Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Hull Canal, Baja California

    It was a foggy morning in the Hull Canal. National Geographic Sea Bird was surrounded by mist and whales as the sun rose over the Baja California peninsula. Guests headed out early to watch gray whales, and they saw several adult whales putting on a show of spy-hopping and lazy swimming. In the afternoon, our ship navigated the narrow canal and made it to Sand Dollar Beach for sunset. Our day ended with hikes through the sand dunes and a beach BBQ.

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  • Iguana Island Wildlife Refuge

    Leaving Panama City, National Geographic Quest sailed out of the area’s bay to Iguana Island. Formerly used as target practice for bombers during World War II, the craters left behind can still be seen some 70 years later. The island was later turned into a wildlife refuge in 1981 because of the abundance of frigatebirds and other wildlife. With the anchor dropped, our outing began.

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  • North Seymour and Rábida Islands

    Today we explored two islands in the central realm of Galapagos. In the morning, we went ashore to North Seymour Island, where we had a great time looking at the males of great frigatebirds with their bright red pouches inflated. We also found Galapagos marine and land iguanas along the coast sunbathing, as well as Galapagos sea lions. One surprise sighting for this area was a red-footed booby; normally this species is on islands of the periphery of the archipelago.

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  • Isla Los Islotes

    A soft pink cloud arched across the sky, announcing the new dawn while the waves below broke gently into white-topped swells. In short, an exceptional start of our day as we head northwest on our voyage toward Isla Los Islotes.

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  • Magdalena Bay

    The landscapes of Magdalena Bay slowly and subtly shifted as we made our way from Almejas, through the Hull Canal, toward the northern limit of the bay. Open ocean gave way to coastal mangroves intertwined with towering sand dunes. The bay itself also changed, transitioning from deep, turbulent waters to shallow lagoons. For us, this meant more opportunities to observe the gray whale mother-and-calf pairings that call this bay home for the winter. We took advantage of this unique opportunity to watch these whales before they swim north. We spent the entire day whale watching from our expedition landing crafts. We saw calves playfully interacting with their mothers, spy-hopping whales—even a full breaching. All this before a dramatic sunset behind the dunes.

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  • Barro Colorado Island & Gatun Lake

    Welcome to Central America, and welcome to the Panama! This is where one wakes to the sound of howler monkey and the Amazon parrots. Yesterday we did the first part of the Panama Canal by crossing the Gatun Locks, in three consecutive steps, which raised the National Geographic Quest 85 ft to the level of Gatun Lake. We dropped anchor outside the new set of locks in order to have a nice, restful night of sleep.

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  • Genovesa Island

    We navigated north and crossed the equator in the wee hours of the morning. The captain carefully brought us into the sunken caldera of Genovesa Island, dropping anchor promptly at dawn. Our crew soon had the Zodiacs and kayaks in the water, and our naturalist Pablo took a group paddling along the base of the cliffs. The conditions were spectacular. The bay seemed still as a mirror and seabirds were soaring and resting, courting and nesting everywhere!

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  • Supay Caño & Puerto Miguel/Yarapa Caño

    A brand-new day of our expedition started with a beautiful overcast morning. The latter contributed a lot to a comfortable exploration of the Supay Caño, a small tributary of the Ucayali River and our first visitor’s site of the day. Right after breakfast we boarded our fleet of skiffs to explore the area. We found numerous bird species and other creatures, including yellow-billed terns, black-collared hawks, colorful tanagers and cotingas, hoatzins, green iguanas, etc. All of this wildlife was surrounded by an exuberant green forest.

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  • Bahia Magdalena and Mission San Javier

    The wind was blowing all through the night and today across the Sea of Cortez, though this did not stop us from exploring between the east and west coast of the Baja Peninsula. The group that opted for the west boarded a nine-car caravan this morning, which took Mexico Highway 1 over the extraordinarily scenic central Baja mountains.

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  • Genovesa Island

    Today we woke up at Genovesa Island. Peering out from our window, it was apparent just how much paradise was out there to be explored today. Birds were flying in and around from all over, and our activities started with pre-breakfast paddleboard along the island’s caldera.

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


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