Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day




Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Isla San Francisco and La Paz

    Hard toget up, glad to be up was the theme of the morning. The intrepid among us set out before sunrise to Half Moon Bay on Isla San Francisco in order to make the most of the morning light. The sunrise painted the landscape around us with hues of pink, red, and gold. From below, photographers dotted the ridgeline that encircles the bay making the most of the dawn before us. As the morning progressed, we set out on foot to explore the island, taking in the flora and fauna it presented to us. Peregrine falcons and osprey set out in search of prey while black-throated sparrows sang their dawn chorus. It was yet another amazing morning in Baja.

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  • Bahia Almejas, Baja California Sur

    Dawn breaks on National Geographic Sea Lion at our anchorage in Bahia Almejas this morning. The bahia is the southernmost portion of the Magdalena Bay region and is our first opportunity to get out among the gray whales, and boy did we ever! A spectacular first day experience and interaction with these animals.

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  • Coiba National Park

    After cruising during the night from Costa Rica, we arrived to Panama’s most precious marine park. Coiba National Park is part of a very important marine corridor that connects the countries of Costa Rica with Colombia and Ecuador. In its marine area is found the second biggest coral reef of the Tropical Eastern Pacific.

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  • Brown Bluff and Weddell Sea

    National Geographic Orion began the day navigating some spectacular tabular icebergs as we made our way towards Brown Bluff. Our guests slowly woke to incredible vistas, and glimpses of sunshine on snow, as we prepared for our first landing on the Antarctic continent.

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  • Espumilla Beach, Buccaneer’s Cove & Puerto Egas

    At first light we landed on Espumilla Beach and were treated to close encounters with a Galapagos hawk and a few brown pelicans feeding in the surf. We divided our group into two explorations – the long walkers that journeyed inland through the ancient mangrove forest, and the photography group that strolled along the soft red sandy beach. Later, we departed on Zodiacs along the steep cliffs of Buccaneer’s Cove followed by a few intrepid soles that went deep water snorkeling.

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  • Cierva Cove

    This morning started out quietly as we sailed to our destination for the day, Cierva Cove. En route we were entertained by wonderful presentations given by our onboard killer whale biologists and National Geographic photographer. Then, around lunch, we sailed into Cierva Cove, one of the prettiest sites in all of Antarctica. Here we spent the afternoon watching the massive glacier and taking Zodiacs out among the wildlife and ice.

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  • Land’s End to Cabo Pulmo

    After having sailed South during the night, National Geographic Venture arrived at the southernmost part of the peninsula shortly before sunrise. Known as Land’s End, the dramatic looking granitic formations are the landmark of Cabo San Lucas, particularly the natural arch which makes for a particularly photogenic spot. Our Captain expertly maneuvered the ship in front of the arch, and we had the chance to enjoy the rocks changing color as the light increased and the sun rose higher over the horizon. Just as we started to pull out of there, a whale surfaced a short distance away. We know that the whole Cape region is one of the main breeding and calving grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific, but this whale was not a humpback. It was a gray whale! Go figure…

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  • Deibys Fonseca

    Today in our final day of expeditions in Costa Rica we headed for Casa Orquideas. This Botanical garden located next to Piedras Blancas National Park is a hotbed of wildlife and beautiful plants. The unique layout of the garden and immense variety of tropical plants gave our guests an unforgettable experience.

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  • Drake Passage and Barrientos Island

    We enjoyed a delightful morning in the southern reaches of the infamous Drake Passage with beautiful sailing conditions. We found ourselves accompanied by wandering and black-browed albatrosses, northern and southern giant petrels, pintado petrels, Wilson’s storm petrels, and several prions that were particularly difficult to identify on the wing. As we approached the South Shetland Archipelago, we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by humpback whales and chinstrap penguins splashing and cavorting all around the ship. This was pretty exciting, and most everyone was quickly out on deck. We encountered foggy conditions about this time and soon entered the treacherous English Strait, threading our way through fog-shrouded volcanic islands as National Geographic Orion sailed south toward Barrientos Island, which is part of the Aitcho Group. “Aitcho” is the commonly accepted name derived from the phonetic spelling of “HO,” which signifies Hydrographic Office – a department of the British Antarctic Survey (ne. Falkland Islands Dependency Survey) that originally oversaw this vicinity.

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  • Isabela Island

    The day started with early whale watching while navigating across the channel between Isabela and Fernandina islands. Soon, a small group of dolphins were spotted, and we had the chance to see their graceful jumps as they swam around us. After breakfast our first group departed to the island with the aim of walking over two miles on the uplifted shore at Urbina Bay. The trail at this site is covered with signs of marine life that once lived on these grounds. During the hike we found many Galapagos giant tortoises in the middle of the trail, sunning and posing in front of our cameras. Bright yellow land iguanas were also active this morning and displayed territorial behavior as they crossed from one side of trail to the other.

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

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