Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Bartolome Island

    The day started very early this morning, we hiked up to the top of the 376 stairs surrounded with an amazing lava landscape to get to the most popular sea view of the Galapagos: The Pinnacle Rock of Bartolome.

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  • Elephant Island, Antarctica

    Plying the windswept Southern Ocean this morning, National Geographic Explorer approached Elephant Island in the distance. Albatross and petrels glided just above the waves as we rounded Cape Valentine, a historic site where the Shackleton Expedition first made landfall in 1916 after their ship, Endurance, was crushed by the pack ice in the Weddell Sea.

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  • Dragon Hill and Eden Islet

    This morning we woke up anchored on the northern part of Santa Cruz Island, the second largest island in the archipelago. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and then off we went to Dragon Hill to start our daily expedition. The northern areas of the islands in the Galapagos are under the rain shadow effect, which is a dry area on the leeward side of the mountainous area (away from the wind). The mountains block the passage of rain, without much moisture left, which advances across the mountains creating a drier side called the “rain shadow.” That is what gives Dragon Hill this deserted aspect.

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  • Isla de los estados, San Juan de Salvamento

    National Geographic Orion is navigating along the southernmost region of the American continent following the routes of early voyagers and explorers. Staten Island is our destination for today and we are very excited to set a foot on this rocky island with forests of evergreen beech and winter bark trees. This island is home to South American sealions, giant petrels, kelp gulls and many other birds. It is also the place where the legendary Les Éclaireurs, or “Lighthouse at the End of the World,” is located: This being the inspiration for the French writer Jules Verne.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today was very special for all naturalists on National Geographic Islander because we not only got to show guests our home island, we also had a great “giant tortoise day.” Santa Cruz is home to the National Park and Charles Darwin Foundation Headquarters. Our first visit this morning was to the breeding center, a very successful project which is the result of the collaborative efforts between these two entities. Our home island houses a very healthy population of tortoises, with roads to access tortoise migration routes. On our way to one of these routes, we stopped at the largest lava tube on the island - 700 meters long! We also visited a local family owned sugar cane and coffee farm and learned about their products. We ended our day on a migration route, fulfilling lifetime dreams of seeing beautiful Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild!

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  • South Orkney Islands, At sea towards Elephant Island

    “Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing.”

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  • Santiago | Baja California Sur

    We awoke to one last gift from yesterday’s storm. A healthy swell was coming out of the southeast, making our early morning landings on the beach at Los Frailes a bit more of an extreme sport than was intended. The shuttle drivers opted for stern landings, which are generally reserved for such conditions, and all of our intrepid guests were eventually landed safely in time for the day’s activities. We had groups who opted for snorkeling, diving, and one large group that was bound for the Sol de Mayo rancho ecologico.

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  • Punta Cormorant, Champion and Post Office Bay

    Early this morning we went for a walk at Punta Cormorant, and observed blue-footed boobies, American flamingos, and Pacific green sea turtles – it was a fantastic morning! After breakfast we went around Champion Islet and encountered more wildlife, Galapagos sea lions, Galapagos shear waters, and brown noddies to name a few. Our guests enjoyed great snorkeling with silvery and colorful fish and in the afternoon, after a visit to Post Office Bay, we went kayaking among the protected waters of Baroness Bay. We saw so many Pacific green sea turtles and white-tipped reef sharks. Another great day in Paradise!

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  • Santa Cruz

    This morning our ship, National Geographic Endeavour II brought us to Academy Bay, at Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, the most populated of the only five Galapagos Islands that have human settlements. Santa Cruz has become a very strategic place for Galapagos Conservation, as here we have the National Park headquarters and the operative branch of the Charles Darwin Foundation: the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS).

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  • Gardner and Punta Espinoza in Espanola Island

    Today National Geographic Islander is anchored in Espanola Island. We started the day with a snorkeling outing in Gardner Islet for those who wanted a bit of water activity. There was also the option to stroll along a white sand beach with plenty of sea lions as companions! Later, we visited Punta Suarez for a hike along a cliff where we got to see waved albatrosses take off.

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

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