Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park

    Desolation Sound was named by Captain George Vancouver when he first surveyed the area in 1792. Now a very popular place for boating in the summer months, the sound is quite the opposite of “desolate” and teeming with life—both in the water and on the shore.

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  • Astoria

    On our final day on the Columbia River, we experience many firsts for our expedition. The Pacific Ocean. A temperate rainforest. Rain! History abounds here, and educational visits to interpretive centers and museums fill our day.

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  • Clarkston / Hell’s Canyon

    As the sun began to climb over the horizon, National Geographic Quest found herself pulling into port in Clarkston, Washington. At the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, this marks the end-point of the journey. It was fitting to arrive here as the sun began to sneak up over the hills behind the city, seeing how we had sailed over 460 river miles and through 8 locks to reach this port. It is because of those 8 locks and dams that this area – Clarkston’s twin city of Lewiston, to be exact – has the distinction of being the most inland ocean-going port on the West Coast.

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  • Hood River, Cascade Lock, Bonneville Dam

    At about seven o’clock this morning, we arrived at Hood River for our first round of adventures for the day. After breakfast the guests split into two groups, one going to the WAAAM Museum, and the other for a walking or biking adventure on a historic scenic highway, near the Mosier Tunnels. Both groups had the chance after that to sample some local beers, and get a tour of the brewery. Then it was off to Cascade Locks, lunch on board, and off again either to Bonneville Dam, or Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Fish Hatchery. Our final activity for the day was traversing through Bonneville Lock, our last lock of the journey down the Mighty Columbia!

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  • San Cristobal Island

    We have arrived to one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos archipelago. Its geology is as impressive as its wildlife. For the first time this week, we get to see the three species of boobies together: the blue footed, the red footed, and the endemic Nazca boobies.

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  • Desolation Sound

    This morning dawned misty and beautiful, but the weather cleared as the day went on. We started the day in Desolation Sound Provincial Park with expedition landing craft tours and kayaking. Because of the low tide, we saw a lot of marine life: moon jellies, Olympic oysters, blue mussels, and a variety of sea stars were accompanied by kingfishers, eagles, flickers, black oystercatchers, great blue herons, glaucous-winged gulls, and Bonaparte’s gulls.

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  • The Columbia and Snake River Locks

    In the rosy pink dawn, National Geographic Quest cruised upstream on the Columbia, the great river of the west. The intense pink in the clouds reflected off the calm surface of the wide river. Today we relaxed and enjoyed passing through several locks on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. We took pleasure in leisurely time cruising up the Columbia and onto its largest tributary, the Snake River, which we will follow to our destination in Clarkston, Washington. Over the course of the day, we watched for wildlife, marveled at the ever-changing scenic views, and also enjoyed special treats from our bartenders and galley crew as well as educational presentations from our expedition staff.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today after disembarking in the capital town of Puerto Ayora we took a short bus ride and walk, and arrived at the Galapagos National Park Breeding Center. Puerto Ayora is the base for the two main institutions that work as partners in the preservation of this enchanted archipelago: The Galapagos National Park Service (GNPS), which is an Ecuadorian governmental organization, and the world-renowned Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS), both established in 1959. The latter institution works in the processes of collecting, incubating, reproducing, and ultimately saving some of the vanishing Galapagos giant tortoise subspecies from extinction. We watched in fascination the many little juvenile tortoises that, as adults, will repopulate the islands little by little with their descendants.

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  • Maryhill and The Dalles

    It was another marvelous sunshiny day in the Columbia River Gorge today. The sun rose over hills parched from the summer season, and the lightening day revealed a view of Mount Hood on the Oregon side of the river. Exploration of the region delivered us to one of many vineyards for a tour and tasting. Divine orbs thrive in the arid clime, themselves sipping upon the irrigated waters of the Columbia. Visiting Sam Hill’s Maryhill Museum, we saw a collection of native basketry, both beautiful and practical works of art. Whether walking the nature trails, biking, or exploring museums, fresh air and sunshine where enjoyed by all.

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  • Columbia River Gorge

    This morning we woke to another delightfully warm, sunny day on our adventure. The sky was filled with hues of pink and yellow as the sun rose above our ship. The expedition on National Geographic Quest today had several fascinating points of interest, including visits to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, the Maryhill Winery and the Maryhill Museum in the afternoon. A highlight of the journey included seeing and learning about over 20 plants that were collected and documented carefully during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, such as ponderosa pine, broad leaf lupine, grey rabbit brush, and arrowleaf balsamroot.

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

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