Daily Expedition Reports

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2654 Daily Expedition Report(s) match your criteria

  • Lemaire Channel & Penola Strait

    Rays of sunshine rolled in off the snow-kissed mountains this morning as we headed down the famed Lemaire Channel, so named by Belgian explorer, Gerlache. The channel is a tapering seven-mile stretch, reaching on average only a mile wide and lined on either side by a series of panoramic and magnificent peaks. At its end, the Channel opens out into the wide sweeping Penola Strait, with Girard Bay off to one side. The whole area was filled with beautiful glistening clusters of brash ice, interspersed with burgs and crystal clear growlers. Penguins porpoised in between the chunks of ice and Crabeater seals were hauled out and sunning themselves on burgs.

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  • Brown Bluff, Antarctica

    The sun was out and the sky was clear, so this morning all guests set foot on the mainland of Antarctica at Brown Bluff in the Antarctic Sound. This site has towering volcanic cliffs, up to 745m (2,225 ft), rising from just beyond the water’s edge. The breathtaking sight is made even more so by the thousands of Adélie penguins packed into the area between the cliffs and shore. 

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  • Barrientos & Deception Islands

    The South Shetland Islands and their textbook columnar basalt cliffs appeared shortly after breakfast this morning. We’ve arrived in Antarctica! By mid-morning, we got our first practice with parkas, life jackets, and Zodiac embarkation. All went smoothly for our trip over to Barrientos Island where we walked between gentoo and chinstrap penguin nests. It was our first experience waiting at penguin crossings and observing their signature behaviours, such as moving rocks back and forth to build and rebuild their nests. Their eggs will be hatching any day now.

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  • Drake Passage, Barrientos Island

    The waves calmed down which enticed the seabirds to follow our ship looking for any morsel of food that our propellers may have elevated to the surface. Albatross with elegant eye shadows, light-mantled albatross and black and white “pintado petrels” soared and dove in the wind and the waves.

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  • The Drake Passage

    As most of us slept in the wee hours of the morning, we crossed a major oceanographic frontier—the Antarctic Convergence zone—and entered the Southern Ocean. As we ventured farther south, we were treated to sightings of a variety of seabirds and a brief glimpse of a mighty fin whale.

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  • At Sea, Drake Passage

    A day at sea crossing the Drake Passage can bring to mind many images. For some it is the dynamic soaring of a wandering albatross or giant petrel, effortlessly harnessing the wind for transportation. Others see it as the biological transition between the warmer northern waters of the south Atlantic and the consistently cold currents of the Antarctic proper. For me, nothing represents the Drake Passage more than the varied shapes and sizes of the swells that roll from west to east across this expansive landscape of ocean and sky. Some days produce long, shallow swells with the troughs and peaks spaced hundreds of meters apart. Other days have steeper swells spaced closer together, actually cresting into waves despite the thousands of feet of water beneath our keel.

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  • The Drake Passage

    The Drake Passage is known for having some of the roughest seas on Earth, and today it lived up to that reputation. Experiencing the Drake in full conditions is something that will be remembered for a lifetime!

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  • Beagle Channel & Ushuaia

    Land Ho! After making record time sailing north on our homeward bound journey from the great white continent, National Geographic Orion awoke to calm seas and moody skies. Passing Cape Horn early in the morning, our approach back to land was signified not just by the increase in sea temperature since passing north back through the Antarctic convergence, but also by exciting marine animal sightings not found within the Drake Passage.

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  • Dallmann Bay

    This morning the guests aboard National Geographic Explorer awoke to our last beautiful, cloudless day in these true Antarctic waters. Dallmann Bay was the location of the morning’s expeditions—both above and below the surface.

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  • At Sea

    We bid adieu to our life in the Antarctic and began our journey home. As a mid-morning activity, we had Frühschoppen on the back deck. Frühschoppen is a German tradition, to meet up with people for a drink and food before midday. Head chef Rannie and his team set up a BBQ on the back deck and we gathered for food, music, and drinks. Fresh sausages were being grilled (don’t forget the grilled onions, sauerkraut, and various mustards!), Bloody Marys were being poured, and we had a mini dance party to the Michael Jackson soundtrack that was playing. The wind still had a sharp bite to it, but it was nothing a hat and a pair of gloves couldn’t fix. While we scarfed our sausages (eating more than one sausage was definitely welcome, judgment-free!), we enjoyed watching the cape petrels glide behind us. They were a good reminder that, despite our fanfare, we were still in the wild Southern Ocean.

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

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