Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Lopez Mateos & Boca de Soledad

    We awoke this morning alongside the dock in San Carlos on the northern bank of Magdalena Bay. Buses awaited to drive us to Lopez Mateos where we could board local pangas – small fiberglass boats that offer excellent views. The pangas would take us along Hull Canal to Boca de Soledad, a narrow inlet to Magdalena Bay where gray whales use these calm waters for their breeding and calving grounds.

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  • Gulfo Dulce, Costa Rica

    Today was our first day into Costa Rica, and it was a terrific day. We explore the Golfo Dulce our sweet water gulf.

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  • Kampong Tralach and Koh Oaknhatey

    There’s nothing like an early start to catch the best part of the day, in this case quite literally one of the highlights of the trip. We started with a trip back in time, traveling by oxcart from the banks of the Tonle Sap through rice and lotus fields towards the small village of Kampong Tralach. It’s a brief glimpse into a simpler life, each guest getting to know the oxen directly behind their cart!

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  • South Plaza and Santa Fe Islands

    National Geographic Islander arrived during the first light at South Plaza Island to start our full day of activities in the Galapagos Islands. Upon landing, we were greeted by several marine and land iguanas, some of them even sharing the same rocks. This is a prime example of what makes this island special – the unique combination of these creatures has created a special marine-land iguana hybrid, which we were very luck to see today.

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  • Bartolome & Chinese Hat

    Today we woke up for an early walk uphill to the top of Bartolome, a satellite islet of Santiago Island. This relatively new island is a good place to appreciate different geological formations such as tuff and spatter cones, and new basaltic flows. The presence of pioneer plants such as Tiquilia nesiotica and the lava cactus makes Bartolome a good place to understand how life started in Galapagos, after the first plants established in newly formed islands. We also had the chance to explore the underwater world of this place, where we had the opportunity to observe many species of fish. But the ones that definitely caught the most attention of guests were the white-tipped sharks.

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  • Sand Dollar Beach, Baja California Sur

    Baja California is truly proving itself to be one of the most magical places on the planet. Waking up this morning, National Geographic Venture was sailing north in the Pacific Ocean, offshore of the Baja peninsula. Having entered the open ocean for the first time in this trip, we were hoping to see some animals that are not always found in the Sea of Cortez. We were not disappointed! Bottlenose dolphins joined the ship as the sun rose, surfing along in the pressure wave created by the ship’s bulbous bow. During breakfast, rafts of about 100 California sea lions raced over to play in our wake, and two humpback whales even swam and twirled off of our stern, giving guests a show through the panoramic windows in the dining room. Throughout the morning there were sightings of many new seabirds [pink-footed and black-vented shearwaters, western and California gulls] and cetaceans [Pacific white-sided dolphins] as we made our way towards the entrance to Magdalena Bay.

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  • Isla Coiba National Park

    As the sun rose out of the Pacific, National Geographic Quest was slowly passing some idyllic white-sand islands that are among the many satellite islands of Isla Coiba. Isla Coiba is the largest of Panama and measures 25 miles long by 5 wide. At one point there was an active penal colony which from images does not appear to have been a very comfortable place to be sent. Due to the isolation of Coiba, there are a few endemic species, and being that it is a National park, the island is well protected and known for its wildlife both above and below water.

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  • Spert Island & Charlotte Bay

    Early in the morning National Geographic Orion slowly approached Spert Island from the north. This is a beautiful and rugged island that is adjacent to the much larger Trinity Island situated on the north end of the Gerlache Strait. Under almost perfect conditions, we were able to do Zodiac cruises through the small channels and islets on the west side of this scenic island. Later, steaming south for about four hours, the ship entered Charlotte Bay, on the Antarctic Peninsula, where we encountered beautiful icebergs, and several feeding humpback whales. Dropping our Zodiacs again, we were able to watch these magnificent cetaceans from water level, as they deployed rings of bubbles, and engulfed their favorite food: krill! Another amazing day exploring this incredible wilderness!

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  • Cruising the Tonle Sap River and Kampong Chhnang

    The morning started with a brief walk in the early morning to see the large and infamous “flying foxes,” or fruit bats, in Phnom Penh. Jahan then departed for the Tonle Sap River, cruising upstream against the current.

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  • Tortoise Breeding Center, Santa Cruz Highlands

    We spent our day in the largest town of the Galapagos, and early this morning visited the Charles Darwin Station and the Fausto Llerena Giant Tortoises Breeding Center where learned about the restoration efforts of the Galapagos National Park. The aim is to restore the ecosystem and bring back the population of tortoises that were decimated during the time of whalers and buccaneers. After, our guests had some free time to explore the town and visit some iconic sites such as the fish market.

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

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