Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Isabela Island

    Today our itinerary was full of adventures! We started with a delicious Ecuadorian breakfast buffet, with traditional empanadas, fresh fruits, eggs, and more! Later on we had a walk around the magical Urbina Bay, surrounded by land iguanas, tortoises, lava lizards, penguins, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, pelicans and beautiful vegetation.

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  • L’Anse Aux Meadows

    The National Geographic Explorer set anchor in one of the most important sites in human history this morning, and the superlative nature of the visit was echoed throughout the heavens by a glorious celestial salute in the form of a sunrise worthy of an early wake-up call. As the fire in the sky gave way to the luminous day glow, we boarded our Zodiacs and made landfall at the very sight where the first Europeans to set foot in the Americas landed. As far as history can tell us, this completed the circumnavigation of the human race, and finally closed the circle of global migration. We first visited the visitor center to learn about L’Anse Aux Meadows, then the archeological site itself, and finally a recreation to give us a sense of what the camp might have looked like. For lunch we sped off and were treated to either a Viking feast (complete with a show) or a seafood sampler. Last in our epic day of discovery we visited Grenfell and took in some local history. 

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  • Isabela and Fernandina Islands

    Since daybreak we’ve had many sightings, as we sailed the northern shore of Isabela Island. Many types of sea birds, sea lions, four humpback whales, and a majestic landscape greeted us as the sun rose behind the National Geographic Islander.

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  • A Tasting Menu of Basque Spain

    In addition to its traditional culture, and incorporating much of it, the Basque region that straddles the border of southwestern France and northern Spain has recently acquired a remarkable reputation for haute cuisine.  As of the latest published guide in 2017, Basque country has more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other part of the world!  Although these small and exclusive establishments do not figure in the itinerary of our expedition through the region, we are being treated to a tasting menu of travel that deserves to stand alongside the best cuisine in the world – a wonderful variety of experiences of this beautiful country and culture.  Here is a menu for our day today:

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  • Fernandina and Isabela Island

    Our day began early on the top deck of the National Geographic Endeavour II, searching for whales.  The seas were quiet today and no whales were in sight, so we came down for breakfast and to prepare for our first landing of the day, on Punta Espinoza Fernandina.

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  • Gros Morne, Newfoundland

    We arrived in Bonne Bay to a beautiful sunrise off the coast of Newfoundland. After breakfast we landed in Woody Point to begin our explorations of this magnificent national park. Some of us hiked up to the Big Lookout while others went to explore the Tablelands. The Tablelands represent a unique piece of the earth’s mantle that has been thrust up onto the North American continent by tectonic processes. The distinctive yellow-brown peridotite rocks dominate the landscape. The yellow-brown color is just a surface feature where the iron minerals in the rock have oxidized. The Tablelands are almost barren of plants due to toxic minerals and a lack of nutrients. In this harsh environment we found Newfoundland’s provincial flower, the pitcher plant. This plant captures and digests plants to supplement its diet! Because of its unique character, the Tablelands are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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  • Bartolome & Rabida Islands

    Early this morning we visited Bartolome Island, an amazing tuff volcano with scoria and spatter cone formations. We climbed towards the top at 114 m while discovering more about the geology of the islands. The vegetation is all about pioneer plants that are highly tolerant to the heat of the sun and can survive with very little water. In the distance we were able to see Santiago Island and a black lava field which is a young volcanic event of only 118 years. The highlight, Pinnacle Rock, is a beautiful eroded tuff formation and is one of the most famous and well known landscapes of the Galapagos. Later in the afternoon we also visited Rabida Island where we ended our day with an amazing sunset! 

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  • Wallace Island, British Colombia

    Water droplets on the portholes this morning did not bode well for our planned morning hike. However, the rain gave way to sunshine during breakfast and we stashed our rain hats and broke out the sunglasses as we loaded into Zodiacs in preparation for hiking on Wallace Island Marine Provincial Park. This island is small in size but big in both character and natural beauty.

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  • Ithaka, Greece

    “At many a Summer dawn to enter,

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  • North Seymour and Rabida Islands

    Today was our first full day in the enchanted islands. North Seymour and a rusted volcanic island captivated our guests with their unique ecosystem.  Walking, Zodiac ride, basking on the beach and snorkeling were the different activities that we had in these astonishing islands. 

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

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