Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Patagonia Icefields

    Patagonia is one of the windiest and wettest regions on Earth. Southern Hemisphere westerly winds gain moisture and force as they cross the Pacific Ocean, and when they reach the Chilean fjords and channels, they ride up over the Andean mountain range, across the two main Patagonian icefields into Argentina. We’ve been able to feel these strong winds—and the intense precipitation that comes with them—during National Geographic Explorer’s navigation through the English Narrows.

    Read More
  • Sucia Island Marine State Park

    There’s no better way to begin an adventure than standing on deck, feeling brisk sea spray misting up from the ocean. In order to get to know our vessel, our surroundings, and the guiding philosophies of our expedition, we spent the morning cruising north from Seattle into the picturesque San Juan Islands—ancestral home of many of the Coast Salish people and “discovered” by the Spanish in 1791. Their abundant wildlife populations, plus the maintained trail systems on many of the unpopulated islands, make the San Juans an ideal location for a day of hiking or kayaking.

    Read More
  • The Dalles, Cruising

    Overnight National Geographic Quest was tied-up at the downtown dock in the city of The Dalles, located in the state of Oregon. So, as the sun came up, and we finished our breakfast, it was an easy exit of the ship to our coaches, and then rolling toward the morning’s activities! This included a short stop on the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway to a magnificent scenic viewing area called Rowena Crest. After a short twenty minute stop to take photos and enjoy the view, we re-entered our coaches and headed for the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, where we were treated to a raptor presentation, as well as wonderful interpretive displays of the Gorge area, and Wasco County. There were several options for guests to enjoy: a bike trip to the ship, “photo” or naturalist walk around the Center’s ground, or a bus ride to see the town of The Dalles while learning more about Lewis & Clark’s Journey. The rest of the day we cruised the river, transiting through several more locks!  

    Read More
  • Columbia Gorge and Hood River, Oregon

    The first light of dawn found us sailing upstream on the Great River of the West, the Columbia, and into the heart of the Columbia Gorge. The stars of Orion the Mighty Hunter were dimming in the south and soon Beacon Rock loomed ahead in the distance.  This passage from interior Washington to the Pacific Ocean was carved by the Columbia River. The Columbia, an antecedent river, was here before the Cascade Range rose and the river maintained its course to the sea by cutting downward as fast as the mountains rose, forming the Columbia Gorge. The growing light revealed high cliffs of layered lava; these are stacked flows of the Columbia River Basalt Province, in which we will be sailing for most of our journey on the rivers. At the Bonneville Dam, we passed through our first of eight locks on this journey and proceeded on to Hood River for our day’s excursions. Excursions included enjoying a magnificent view of Mount Hood while sampling fruit at the Draper Girls Farm, hiking the Historic Columbia River Highway to the Mosier Tunnels, and visiting the amazing Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAM); you have to see it to believe it.

    Read More
  • At Sea, Taitao Peninsula & Seno Slight

    A day spent at sea in the Chilean fjords is not like any other sea day. With more than 15,000 islands stretching from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn, this is certainly one of the most interesting places on the planet to explore.

    Read More
  • Sucia Island Marine State Park

    This morning, we left Friday Harbor and ventured out into the San Juan Islands. One hundred and seventy-four islands make up the San Juans, and many of these have been made into conservation districts, wildlife refuges, and state parks. We spent the morning looking for wildlife and spotted a large pod of harbor porpoises near the Turn Point Lighthouse. There are eight lighthouses in the islands, but this one is the most picturesque.  We also saw a group of Steller sea lions and two separate sightings of humpback whales. Our destination for the day was one of the “jewels” of the region: Sucia Island Marine State Park. There are 11 different islands in this park; the main island has four different bays to moor a boat and great opportunities for kayaking on sheltered waters.

    Read More
  • Astoria

    We have left behind us the City of Portland and journeyed to the town of Astoria, Oregon. While tied to the dock we see the workings of the shipyard. Massive piles of scraped logs cover the cement surface of the pier. Giant claws of cranes grab the logs and place them on the waiting cargo ship. All day the cranes work. They have been loading logs onto this ship for three days and still, the ship is not full. Meanwhile, we see the bustling traffic crossing a huge bridge that soars in the air and then lowers down to sea level. The Astoria-Megler Bridge spans the Columbia River connecting the states of Washington and Oregon. We are at the place of realization for Lewis and Clark. We are at the place where mariners have been engulfed by the treacherous waters of the Columbia River Bar. We are at the beginning of our own voyage on the Columbia.

    Read More
  • Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands

    When glaciers carved this region 18,000 years ago, they left a scarred landscape that is now a jumble of islands. Flora and fauna have eagerly found various niches and thrive everywhere we travel. While there are ecological differences as we’ve transited from north to south, there was certainly no natural distinction, from a bird’s point of view, as we crossed an invisible line from Canada into the United States.

    Read More
  • Puerto Chacabuco & Aiten Sur Reserve

    After anchoring in the small port of Chacabuco, our excursions today took us into a beautiful, lowland forest reserve or up through a long, glacial valley into the heart of the Andes. Along the way, we had great opportunities for hiking, birding, photography, and simply soaking in the spectacular scenery. A delicious asado lunch of grilled lamb served with pisco sours and Chilean wines rounded out the day.

    Read More
  • Victoria, British Columbia

    Victoria welcomed us with open arms, fabulous weather, and lots of fun and adventure. We had guided tours of the Royal BC Museum, secret gardens, and history walks. We enjoyed a reception at The Robert Bateman Centre while viewing the work of Canada’s premier wildlife artist. We noticed that Victoria has found a way to license cuteness: The water taxis that ply the harbor are probably the cutest boats afloat in any city.

    Read More
  • Page 1 of 3147

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

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy