Daily Expedition Reports

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976 Daily Expedition Report(s) match your criteria

  • Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands

    After a very calm crossing from South Georgia, we were fortunate to be able to make a landing at Coronation Island, which is home to a large amount of chinstrap penguin colonies. It is evident that we are that much closer to Antarctica as we spent most of the day navigating through and around various shapes and sizes of ice. Dozens of fulmars and petrels followed the ship, splitting off occasionally to steal some food from the surface of the ocean. Upon reaching our morning destination, we bundled up and embarked our trusty Zodiacs to the landing. We were greeted by hundreds of chinstrap penguins, with an occasional gentoo or Adelie in amongst the mix. 

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  • Royal Bay and Larsen Harbor

    A little snow can go a long way in changing a landscape. As it is still “early” season here in South Georgia getting to see this environmental condition gives us a small taste of what it might be like during the winters down here, albeit drastically sunnier. The wildlife is seemingly unperturbed by inclement weather and we follow suit, gearing up and braving the elements for the very worthwhile sights this magical island has to offer. 

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  • Grytviken

    Today, we awoke aboard the National Geographic Orion as the ship was rounding King Edward Point in Cumberland Bay, with our destination, Grytviken, in sight. Grytviken is notable for at least two reasons: it was the site of the first whaling station built in South Georgia; and, it is the final resting sight of “the Boss” – Sir Ernest Shackleton. We were fortunate enough to have the full day to explore the whaling station, the museum and the hills behind Grytviken.  

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  • Fortuna Bay/ Stromness Harbour, South Georgia

    A change in weather in our favor happened today as we awoke to a bright blue sky and a crisp breeze. This morning we spent our time exploring another congregation of King penguins mixed in with a plethora of excited fur seals. There was much excitement on the beaches of South Georgia for good reason -- it’s prime breeding season for the Antarctic fur seals. This bay has a great historical significance since it was the bay that Earnest Shackleton thought was Stromness Harbour as he and his men descended down from their hike across South Georgia.  Unfortunately for them, they would have to continue on to get to their final destination to begin the rescue mission to retrieve those that were still stranded on Elephant Island. With that in mind, our afternoon would be spent replicating the final section of the hike that the famous polar explorer became so well known for. Over half of our guests on the ship would complete the journey, while the rest of us met them in Stromness Harbour, and got a closer look at the ruins the whaling station there. 

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  • Elsehul and Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

    We have arrived. After several days at sea, the swathe of green-filled slopes makes for a striking change from the deep blue Southern Ocean. A curtain of clouds readies us for the big reveal. And what an opening act, the sheer amount of fauna biomass that thrives on these shores is a staggering showstopper but we’re not even to intermission yet. 

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  • At Sea in the Scotia Sea

    We enjoyed a beautiful day at sea as we continued on our trek eastward towards South Georgia.  Very early this morning, we crossed the Antarctic Convergence, also known as the Polar Front, and entered the true Antarctic environment. The convergence encircles the Antarctic continent and delineates where the Antarctic Surface Water spirals northward and encounters the Sub-Antarctic Surface Water. The colder Antarctic Surface Water slips underneath the warmer Sub-Antarctic Surface Water and continues its northward movement. There is a significant difference in the surface water temperature at the convergence, which is easily measured. The water temperature dropped from 5º C to -1º C, or about 39º F to 30º F, in a few hours. This was exciting news when everyone got up this morning.

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  • At Sea, En Route to South Georgia

    After departing Port Stanley at 10pm yesterday we were quickly exposed to the swell built up from the strong winds during the day. Fortunately the ship is fitted with stabilizers which eases the motion of the ship through the waves, thus the ship remained relatively busy with lectures and photography sessions in the lounge, or the lectures viewed from guest rooms through TV screens.

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  • Stanley, Falkland Islands

    Today we awoke on the National Geographic Orion tied alongside the dock in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. Although everyone was free to explore the town on their own, there were several guided activities that were available as well. In the morning, some chose to hike Mount Williams. This historically significant mountain was the site of one of the fiercest battles between British and Argentine soldiers and is rich with reminders of the 1982 war. It is also a beautiful trail over peaty camp and grass bogs that meanders through diddledee and wild strawberry and along stone runs, so even those who were less historically-inclined found it enjoyable. 

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  • West Point Island and Carcass Island

    The West Falklands provide one with a sense of what life is like on the frontier between civilization and raw wilderness. While the islands have been mostly cultivated for sheep or cattle, there persists a constant reminder that this landscape cannot be completely tamed. The elements and native animals that thrive in them carry on despite the anthropological disturbance with a delightful dissonance that rarely experienced so gently.

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  • Mar Argentino

    Today was the first full day of our expedition aboard the National Geographic Orion, on an epic journey to explore one of the most incredible regions on the planet.  We were blessed with calm seas and blue skies as we made our way to the western side of the Falkland Islands. 

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

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