Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Punta Pitt & Cerro Brujo, San Cristobal Island

    San Cristobal Island is one of the oldest Galapagos Island as it sits on the eastern end of the archipelago. All of the islands are the result of the activity of a stationary volcano producing area located to the northwest of the islands.  As an extinct volcano San Cristobal Island is now expose to the elements and little by little, it will deteriorate to the point that it will go back to the ocean. 

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  • Puerto Ayora Santa Cruz Galapagos

    This morning the National Geographic Islander anchored in Puerto Ayora, the largest human settlement in the Galapagos Islands, located at southern shore of Santa Cruz island. Our day started visiting the tortoises breading center of the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station and later on we headed to the highlands to visit Manzanillo Ranch were the giant tortoises leave in freedom. 

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    I am happy to go back to the second largest island in the Galapagos, Santa Cruz. We have been away from civilization for almost an entire week, which is a privilege. However, it is also nice to be reminded about the other side of this archipelago’s life. This is a province of Ecuador; three percent of the total area of the islands is not National Park, with a population of 30.000 people, islanders who have their own way of living and communing with nature.

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  • Prion Island & Fortuna Bay

    Prion Island is an important breeding site for several species of birds, including the endemic South Georgia pipit and South Georgia pintail as well as wandering albatross, common diving petrels, white-chinned petrels, and Antarctic prions. Several of these species, particularly the pipits have almost been confined to the island due to the infestation of rats in the last 100 years and so when we landed we were pleased to be greeted to their chirps and their presence. Thankfully pipits in the last several years have spread over a large part of South Georgia due to the (hopeful) eradication of rats.

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  • Santiago Island

    This morning we awoke off a lovely mile long beach called Espumilla. We had three pre-breakfast options to choose from: kayaking, a climbing hike, or a beach walk. All three groups of guests had amazing outings and returned for a well-earned breakfast. Afterwards we had some down time so our meal could settle, and then went out for either Zodiac cruises along the coast or deep water snorkeling in Buccaneer Cove. Highlights for the snorkelers were somewhat warmer waters, a beautiful underwater cave, 3 playful sea lions, and many species of fish.

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  • Grytviken and Hercules Bay

    Today was steeped in history and wildlife. Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove on South Georgia. The history of whaling started here in 1904 and ended by 1964. The South Georgia Museum today chronicles this era for our guests perusal. Wildlife has returned to the shores of the cove, as was evidenced by numerous slumbering southern elephant seals strewn along the shoreline along with feisty fur seals. A few molting king penguins added a splash of color. Hercules Bay was our cruising destination for the afternoon, the highlights included sunshine, blue skies, and a colony of macaroni penguins along the shore and nestled in the tussock grass. We are grateful to see the end of the whaling era and the return of the natural inhabitants to the island.  

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  • Urbina Bay

    Today it was a full day exploring with the National Geographic Islander and we started by visiting Urbina Bay, where during the hike we were able to see several reptiles. We saw marine iguanas, lava lizards, land iguanas, and our first giant tortoise of the expedition! After this activity we enjoyed a refreshing moment at the beach watching pelicans diving for their meals.

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  • Santiago Island

    Today we are visiting the island where Darwin spent most of his time during his visit in Galapagos. After a dry landing, some of us went on a pre-breakfast outing to walk through the mangrove forest and explore the arid zone full of incense trees and endemic birds. Others went on a photography walk along the beach. We encountered several young Galapagos hawks and a few mockingbirds along the way.

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  • Godthul & Grytviken, South Georgia

    This morning the National Geographic Explorer woke up on the hook in Jason Harbor in Cumberland Bay to an absolutely stunning day. The Allardyce Range was in full sun and as we pulled away from our anchorage we were exposed for the first time to the rugged nature of the mountains, which make this island in the Subantarctic so dramatic. Continuing down the coast we pulled into Godthul (meaning Good Cove in Norwegian) and pursued our preference either on foot or Zodiac. At the landing, we encountered evidence of bygone whaling days and the remnants of the floating factories that operated in Godthul from 1908-1928. As we negotiated our way up through the tussock we encountered the occasional snarl of the fur seal and were glad when we got out of the thick grass for ease of walking and absence of the eared seal with a territorial disposition. As we emerged to more open country we discovered evidence of reindeer that have since been eradicated. In 1911, ten animals were introduced to nearby Ocean Harbor on the Barff Peninsula as a reminder of home for the Norwegian whalers and for hunting. Unfortunately the three reindeer introductions on South Georgia were in some of the most biologically productive areas and by 2000 it was realized that the reindeer must go. After eradications in 2013 and 2014 the reindeer, like the rats, are considered to no longer be present, albeit the monitoring continues. Climbing further up, the hikers had incredible views of the surroundings (and gentoo penguins) while those in Zodiacs enjoyed the incredibly rich shoreline of Godthul.

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  • Right Whale Harbor and Prion Island, South Georgia, Southern Ocean, Planet Earth

    Our first day on South Georgia did not disappoint. A magical place that is far removed from everywhere and yet rich beyond anywhere. The island and islets that make up this place have warmer air then the Antarctic continent and yet the same rich waters, teeming with life, which fosters all kinds of delightful animals. We were fortunate enough to make a morning landing at Right Whale Bay, where we encountered fur and elephant seals, king and gentoo penguins, glaciers, mountains, and majesty. In the afternoon we visited the historic and stunning Prion Island where we met wandering albatross and light-mantled albatross.

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

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