Daily Expedition Reports

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Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Española Island

    Today we experienced a new environment full of surprises as we explore Española Island. Turquoise waters surrounded us as we entered the water to experience this undersea world. Young Galapagos sea lions swam among us, blowing bubbles and grabbing our fins in their mouths, showing us how to properly play in this setting. Large schools of razor surgeonfish swam below us, with marbled stingrays tucked in among the rocks with brightly colored cup coral covering the rocky substrate. 

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  • Supay and Yarapa Rivers

    This morning, our group decided that we loved this area so much—especially the magical early mornings here—that we would stay longer. The Yarapa River was amazing—full of wildlife and with perfect light for our photographers. 

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  • Akureyri, Lake Mývatn, Iceland

    National Geographic Explorer was once again docked in Akureyri. We disembarked early in the morning, heading out to tour geological formations that we couldn’t get to by ship. We explored sites around Lake Mývatn, an area with a great variety of geologically active features—bubbling mud pools, caves with hot pools, volcanic craters covered with vegetation—that made for an otherworldly, picturesque landscape. 

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  • Punta Pitt, San Cristobal

    Today we visited the beach at Punta Pitt this morning, which is made up of incredibly soft green sand, the result of eroded particles of the hardest crystals and minerals that make a lava flow. The little beach transported us to an enchanted kingdom, which was completely surreal; the glittered sparkles of olivine crystals seemed to be the result of a fairy flying around here…  At the end of the trail,  a small colony of red-footed boobies surprised us, birds facing the difficult conditions of the season were patiently taking care of the single chick on their nests.  Perched by itself on an solitary branch, we found one fully grown adult with red feet, just waiting to be photographed.

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  • Pacaya River & El Dorado trail, Ucayali River

    Deep into the Pacaya River we discovered a sense of how the Amazon must have been before humans arrived to the area. Massive trees and walls of green fringed the Pacaya, in places seemingly impenetrable, and very few signs of human presence were seen through the day other than rangers’ huts. We saw a lot more in variety and quantity in terms of wildlife today. The swim in the Amazon is always a hit, and most participated in the ritual after lunch.

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  • Galapagos National Park

    Today we visited Puerto Ayora, the capital of tourism of the Galapagos Islands. Early in the morning, we visited the Galapagos National Park headquarters and the Charles Darwin Research Station. We learned about the conservation efforts to restore several species of giant tortoises, including the species from Floreana that was once considered extinct. 

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  • Yanalpa & Dorado River

    Just as almost every morning, we had the choice of leaving the ship at dawn to explore the tributaries of the Amazon River by skiff. And just as every morning, 99% of us took it. Indeed the ideal time to explore. This morning was particularly beautiful! Clear blue sky, the golden hues of the sun just peaking over the forest, and the river was covered with a thick layer of mist… Just gorgeous!

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  • Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia

    Our extraordinary voyage through the Society and Tuamotu Islands of French Polynesia comes to a close with a final day of water-related activities. Travelling north overnight from Toau, National Geographic Orion entered the lagoon of Rangiroa before breakfast to investigate the conditions inside. Several successive days of moderate winds and rain gave us less than desirable snorkeling conditions. We found a sheltered corner of the island for this morning’s excursions, and promptly the team onboard decided this new site on the northwest side of Rangiroa would be a great option.

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  • Iyoukeen Inlet and Cruising

    As most were getting out of their bed this morning a lone brown bear wandered the shore of Iyoukeen Inlet before heading back into the long grass and out of view. We were anchored in the sheltered cove that had a promising looking intertidal zone abutting old growth forest—both offering great options for exploration. Many joined our marine ecologists in the intertidal zone, quickly finding a wealth of diversity hidden under the algal blanket. The tide pools offered colorful anemones, sea cucumbers, urchins, sea stars, crabs, and snails. Everyone found their own treasures in amongst the many rock pools. Meanwhile intrepid explorers were meandering into the undergrowth following animal tracks into the depths of the forest while others chose to explore above the water by kayak or paddleboard. While guests returned to the National Geographic Quest for lunch the divers jumped in to take footage from below the intertidal zone. The afternoon was spent wildlife spotting from the bow while making our way south. As if we hadn’t seen enough for one day, our aperitifs were enjoyed in front of Kasnyku Falls and dessert was accompanied by a talk about the local humpback whale populations by Dr. Andy Szabo from the Alaska Whale Foundation.

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    Today we spent the day at Santiago Island and we had a day full of activities. Our guests enjoyed an optional walk before breakfast at Espumilla Beach. Then after repositioning the ship, deep water snorkeling and kayaking were the highlights of the visit at Buccaneer’s Cove. The afternoon was a delight for the families at the black sandy beach of Puerto Egas. An optional exploration along the coast was offered at the fantastic intertidal zone, where colorful Sally lightfoot crabs look for food, as well as Galapagos marine iguanas. We enjoyed good weather conditions: a blue sky, a sunny day, and clear water for snorkeling. Galapagos is amazing!

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

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