Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Floreana and Champion Islets

    Today we visited Floreana Island in the southern region of the Galapagos archipelago. We started our day with an early morning walk on Punta Cormorant. This was an amazing visit, as we were able to see Galapagos penguins swimming at the sea, and Galapagos flamingos feeding on the brackish lagoon of Floreana. Nowhere else in the world we can have this experience: penguins and flamingos in the same place! After such an exciting pre-breakfast walk, we came back onboard for breakfast.

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  • Drake Passage

    This morning we were surrounded by ocean out to every horizon, meeting the sky all around.  We were in the Drake Passage where the South Pacific and South Atlantic oceans meet between the Antarctic Peninsula and Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America. The seas here can travel around the world without striking land, circling the globe, over and over and over again. We were south of the Antarctic Convergence, hence the temperature of the water was still in the mid-30s (°F).

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  • Playa Blanca, Osa Peninsula, Golfo Dulce

    Last night we left the swaying waters of the Pacific Ocean side of the Osa Peninsula to enter the calm dark waters of the Golfo Dulce. Still on the Osa Peninsula, this morning we landed onto the very long and grey Playa Blanca (the white beach) which is part of a small community called La Palma.  We changed gears a little bit today and our focus moved from the dense tropical rain forests to small community or family projects.  All of us had the opportunity to visit two of three sites, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

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  • Los Islotes & Bahia Bonanza

    Today was another busy and amazing day here in Baja California! As the sun rose with pink clouds scattered in the skies, we approached Los Islotes, a couple of small islets near Isla Partida. After a hearty breakfast, we jumped into our expedition landing craft to get close to the islands for a snorkel adventure. This area is known as a California sea lion haul-out, where snorkelers can have exciting up-close-and-personal sea lion interactions. Guests floated around, thrilled to see a variety of colorful king angelfish, Panamic sergeant majors, yellowtail surgeonfish, bicolor parrotfish, and crazy, iridescent Cortez damselfish. Curious sea lions approached to swim around the group and nibble on people's flippers. The morning ended with an expedition landing craft cruise around the islands to see blue-footed boobies sporting their blue feet in mating dances, frigatebirds and turkey vultures soaring on the thermals, and sea lions hauled-out on the rocks.

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  • Española

    As we landed on Española, it was amazing to see how many sea lions were just everywhere. Some were with their moms and some had been left behind while their mothers went fishing in the ocean.  It is important to understand that some babies are very demanding when it comes to nursing, so the females normally leave the babies on the beaches while they go out to look for fish.

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  • Port Lockroy & Dallmann Bay

    We awoke to another spectacular sight—morning sunlight reflecting off the stunning snow-covered mountains overlooking Port Lockroy, a former whaling station reborn as “Base A” by the British in 1944. Its role then was to monitor German shipping movements during the war. Its role now is far more benign, operating as a museum and the most southerly post office in the world. Surrounding it are breeding colonies of mostly Gentoo penguins and shags, going about their lives as our guests watched with endless fascination.

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  • Detaille Island & Crystal Sound

    We arrived this morning at Detaille Island in Lallemand Fjord under blue skies and a slight breeze. Our destination this morning just south of the Antarctic Circle was the historic British scientific Base W where research took place in the 1950’s. Inside the hut was much of the original equipment used in this incredibly harsh environment that housed up to 10 people. The prominent high point on the island offered a panoramic view of ice covered mountains and giant icebergs grounded in Lallemand Fjord.

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  • Caletas Bay

    We began our exploration on board the National Geographic Quest by visiting Caletas Bay.  Some of our guests got the chance to go horseback riding along the coast of the Claro River while others explored the trails of a private reserve well known in the area as Ban Ban. Here we got the chance to see toucans, chestnut-backed ant birds, and many other birds, as well as white-headed (faced) capuchin and mantled howlers monkeys.

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  • The Gulf of California, Loreto Bay, & Isla Danzante

    It was a perfect Baja California day on the National Geographic Sea Bird, in the waters of the Gulf of California. The rainbow colors of sunrise intensely highlighted the sliver of a crescent moon looking down over the distant desert mountains on the horizon.

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  • Petermann Island & Hidden Bay

    It was a truly exquisite day filled with one surprise and delight after another.  We started our day in full sunshine and without a breath of wind on Petermann Island, the overwintering location for Jean-Baptiste Charcot and his second French Antarctic Expedition in 1909.  Here, we enjoyed Adélie and gentoo penguins and their chicks, as well as Antarctic shags and the remnants of many interesting historical tales, like the 1956 Argentine refuge hut, the 1982 commemorative cross and even some “graffiti” dating back to Charcot.

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

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