Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • 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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  • Krujë, Albania

    After arriving at the port of Durres in the early morning, we set out by bus for Krujë, the historic capital of Albania. After a winding uphill drive, we arrived in the scenic mountain town, settled beneath the country’s central limestone escarpment. A quick walk through the medieval market gave a preview of the shopping that was to come, and then we entered the center of the Krujë Castle.

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  • Alert Bay in Queen Charlotte Strait

    We began today’s expedition at dawn in the mist and rain-shrouded passages in the northern end of Johnstone Strait. After checking in with marine station Victoria, we headed into Blackfish Sound, on the lookout for wildlife. No sooner had we entered the seemingly placid waters when we encountered sea lions swimming, a solo loon, and at least four humpback whales diving and breaching.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today we woke up to a very different view out of our windows. Rather than floating along an isolated coast, we docked in Puerto Ayora surrounded by other ships. After breakfast, we disembarked in town on Charles Darwin Avenue and boarded buses to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Although the Research Station runs multiple research studies on many Galapagos wildlife issues, its major focus is the breeding of the Galapagos tortoise species that are in danger.

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  • Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer’s Cove

    Our day started with a pleasant walk along Espumilla Beach. This pristine beach is one of the best sites to find the Galapagos hawk and blue-footed boobies plunge-diving. After our walk, we came back for breakfast. Later, guests had the option to explore Buccaneer’s Cove either by kayaking, snorkeling, or both! In the afternoon, our photo instructor shared a short presentation about creative shooting modes that could be applied for our afternoon outing. Additionally, we had a presentation about Charles Darwin and his legacy in the Galapagos. We then moved to Puerto Egas, where guests had options of trekking or snorkeling. In the evening, we had a BBQ dinner in the upper deck, with a clear sky and pleasant weather.

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  • Sarandë to Butrint, Albania

    We arrived this morning in the port of Sarandë on our first of two days in the fascinating land of Albania. Passing modern towns, peaceful countryside, and a roadside view of the mussel farms of Lake Butrint, we made our way to the archaeological site of Butrint. The site was particularly pleasant in the mild September sun, as we strolled through a lush forest interspersed with ruins dating primarily from the Hellenistic through Byzantine eras. Most of the site’s famous mosaics are covered with a protective layer of sand, but we were able to view mosaics of the Roman baths and the Byzantine basilica. The walls of the site are particularly intriguing and reflect the various cultures represented at this site, from the ashlar masonry of the Hellenistic era to the concrete and brick walls of Roman Butrint. 

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  • Palouse River and Falls

    It was a beautiful day—41 degrees F. in the morning; sunny and warm, almost too warm, in the afternoon.  Late September is a fine time to sail on the Snake and Columbia Rivers in southeastern Washington State.  National Geographic Sea Lion anchored near the mouth of the Palouse River—actually, on the slack impounded waters behind Lower Monumental Dam.  Kayakers took to the river; others embarked in expedition landing crafts for guided nature tours.  The first group headed by bus about 8 miles upriver to Palouse Falls State Park.  Coyotes were out in abundance, some standing right by the road as we slowed to watch.  Flocks of wild turkeys wandered by.  Raptors soared overhead.  The falls themselves, a magnificent remnant of the great ice age floods of 13-15,000 years ago, provoke awe and wonder. 

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  • Wallace Island and Georgia Strait, BC

    National Geographic Sea Bird anchored alongside picturesque Wallace Island this morning. This skinny, 180-acre island was designated as a marine provincial park in 1990. Its earlier history included a popular holiday resort, of which we saw some interesting remains. It is only accessible by private boat and visitors can enjoy hiking, kayaking, swimming, and camping. We had opportunities for walks and expedition landing craft tours.

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  • Columbia River, Bonneville Lock

    This morning we woke to views of Multnomah Falls to our south, Beacon Rock ahead, and the glow of a morning sunrise to the east.  We navigated through our first of eight locks, Bonneville.  With the chorus of “Roll on Columbia” (thank you Woody Guthrie) echoing across the ship, we proceeded on to Cascade Locks and a short motor coach ride to Multnomah Falls. 

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

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