Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Punta Pitt and Cerro Brujo

    It seems as if we’ve seen it all these weeks aboard National Geographic Islander, however, the surprises are still coming! Today while visiting Punta Pitt, we spotted red-footed boobies. Some of them were flying, others nesting, or building their nests. We also saw two of endemic animals of San Cristobal Island, the San Cristobal mockingbird and the San Cristobal lava lizard. It was a fantastic hike to start the day.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Early this morning National Geographic Islander arrived at Academy Bay on Santa Cruz Island. We got to see juvenile tortoises at the breeding center and then had a chance to explore the town. During the afternoon, we went to look for Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild and found lots of them all over a farm located right next to the tortoise reserve.  

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today was tortoise day for our guests aboard National Geographic Endeavour II! We woke up in Academy Bay, Santa Cruz Island, and we disembarked on the town’s dock in Puerto Ayora. This is the most populated Island in the Galapagos, with a population of around 20,000 people, and it is home to the Galapagos National Park Headquarters and the Charles Darwin Research Foundation.

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  • Grytviken & Godthul, South Georgia

    This morning we awoke to beautiful weather as we floated just outside of Grytviken whaling station. The former whaling station is now a world-class museum as well as the location of a small cemetery that is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton, affectionately known by all who explored with him as The Boss. 

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  • Gold Harbour - Grytviken

    The red glow of sunrise bathed Gold Harbour as our Zodiacs came into land. The beach heaved with life. Bull elephant seals were roaring around us, and the floor beneath our feet was littered with huge fat pups - affectionately known as “weaners”. As we made our way down the sands, the colours, noises, and smells of the king penguin colony filled the senses, all with the beautiful backdrop of the glaciated mountains of South Georgia.

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  • Santiago Island

    After a buffet breakfast, the sun started to rise, and we got ready to jump into the water to snorkel with sharks and full colored fish. The water was clear and warm as we explored a cave were the reflection of lights coming in was glorious.

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  • Fortuna Bay, Stromness & Jason Point

    Our day unfolded in three chapters, with the first beginning at 4:45 a.m., when an announcement voice came over the PA system. We had arrived at Fortuna Bay, and our distance hikers would disembark at 5:30 a.m. (after a few chocolate croissants). Their long hike skirted the western side of the bay, dodging fur seals, admiring elephant seal pups, and photographing penguins. The fur seals become more and more ornery this time of year, so the guides had their work cut out for them, protecting guests along the beaches. After a couple of hours, everyone was positioned at the beach near a king penguin colony.

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  • Isabela Island: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

    After breakfast, we had a wet landing to explore Urbina bay, a visitor site at the belly of the seahorse-shaped island. Right at the beginning of the hike, we encountered a male giant tortoise walking in the middle of the path slowly making its way into the bushes. Further into the trail, we spotted a few species of Darwin finches and Galapagos mockingbirds looking for seeds under poison apple trees.

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  • Santiago Island

    Santiago Island it is the fourth largest Island in Galapagos, and it has a rich human history. Over the past few centuries, buccaneers, whalers, and explorers have visited this island to collect giant tortoises, which were commonly used as a food source back then. Charles Darwin himself spent most of his time in this particular Island because of its rare flora and fauna present at that time.

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  • Salisbury Plain and Prion Island

    We had a great introduction yesterday to the weather, geography, and wildlife of South Georgia, this most extraordinary subantarctic island.  But today someone turned the volume knob up to eleven!  In the morning we landed at Salisbury Plain in the Bay of Isles.  Spread out between the Grace and Lucas Glaciers, the plain was named by Englishman John Chaplin, surveyor for the Discovery Investigations 1926-1930.  While the flat expanse may resemble its’ namesake in England, the surrounding dark, glaciated mountains place it in a different setting entirely.  King penguins in the ocean, on the beach, across the plain and in the second largest colony on South Georgia were spread out before us whichever direction we looked.  Fur seals battled for territory on the foreshore, along with elephant seal beach masters protecting their harems.  The old saying “nature is red in tooth and claw” was driven home as some of us watched what none of us had seen before, a fur seal catching and killing a king penguin in the shallow waters.  The ever-present giant petrels were the primary benefactors for an easy meal.  The rest of the morning we took in the sights and sounds of more than 100,000 penguins; breeding adults, younger non-breeders, and the fuzzy brown “oakum boy” chicks which hatched last year.

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

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