Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

  • San Pedro Mártir Island

    San Pedro Mártir Island rises from the waters of the Midriff section of the Gulf of California like a huge, petrified body of a sea monster. Mainly made of volcanic rock, it originated from the mainland of Mexico as a by-product of the northwesterly, tectonic motion of the peninsula of Baja California. Isolated in the middle of the gulf, its visible strata show the long-lasting processes of faulting, folding, and eroding. It also looks white and green! These colors are the sign of great biological activity on its skin: in fact, since the time San Pedro Mártir was “born”, it serves as a nesting place for thousands of seabirds like blue-footed and brown boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, brown pelicans, least and black storm-petrels, murrelets, and shearwaters. They have deposited thousands of tons of guano (their white poop). Cacti grow in great numbers, forming a “cardónal”, or cardón cactus forest, that tints the island with green. It also holds four species of reptiles, including a western diamondback rattlesnake, and has no land mammals except bats. San Pedro Mártir was a powerful attraction for guano mining companies since 1885. The Mexican Phosphate and Sulfur Company extracted and shipped to San Francisco and Europe about a thousand tons of guano each month, for several years. One hundred and thirty eight Yaqui natives, from the mainland of Mexico, worked on the island as miners, accompanied by their families. Our guests saw the traces of that activity as rock walls built at those times. Nowadays, San Pedro Mártir Island is for the people of the world. Our main activity there was to cruise around the magnificent island, looking at the thousands of birds that are already nesting.     

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  • Isabela Island

    Isabela Island it is the largest island in Galapagos, and it is formed by five main shield volcanoes. Each one of them still active, and every few years we do experience eruptions on this island. Because of its size, it is home to seventy percent of the whole Galapagos penguins and Cormorants populations, and each volcano has developed its own kind of giant tortoise. This part of the archipelago has almost everything to make our experience so unique and unforgettable.

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  • Isabela & Fernandina

    This morning National Geographic Islander crossed the equator as we sailed to Punta Vicente Roca. The western part of the archipelago is colder than the central part that we visited yesterday. Our first outing took us around volcano Ecuador, one of the six volcanoes that are part of the largest island of the Galapagos, Isabela. 

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  • Fernandina and Isabela Island

    Last night while we slept, the National Geographic Endeavour II rounded the northern end of Isabela Island. At first light we sailed through rolling banks of fog as we crossed Banks Bay, nearing the anchorage of Punta Espinoza at Fernandina Island. After a walk on lava flows that are hundreds of years old, we snorkeled across the bay with diving marine iguanas and foraging green sea turtles. During lunch, we repositioned to Punta Vicente Roca, and after a coastal exploration aboard our Zodiacs, we crossed the Equatorial Line during a sunset tasting of South American wines.

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  • Bartolome and Rabida Island

    Today the National Geographic Islander anchored right before sunrise in front of one of the most volcanic islands in the archipelago. Bartolome Island is an eroded tuff cone with stunning landscapes; our guests had a pre-breakfast option to climb to the very top with the best light and temperature of the day to observe the surrounding Islands.

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  • Baja California, Bahia Conception

    What a whale-y day today. We started with a humpback whale swimming along the shoreline of Isla Ildefonso. A small pod of common dolphins were sighted after lunch, as we observed these delightful little cetaceans a call came across the bow, a group, of something different! Up popped a pod of killer whales and the placid common dolphins started churning the waters of the Gulf of California. Through the white foam, you could see dolphin silhouettes and then the breaching of killer whales. The chase was on, and in the end, there was at least one less dolphin.

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  • Seymour and Rábida Islands.

    This morning we visited North Seymour island, located at the center of the archipelago. This small island hosts countless marine and terrestrial animals, and today we had the privilege of exploring pristine nature of this unique place. We spotted male Magnificent and Great frigatebirds, using their inflated gular sacs to attract females. We also saw land iguanas, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, lava lizards, Galapagos gulls and Galapagos sharks.

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  • Isla San Francisco

    This morning a humpback whale surfaced close to the ship, so we changed our plans and went whale watching from the expedition landing craft. Several dozen very active bottlenose dolphins swam among the small boats. We spent the afternoon snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding in the calm, turquoise waters of Half Moon Bay. Just before dinner, we watched a large group of common dolphins feeding and leaping – exhilarating!

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  • Ensenada Grande, Isla Partida/Los Islotes

    We woke up to a beautiful sunrise this morning as we continued south toward Espiritu Santo Archipelago National Park where we would be spending our final full day of this voyage. Our original plan was to snorkel with California sea lions at Los Islotes after breakfast, but instead, the wind and waves sent us seeking calmer waters in the beautiful bay of Ensenada Grande on Isla Partida. We would attempt snorkeling again after lunch.

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  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia

    We started the first day of our expedition at sunrise with the view of our first stop: Bora Bora.

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

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