Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Patterson Bay & Chatham Strait

    Last night a mom asked her six-and-a-half-year-old child, Ruby, what she’d like to have for the next day, and Ruby answered “a very pretty day!” Today certainly started very beautifully, with smooth seas, a clear blue sky, and a great view of the magnificent snow-covered peaks of Baranof Island. After having had a couple of “Alaskan sunshine” days, many of us gathered on the ship’s deck long before breakfast to enjoy today’s weather and admire the scenery. 

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  • Fern Harbor and Inian Islands

    This morning found us along Icy Straight, under calm, cloudy, and misty conditions and just coming to border Glacier Bay National Park. A pair of humpback whales greeted the early risers as they slowly cruised the waters along with us, giving us a chance to watch and hear them nearby; one, two, three, even four breaths then a show of flukes, dive for three, four, five minutes, then resurface.

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  • Sitkoh Bay, Lake Eva & Chatham Strait

    The day began with calm water allowing for kayaking and paddleboarding in Sitkoh Bay.  Banana slugs were immensely popular with the children—and young at heart—on all the hikes. The thimbleberry bushes were in full bloom and, in a few weeks, bears will surely delight in eating them. Everyone took turns with the kayaks and hiking and then headed back to the ship for lunch. After lunch, we had a presentation and then set out for more hiking near Lake Eva in Hanus Bay. Numerous wildflowers were in bloom and the naturalists explained the rainforest ecosystem. After dinner we enjoyed an incredible sunset and spotted numerous humpback whales spouting and displaying their flukes.

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  • Santiago Island

    The Galapagos Islands were discovered and rediscovered a few times in the past. Consequently, all of the islands have more than one name. Santiago, located in the central part of the archipelago, is also known as James Island. James was a popular hideout for pirates and buccaneers that would prey on the Spanish galleons found nearby. Here, they were able to find tortoise meat and some fresh water in order to sustain themselves and make their long journeys back home. Today, Santiago is totally uninhabited, and thanks to the great restoration efforts by The Galapagos National Park Directory, this island is full of beautiful landscapes and, just like the other Galapagos islands, it looks like a place untouched by the time.

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  • Iona

    It was a cool, bracing start to the day but we had brilliant visibility as we slipped our moorings in Oban and made for the Isle of Mull, one of the largest of the Inner Hebrides and one with an exceptionally long, indented coastline. It is an island celebrated for its wildlife—golden and white-tailed eagles, shorebirds, and rich offshore marine life, including minke whales, an orca pod, and seasonal basking sharks. We disembarked at Craignure and drove in a diagonal across the island, along a single-track road with passing places, to Fionnphort where we met the ferry for Iona.

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  • Storfjorden, Edgeøya & Barentsøya

    Today National Geographic Explorer sailed through Storfjorden, “the big fjord,” which is actually a channel between the islands of Spitsbergen and Edgeøya. The word fjord, which usually defines a closed body of water, was initially used because a small opening to the north of the channel was covered by ice all year round. This blocked passageway made early explorers think that Barentsøya was effectively attached to Spitsbergen.

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  • Charles Darwin Research Station, Highlands, Santa Cruz Island

    The Galapagos National Park Service, together with the Charles Darwin Foundation, are among the most respected conservation institutions in the world. Due in large part to the longstanding breeding centre where tortoises are raised in captivity; a program that started back in the 1960s with the Española subspecies. The population was near extinction due to the presence of introduced goats and donkeys to the Island, which forage the vegetation leaving the tortoises not only without food but also without shelter. After years of research and hard work, the program has achieved 100 percent success. Today over 2,000 young tortoises have been repatriated to their island of origin and are now reproducing in the wild without human intervention.

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  • Sailing the Adriatic Sea

    The moment we all wait for on every Sea Cloud voyage is the first time the captain calls the crew to sail stations to set the sails. Those who have never been on Sea Cloud before wonder skeptically if we really, truly are going to sail, and the many returning guests who have experienced the ship before already know where to position themselves in anticipation. It never gets old. We had a full house on the Spanker Deck for the explanation of the setting of the square sails, and then we all moved to the Bridge Deck and Monkey Deck for the setting of the jibs and staysails. After that, the day was spent in glorious awe, as the sails filled and we all began to explore the ship and find our favorite places to settle in. The first day at sea on Sea Cloud is always a winner!

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  • Inian Islands & Fern Harbor

    We took the pulse of the Inside Passage at the Inian Islands this morning. Ebb tide generated strong currents, whirlpools, and standing waves in the Cross Sound. Harbor porpoises, sea otters, and Stellar sea lions abounded. Black-legged kittiwakes were beginning to nest at Bird Rock and were easily agitated by bald eagles flying overhead.

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  • George Island & Fern Harbor

    So many charismatic megafauna today! Sea otters, humpback whales, Steller Sea Lions, harbor porpoises, and killer whales! One of my favorite parts of today was during this morning at George Island, where we deployed the new Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with the young Global Explorers and let them drive! They got to see the underwater world in a whole new light and record their own videos on her. Today was really all about the Global Explorers!

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

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