Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Isabela Island

    The morning started with a cappuccino on the observation deck. I spotted a dolphin’s fin next to the ship, which woke me up more than the caffeine. After some lovely stretching with Hilda, I worked up my appetite for breakfast. While the natural wonders of the Galapagos were my motivation for this trip, the gourmet food has been an unexpected bonus.

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  • Danco Island & Palmer Station

    It’s great to start the day with a hike. We had an early arrival to Danco Island this morning, and despite heavy snow we welcomed over 90 hikers ashore for some time in the gentoo penguin colony and a walk up to Danco’s famous 360-degree view.

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  • At Sea

    After many busy days of people-to-people visits and exploration of various aspects of Cuban life, history and landscape, we all welcomed a relaxing day at sea as Harmony V cruised westward along the southern edge of the Cannareos Archipelago. The archipelago is a long series of low-lying reefs, cays and islands with Cayo Largo at the east end and our destination of Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) dominating the west. Many of us out on deck in the morning saw the lines of distant palm trees on the horizon – the only indication that there was land off to the north.

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  • Seeking Shelter near Elephant Island

    Today was an at-sea day aboard National Geographic Orion.  Although we had no activities planned for off the ship, we kept busy with presentations, photo projects, and enjoying the relatively gentle seas.  We also had an incredible opportunity to view a massive tabular iceberg from the bow of our ship.  And, of course, we ate far too many desserts.

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  • South Shetland Islands

    Antarctica is a continent founded on the principles of peaceful cooperation, resource conservation, and collaboration. The collaborative efforts are designed to be amongst the claimant nations who have active research stations on either the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

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  • Trinidad, Cuba

    Today we spent time exploring the beautiful colonial city of Trinidad, and we ventured into the surrounding countryside. It was founded in 1514 by Spaniards, and then sugar cane plantations and mills were built, the town’s wealth grew, and by 1827 Trinidad had become the top producer of sugar in the world. Near the town square, the homes of the wealthiest sugar barons still stand, and the streets are lined with pastel, one-story buildings. Horse-drawn carts ply the cobblestone streets, which are lined by dwellings, restaurants, shops, and galleries with enormous windows protected by elegant ironwork. The core of the town is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is very much alive.  We met with a local artist who creates bas relief portraits in recycled wood; they are stunningly detailed and realistic.  Some of us visited the home of a practioner of Santeria, a religion with origins in Africa.  We then went to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, where we visited a prominent plantation house, and had a demonstration of sugar cane processing. 

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  • Fernandina and Isabela Island

    We started our exploration of the “wild west” of the Galapagos today. Rounding the Cape Albermarle at first light, we made our way into Banks Bay, where less than an hour out of Espinoza Point on Fernadina Island, we encountered over a dozen feeding Bryde’s whales. After having visited Fernandina, the most well-preserved oceanic island in the world, we backtracked north for a rendezvous with the equatorial line, but not without first stopping at Vicente Roca Point on Isabela Island.

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  • Bartolome and Rabida Islands

    Early in the morning we climbed to the summit of Bartolome Island. This is a spectacular site to learn about the geology of the archipelago. The great light of the day enhanced the contrast of colors and it looked like we were on Mars!Our guests enjoyed snorkeling at the golden, sandy beach. Then a great blue heron got our attention, until a young Galapagos sea lion arrived at the beach and stole the show! In the afternoon we visited Rabida Island, the red island, which has a lot to offer. From deep water snorkeling to kayaking along the coastal area, and an easy stroll along the red sandy beach. The tameness of the animals amazed our guests and great photos were taken here. Galapagos is magic!

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  • Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands

    After a very calm crossing from South Georgia, we were fortunate to be able to make a landing at Coronation Island, which is home to a large amount of chinstrap penguin colonies. It is evident that we are that much closer to Antarctica as we spent most of the day navigating through and around various shapes and sizes of ice. Dozens of fulmars and petrels followed the ship, splitting off occasionally to steal some food from the surface of the ocean. Upon reaching our morning destination, we bundled up and embarked our trusty Zodiacs to the landing. We were greeted by hundreds of chinstrap penguins, with an occasional gentoo or Adelie in amongst the mix. 

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  • Pacheca and Pachequita Island, Pearl Islands, Gulf of Panama

    Today we had a great opportunity to explore the waters of the Gulf of Panama, which experiences an upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water – and a related explosion of marine life -- at this time of the year. The upwelling is created when northern trade winds blow all the way across the isthmus and into the gulf, replacing warm sterile water with cold water from the bottom leading to an explosion of life. 

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

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