Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Fernandina Island

    As the sun came up over Isabela Island, we spotted several tropical whales. After breakfast, we landed on Punta Espinosa on Fernandina Island, the youngest and pristine island of the Galapagos. We walked along Pahoe-hoe lava fields until reaching an Ah-ah Lava field. During the walk, we spotted lava cactus, marine iguanas, sea turtles, hawks, flightless cormorants, herons, sea lions, spotted eagle rays, and penguins. Unusually orcas were also seen right next to the visitor site. After the visit, we went snorkeling with California sea lions, pacific green turtles and marine iguanas.

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  • Holm Island in Melville Bay, West Greenland

    The Greenlandic name for this scenic bay is Qimusseriarsuaq, meaning “the great dog sledding place”. We maneuvered through ice all the way into one arm of the bay in order to spend the morning on Holm Island.  Once ashore, everyone was immediately struck by the lush vegetation surrounding the landing site. The rock rubble is nearly completely covered in some places by dense growths of mosses and flowering plants  

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  • Bartolome Island

    Our first outing today was early in the morning as we jumped off the ship to get to the summit of Bartolome Island at 114 m. It is an impressive lava landscape. Different colors revealed the different minerals that compose this tuff formation. Also the viscosity of other parts showed the scoria lava. Spatter cones and the most beautiful pioneer vegetation make this place a unique experience. From the top we were able to see one of the most famous landscapes of the Galapagos, Pinnacle Rock. We all took a picture with it in the background. 

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  • Mykines and the Faroe Islands

    There wasn’t a single person aboard who wouldn’t say that today was extraordinary. The morning started off with very close visits from a large fin whale (the second largest animal on the planet) followed by a very rare sighting of a northern bottle nose whale. We had three wonderful presentations as we finished the last of a nearly 230-mile journey from Iceland to Mykines. Mykines, is the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and has a year-round population of 14 humans. Nearly 20 of us decided to put our legs to the test and hike up the steep ridge line above town, while others walked the streets with our National Geographic Photographers; Diane and Len. The steep cliff faces were covered with puffins who seemingly didn’t mind our presence. In addition to the phenomenal scenery and wildlife encounters, the day was extra special as we were serenaded by Kata; a group of five beautiful local women who sang local folk tunes. 

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  • Tracy Arm Fjords Terror Wilderness Area

    Our first day was filled with the adventure of Human Bingo, searching for wildlife, and viewing South Sawyer Glacier from an up-close-and-personal-perspective. Following Human Bingo, a game giving everyone the opportunity to find out the little secrets we all hold (such as if you’d like to swim in Alaska, if you enjoy wearing rubber boots, if you can whistle or play a musical instrument!) we continued cruising and looking for wildlife while slowly making our way towards the glacier. 

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  • Chatham Strait, Hood Bay, and Sitkoh Bay

    What a spectacular first morning aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion!  Our expedition leader Sheri woke us early, with 6:30 a.m. news of killer whales ahead.  We dressed warm and mustered on-deck, greeted by the soft blows and towering dorsal fins of the ocean’s top predator.  Spread out over all points of the compass, these killers were probably a diffuse pod of “residents,” or fish-eaters – no doubt in close sonic communication despite their seemingly long distance from one individual to another.  Soon, a second marine mammal joined the show: a humpback whale.  No sooner had we seen its first blows than the whale leapt bodily out of the ocean.  A breach!  Its 40-ton bulk slapped down on the surface with a massive splash, drawing gasps from the adults and screams of delight from the kids.  Again and again it showed its tail flukes in a deep dive, then exploded straight up out of the water like a torpedo, breach after breach.  We watched, awestruck, unable to pull away even when breakfast was called.  Finally, leaving these magnificent cetaceans to their business, we ducked into Hood Bay.  Hopefully nobody joined this expedition for the great views of the solar eclipse, as Southeast Alaska’s classic rain and fog obscured our view of the heavens – yet moments after the supposed eclipse maximum, we spotted a brown bear ambling on the shore. 

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  • North Seymour and Rábida Islands

    Today we had the opportunity to explore a couple of Islands on the central realm of the archipelago, in the morning was North Seymour Island and in the afternoon Rábida Island.

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  • Djúpivogur, Iceland

    It’s 5:45 a.m. and it seems just about a little too early to be hearing that Irish accentented alarm clock telling us to get up and be ready for the day. However, sure enough, most of us were out on the coaches and already on the road by 6:30 a.m. for a beautiful ride along the dramatic East Iceland coastline. Our goal for the day was to explore the mighty Vatnajökull Glacier (which is the biggest ice cap outside the polar regions and the third biggest glacier in the world) intimately by super jeeps, snow mobiles, and by boat.

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  • Krestof Island, De Groff Bay

    Moving through an intact ecosystem brings a certain well feeling of rightness; a bone-deep sense of belonging and a joy in just being a part of life on our small and enchanting planet. And following a brown bear trail marked by fresh footprints and signs heightens all the senses. Our walks today through the deep forest and the intertidal brought us right into the heart of this coastal temperate rainforest wilderness.

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

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