Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands

    As the sun rose over the waters of the Pacific, National Geographic Sea Lion prepared to drop anchor in the Channel Islands National Park for the very first time. An early morning exhale stretch and yoga class onboard readied guests for our exploration of the park’s two easternmost islands, Anacapa and Santa Cruz, by kayak, hike, and expedition landing crafts. These opportunities showcased the terrestrial diversity, marine abundance, and cultural history that make the islands such a unique cornerstone of the California coastline and such a hidden gem of the park’s system. 

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  • Alert Bay, British Columbia

    Throughout the night, National Geographic Sea Bird continued her northerly journey, making her way toward our morning destination of Black Fish Sound. This large body of water is located just south of Cormorant Island near the northern end of Vancouver Island.

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  • Hells Canyon, Washington, Idaho, & Oregon

    We began our journey on the Snake and Columbia Rivers by jet-boating up the Snake River into Hells Canyon, and what a way to begin this adventure! In clear weather and with high spirits, we made our way into not only the deepest, but also one of the most rugged, scenic, and remote, river-carved canyons in North America—Hells Canyon. The origin of the name “Hells Canyon” is a bit of a mystery, but it could refer to the hellishly high temperatures that turn Hells Canyon into a furnace in summer. Our jet boats roared along, swerving around rocks and through rapids, into the heart of the canyon. Rocks, rugged and steep, loomed above us on either side. Along the way, we saw mule deer and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and had many sightings of eagles, other raptors, and waterfowl. 

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  • Wallace Island, British Columbia

    The trip from Victoria Harbour to the south end of Wallace Island was like entering a labyrinth. As the shadows began to shorten with the new day, we entered Haro Strait, turning north into Boundary Pass which narrows into Swanson Channel and eventually narrows again into Trincomali Channel.  This little gem of tidal water separates Galliano Island from Salt Spring Island and hosts the history-rich Wallace Island, which was the focus of our day. The sun began to warm as we approached Panther Point at Wallace's southern end, and the calm seas signaled the start of an amazing day in the Canadian Gulf Islands. 

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  • Kirke Narrows & Strait of Magellan

    A stunning day in Patagonia. After we left Puerto Natales, we heard an interesting lecture by Carl Safina, writer and conservationist.

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  • Hells Canyon National Recreation Area

    From the river, the canyon walls surrounding our expedition party soar over 8,000 feet, creating the deepest gorge in North America. Stunning basalt and limestone formations dominate this multi-lithological landscape, which was created millions of years ago during tumultuous tectonic activity. From the river, we peer into the edge of a wilderness; we sense an aura of wildness. Bighorn sheep, mule deer, turkeys, golden eagles, and other raptors captivate our attention. Wild and scenic, stoic yet fragile, we marvel at this slice of earth – from the river.

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  • Victoria, Vancouver Island

    Today we made our first Canadian landing on the island of Vancouver, home to the capital of British Columbia, Victoria. Victoria is a picturesque city filled with beautiful architecture, bustling shops, and colorful flowers as well as a rich history and culture—a culmination of English, American, First Nation, Chinese, French, and Spanish influences. Among the tall buildings, the evidence of fall was in the air as the leaves began to change their color. 

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  • Torres del Paine

    The legendary, jagged-mountain vistas of Torres del Paine are the very reason many make their way to Chile, and yet, high winds and dense clouds often obstruct the view. But today, when National Geographic Explorer visited the area, the weather gods were the kindest they could be. With an immense blue sky above and view one for which one waits a lifetime, guests explored the rolling hills, searching for wildlife. They were rewarded with sightings of several mountain lions and brackish lakes full of pink flamingos and black-necked swans. From there, we headed south to wilder places, full of gratitude.

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  • San Juan Island

    We awoke this morning at anchor in Echo Bay at Sucia Island, a delightful state park that we explored yesterday. With the sunrise over Mt. Baker behind us, we headed to the town of San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor, the county seat and “hub” of the archipelago. It’s a picturesque town with a beautiful harbor, filled with all kinds of vessels.

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  • Bernal Glacier & White Narrows

    A pleasant, early-morning hike brought us face-to-face with the colossal and spectacularly located Bernal Glacier. Back on board, we readied for entrance to Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Bay) and waited for the slack tide, when the sea currents of this very narrow passage are not so powerful and therefore safer for navigation. After crossing, we boarded Zodiacs once again to explore the little archipelago on its eastern side. The rain let up, and we had an amazing encounter with very rare Chilean dolphins before we sailed on to the town of Puerto Natales, where we spent the night in port.

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


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