Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Lake Eva & Chatham Strait

    This morning started out quite wet as National Geographic Sea Lion entered Peril Strait on our way toward the landing site at Lake Eva. But, as luck would have it, the rain stopped right as we got the first Zodiacs ashore and improved throughout the morning. There was an opportunity to take a longer hike of about two miles one way to the lake itself, a medium one part way, or to do another kayak excursion. Our luck continued with great views of two different female brown bears with young cubs near the lower trail. The afternoon brought fantastic humpback whale encounters, with breaching, pectoral fin slapping, and incredible “bubble-netting” feeding behavior!

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  • DeGroff Bay and Peril Strait, Alaska

    After departing Sitka last evening, National Geographic Sea Bird found a quiet anchorage for the night. Today began with a minke whale sighting and ended with a view of humpback whales feeding in Chatham Strait. 

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  • Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

    What a day in Glacier Bay!  This place has never ceased to amaze me, no matter how many times I visit.  We started our morning off bright and early with a small pod of orcas cruising by just before breakfast.  As we ventured further north into this mystic bay, the weather continued to improve.  We made a stop by South Marble Island to take a look at the numerous species of birds, snap some photos of sea otters, and even get a whiff of the Steller sea lions hauled out on the rocks.  Further up the bay, we were lucky enough to spot a few brown bears, including a sow with two cubs.  By this time, the sun was out and we had clear skies as we made our way into Johns Hopkins Inlet.  It was like a dream as we sat in awe of the glacier, harbor seals, and intricate ice sculptures that surrounded us.  We finished our day off with a leisurely stroll on the forest loop trail in Bartlett Cove, then listened to the one and only Kim Heacox share stories and songs, and give inspiration to us all!  See ya next time GLBNP!

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  • Society Islands, French Polynesia

    Ra’iatea was formerly known as Havai’i, a name that has traveled with the Polynesians throughout their migrations. This morning National Geographic Orion entered the sacred pass, “Te Ava Moa,” and anchored near the most important religious site of Eastern Polynesia, Taputapuatea. In 2017 the cultural value of this site was internationally recognized through its classification as a UNESCO world heritage site. The surrounding landscape with agricultural terraces and more than 80 archaeological remains are part of the protected area; six restored ceremonial structures by the lagoon are easily accessible. 

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  • South Plazas and Santa Fe Islands

    Today we explored two islands in the central area of the archipelago. We went to South Plazas during the morning and observed Galapagos land iguanas, Galapagos sea lions, and several species of seabirds. During the afternoon, we sailed to Santa Fe Island, and today nature showed us once more that it could be unpredictable. We had an interesting combination of weather and got to experience sunshine, clouds, and heavy seas. These conditions only added to our adventure and the result was a fantastic day.

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  • Dynjandi and Vigur Island, Iceland

    Roaring and magnificent Dynjandi, the thundering waterfall known as the Jewel of the Westfjords, plunges more than 100 meters from a high cliff. Here in the glacially carved Westfjords, a large contingent of us hiked a few miles, following the edge of the fjord where towering cliffs loomed above, before reaching the waterfall. Many colorful wildflowers and tundra plants—lady’s mantle, meadow buttercups, common cottongrass, wild geraniums, bilberries, bog bilberries, crowberries, and dwarf birch—grew along our path. 

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  • Bartolome and Sombrero Chino

    The central islands of the Galapagos Archipelago are varied in colours and landscapes. This morning we visited Bartolome with its iconic views over Sullivan Bay, and it is known a small colony of Galapagos penguins live in the area. A challenging hike to the summit of this tiny island was on schedule in the early morning, and later we enjoyed the sea and the sand of the surroundings.

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  • Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait

    The topography and setting of Saginaw Bay is unusual in this part of Southeast Alaska due to the sliver of fossiliferous Paleozoic limestone forming the bay.  Today’s anchorage amidst the forested cliffs offered our first opportunity for in-depth exploration of the temperate rainforest, as well as intertidal life discoveries through shore walks and paddling.  Afternoon cruising through Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait repeatedly lured everyone to outside decks with charismatic cetacean sightings.  One guest claimed the day could not be better.

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  • Bora Bora, Society Islands

    The imposing and jagged Mount Otemanu greeted us at sunrise in an almost Lord of the Rings-esque mysterious mountain scene. The spectacular turquoise lagoon of Bora Bora contrasting against the mountains made for a very beautiful day above and under the water. We spent the morning exploring the island on trucks, learning about how pareos (sarongs) are colored and stenciled, as well as visiting the world-famous bar Bloody Mary’s, where the owner mentioned proudly that past U.S. presidents have visited. We spent the afternoon relaxing and snorkeling off a beach on a tiny island with yet more spectacular views, lovely butterflyfish, and even an ice cream surprise from the ship’s crew! Tomorrow, off to Taha’a and Raiatea.

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

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