Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Isabela Island

    This morning we disembarked with the hopes of finding Galapagos giant tortoise on our walk at Urbina bay on Isabela Island; as soon as we started our walk we found a young tortoise drinking from a small rain puddle, right next to it there was a big male munching on poison apples that are a delicacy to them. A few meters later, we found another and another some of them, where even leading the walk in total we found 13 giant tortoises, according to our young explorers that were doing the counting.  Not to say the least the huge colorful land iguanas were also basking themselves along the trail so everyone was able to photograph these yellow dragons.

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  • At sea towards Falkland Islands

    The prospect of having two days at sea might be daunting to some but for the modern explorer it should be a welcome and infrequent break to think and place the previous weeks of traveling into perspective. Very rarely these days we expose ourselves to this kind of idle time, submerged in the fury of connectivity and restlessness that comes with our modern lifestyle. To some it might be just some time that needs to pass quickly to go back home, but for most it opens the opportunity to wrap around ideas, images, or memories of the amazing days spent in South Georgia. For some, even, it is a transcendental part of the trip as the Southern Ocean is the place to find and experience some of the most remarkable creatures that roam our planet. Wandering, black-browed, and light-mantled albatross, assorted petrels, and even some oceanic-going hourglass dolphins were spotted from the bridge during the day in a magnificent display of what these waters have to offer.

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  • Punta Vicente Roca and Fernandina Island

    Today our activities started at the west of Isabela Island with a Zodiac ride around the area, here we spotted many endemic animals like Galapagos penguin, marine iguanas, fur seals, sea lions, fly less cormorants and more.! After these activities, we were ready to jump in to the water to do our snorkeling of the day on Punta Vicente Roca. This place is full of life, the iconic animal of the snorkeling were the sea turtles!

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  • Panama Canal and Barro Colorado Island

    Our tropical journey, on board National Geographic Quest, began last night with the crossing of the first set of the Panama Canal Locks, the Gatun Locks on the Caribbean Sea side.  This first segment took us directly to Gatun Lake, formed by the damming of the Chagres River in 1923, which also created the first – and one of the three most productive – research stations in the Neotropics, Barro Colorado Island (BCI).  With segments that include part of the mainland, BCI is nowadays declared a Natural Monument, and we got the chance to explore this amazing site three ways: a walk on the mainland site known as the Discovery Center, another one on the original island, or via a Zodiac cruise, exploring the island’s edge.  Whatever we chose to do, we were rewarded with great sights of various animals like black throated and slaty-tailed trogons, spectacled owls, golden-orbed spiders, howler and white-throated capuchin monkeys and many more.  This is just the beginning of our week’s journey through Panama and Costa Rica.

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  • San Ignacio Lagoon

    Another beautiful, calm day welcomed the travelers aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird to San Ignacio Lagoon. Our morning on the water was filled with a variety of experiences. There were quiet moments observing the birdlife overhead, including royal terns and white ibis. Then we were back to splashing and chipper exhalations during our encounters with the friendly gray whales. The day was full and rich, ending on a colorful note with our first blue whale sighting and a green flash at sunset as we headed south toward the tropics.

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  • Fernadina & Isabela Islands

    Today our guests explored the westernmost realm of the Galapagos. During the morning, the entire group landed and snorkeled at Punta Espinosa, Fernandina Island. The highlights of the morning were the countless Galapagos marine iguanas that were basking in the sun at the shoreline as our guests explored the island. During the morning snorkel, our guests observed green sea turtles feeding on seaweed on their rocks. For the afternoon, everyone went on Zodiac rides to experience Punta Vicente Roca, Isabela Island.  This site offers an impressive view of a collapsed volcano. The rocky cliffs provide shelter for Galapagos fur seals and are a good perch for seabirds like Nazca boobies, brown noody terns with chicks, flightless cormorants and Galapagos penguins.

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  • Prion Island, South Georgia

    Our last landing on South Georgia was particularly dedicated to the bird with the largest wingspan in the world—the wandering albatross. The wake-up call this morning sounded very early to allow for the landing of several small groups of guests at Prion Island. This island has remained among the few rat-free areas on South Georgia and is still one of the few nesting colonies for wandering albatrosses around the main island. The American ornithologist Robert Cusham Murphy, having seen the wandering albatross for the first time, was so moved by the encounter that he left this quote, now to be found in the historical museum at Grytviken: “I now belong to a new cult of mortals, for I have seen the albatross.”

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  • Bartolome & Rábida Islands

    There are many different aspects, why Galapagos has become one of the best travel destinations, first it flora and fauna are unique, it means, they can only be seen in Galapagos and nowhere else outside this Archipelago.

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  • Laguna San Ignacio

    After sailing north from Bahia Magdalena, the National Geographic Sea Bird dropped anchor at sunrise. Waking up to a cloudless sky and mild conditions, we geared up for an exciting day on the water at one of our most anticipated destinations—Laguna San Ignacio. 

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  • St. Lucia

    The sun rose this morning over mountainous St. Lucia at 6:10 a.m. We were making 5.7 knots with a wind 18mph on our port beam. The temperature was a balmy 82˚. Captain Nemerzhitskiy brought us within an easy view of the lush green west side of the island of St. Lucia. St. Lucia is approximately 212 square miles and has a population of 182 thousand. The earliest inhabitants likely reached here sometime around 600AD and called this island Ioüanalao which means “Where the Iguanas are Found.” We motored past the Hess oil distribution center just inside Grand Cul de Sac Bay. The oil is brought here in large tankers from Venezuela and then distributed throughout the islands. By 9:15 a.m. I could see the majestic Pitons rising directly off the forward port side of Sea Cloud. The Pitons “Petit and Gros” are volcanic plugs and have now been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for exceptional natural beauty. St. Lucia is called the “Helen of the Caribbean,” reminding us that she is as beautiful as Helen of Troy. Sailors went to their stations and we were under sail by 9 a.m.

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

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