Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Santiago Island

    Today we started our day on the western side of Santiago Island.  After an early wake up call, we landed at Espumilla beach, a place covered with an interesting mix of volcanic ashes and tiny pieces of green olivine , where we spotted several sea turtles mating close to the coastline.  After crossing a forest of button mangroves, we continued through an area covered by huge palo santo trees. The soil was humid, giving off a very enjoyable scent. Several Galapagos hawks and Galapagos mockingbirds were spotted during our walk up to the summit of a small hill.  From the top, we were able to enjoy a beautiful view of the coast and a brackish lagoon full of Bahamas pintail ducks, and the National Geographic Endeavour II anchored in the distance.  Shortly after we headed back to the ship for breakfast.

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  • Twillingate, Newfoundland

    We awoke to the sight of magnificant cliffs which marked the entrance to Twillingate. On approaching the harbor we passed areas with colourful names such as Devil’s Head, Hell’s Mouth Cove, Wild Cove, Moor’s Cove, and Paradise. This region was fished by the French in the 17th and 18th century but was not permanently settled until 1780 when people from the southwest of England moved into the area. Incidently, the name Twillingate was derived from the name of a coastal area in Brest, France.

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  • Coruna

    Today after a wonderful breakfast on the back deck, and a calm sailing in the port of Coruna, our group of adventurers headed off to an afternoon of exploration. Some chose to partake in the bicycle ride, for a good 20 miles of sightseeing on wheels; while others took part in a walking tour of town to see some of the things this modern city with an historic flare had to offer.

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  • West Redonda Island and Roscoe Bay Marine Park

    Sailing the Salish Sea this past week has afforded the guests and crew aboard National Geographic Quest a handful of cultural experiences and a range of forested ecosystems to explore.  Our final day was spent on West Redonda Island in Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park.  Explored by the Spanish in the late 1700s, West Redonda Island and its neighbor East Redonda were originally named “Isla Redonda” or “round.”

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  • Astoria, Oregon

    We woke up this morning on the edge of the notorious Columbia Bar, a zone of shifting sands near where the mighty river meets the ocean – a bar which has caused the wreckage of hundreds of ships in history. After such an introduction to the 4th largest river in the United States, we visited the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park at Fort Clatsop near the Lewis and Clark River where the expedition had wintered in 1805-1806. We had a very realistic glimpse into what the expeditioners’ experience would have been like as we visited their cabin in the incessant rain of the coastal temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. Our brief walk into the forest near the Fort introduced us to the towering Sitka spruce, red cedar, western hemlock, and Douglas fir that make the forest canopy.

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  • Morning cruising, afternoon to Alert Bay

    As the sun rose, National Geographic Quest entered the waters of Blackfish Sound, located just south of Cormorant Island in the waters of Johnstone Strait. Blows from humpback whales had been spotted, and we began to slowly make our way towards them. Sea birds and bald eagles decorated skies overhead with layer upon layer of clouds laced through the mountains of Vancouver Island to our left and the coastal range along the mainland of British Columbia to our right. As National Geographic Quest pushed east into Blackfish Sound, a large pod of what appeared to be dolphins were spotted in the distance. An announcement was made and soon the bow was filled with guests, staff, and crew as our Captain and First Mate maneuvered expertly in, around, and through a pod of at least 250 white-sided Pacific dolphins. Shouts of joy were heard from the bow as each of us found ourselves at the edge, watching dolphins watch us!  Our lovely fall light shifted as the sun rose higher in the sky, changing ever so slightly the lighting of the extraordinary scene before us!

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  • Isabela Island

    Today our itinerary was full of adventures! We started with a delicious Ecuadorian breakfast buffet, with traditional empanadas, fresh fruits, eggs, and more! Later on we had a walk around the magical Urbina Bay, surrounded by land iguanas, tortoises, lava lizards, penguins, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, pelicans and beautiful vegetation.

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  • L’Anse Aux Meadows

    The National Geographic Explorer set anchor in one of the most important sites in human history this morning, and the superlative nature of the visit was echoed throughout the heavens by a glorious celestial salute in the form of a sunrise worthy of an early wake-up call. As the fire in the sky gave way to the luminous day glow, we boarded our Zodiacs and made landfall at the very sight where the first Europeans to set foot in the Americas landed. As far as history can tell us, this completed the circumnavigation of the human race, and finally closed the circle of global migration. We first visited the visitor center to learn about L’Anse Aux Meadows, then the archeological site itself, and finally a recreation to give us a sense of what the camp might have looked like. For lunch we sped off and were treated to either a Viking feast (complete with a show) or a seafood sampler. Last in our epic day of discovery we visited Grenfell and took in some local history. 

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Islands

    Since daybreak we’ve had many sightings, as we sailed the northern shore of Isabela Island. Many types of sea birds, sea lions, four humpback whales, and a majestic landscape greeted us as the sun rose behind the National Geographic Islander.

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  • Basque, Spain

    A Tasting Menu of Basque, Spain

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

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