance to explore a local winery, Monte Xanic, and even taste what the winery had to offer. After a day of wine tours in the Mexican countryside, we headed back to the ship and set off for our next adventure.

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


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