Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



853 Daily Expedition Report(s) match your criteria

  • Seydisfjordur, Iceland

    Morning navigation led National Geographic Orion around the Alftavikurfjall region, the northeast corner of the island of Iceland. This area is particularly opportunistic for the likes of whales, particularly minke or humpback. Today, the guests aboard the ship were extremely lucky to view both! These are both baleen whales, animals that take in huge amounts of water by expanding their ventral pleats, followed by sieving the water out through their massive mouths. Baleen is a construct made of keratin, the same protein that builds our fingernails and hair. The baleen hangs down from their upper jaw and acts as an extremely effective filter for these animals, instead of relying on tools like teeth (which would prove useless against their miniscule prey choice). The ship saw these whales lunge feeding, bubble net feeding, and lolling about at the surface. This activity was perfectly timed, as marine mammal expert Madalena was about to give her lecture on the very same creatures in the lounge.

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  • Lake Myvatn

    The guests aboard National Geographic Orion spent the day in one of the most amazing geologic places on earth. We went by coach to the Lake Myvatn area to see the numerous volcanic features that were formed along the rift valley.  This area is the only place on earth where the oceanic ridge is above sea level for all to see.

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  • Siglufjörður, Eyjafjörðu and Akurejri

    With perfect Icelandic summer weather, National Geographic Orion arrived to Siglufjörður first thing in the morning.  Siglufjörður is a small fishing village of about 1200 people, located in a narrow fjord with the same name as the town.  Siglufjörður was known as the Klondike of Iceland because of its lucrative commercial herring fishing industry that lasted from 1903 until the collapse of the herring stocks in 1969 due to over fishing.  Today Siglufjörður is known for its world class Herring Museum that has won many awards, including the European Museum Award for the best new industry museum.

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  • Vigur Island, Isafjorduri

    It was a very early start to the day on National Geographic Orion this particular morning, with the first group of guests going ashore at 6:00 a.m.! The place we were visiting was a small island named Vigur, which sits near the half way point in Isafjardardjup, a large fjord system in the northwest of Iceland. The draw to this wonderful family-owned island is not only an eider down collection business, but the fact that it has a large number of Atlantic puffins, and a thriving Arctic tern colony.  One additional feature is the only remaining windmill in Iceland, which dates back to the mid-1800s.

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  • Flatey and the Westfjords

    Flatey, the flat island, is the biggest of the surrounding islands and is just 1 by 2km (1/2 by 1 mile). Flatey has been very important since the Middle Ages, when it was used as a trading post. The picturesque traditional colored wood houses of the island are summer houses for many visitors today. We spent our morning on this very tiny basaltic island where only 6 people live year round.

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  • At Sea Toward Heimaey, Iceland

    Today National Geographic Orion sailed full steam towards our afternoon destination, the Icelandic island of Heimaey. Heimaey literally translates to “home island”, and is the largest of all islands in the Vestmanna (Westman) group. In 1973 the volcano Eldfell erupted, changing both the landscape and history of this small island forever. The lava encapsulated many homes as it threatened to ooze into the sea. Once reaching the previous coastline, it pushed on, nearly closing off the port entirely. The locals took to hoses, washing the molten lava with seawater in a desperate attempt to slow and eventually halt the lava’s movement. Miraculously, it worked, and the port today is actually much safer and more protected than it ever was in the past. Today the guests were able to join a beautiful hike, a bus tour, or go for a wander through town to explore this unique location.

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  • Dupivigur, Iceland

    The guests aboard National Geographic Orion had an awesome day today, based out of the picturesque port of Djupivogur. Some guests went to Papey Island, where they saw multiple seals, puffins, and other sea birds along the rocky shoreline. 

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  • Seydisfjordur, Iceland

    After a wonderful evening passing through the Arctic Circle at Grimsey Island we sailed east through the night to the northeastern part of Iceland. Our morning at sea brought us interesting lectures and the chance for whale sightings, in which we were not disappointed. As we neared the steep cliffs of Seydisfjordur Fjord we spotted a small pod of minke whales, a special treat as minke whales are often unpredictable while feeding, which can make them hard for whale watching. We had beautiful warm weather and dined on the outer deck for lunch. The afternoon was spent exploring the largest town in the northeast, Seydisfjordur, and the beautiful nature reserve nearby. It was once an active fishing town but due to overfishing the economy has changed to being mostly driven by tourism and is one of the largest ports in Iceland with ferries going directly to Europe. 

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  • Akureyri to the Arctic Circle

    This day will certainly stand out in our memories during this Icelandic expedition. Not for the perfect weather, and not just by Icelandic standards, but also for just how much fun can be packed into a day. The near 24 hours of light was also big help. Starting at Akureyri first thing in the morning we traded the National Geographic Orion for buses and headed inland towards Lake Myvatn, stopping at many investing geology sights along the way. By late afternoon we rejoined our ship, not back in Akureyri but instead further along the coast in the town of Husavik. From there we set sail towards the island of Grimey for the opportunity to see more puffins but also to cross the Arctic Circle, which is conveniently located on the island of Grimey. Not being ones to waste the sunlight and lovely weather we decided that a midnight polar plunge was the perfect way to end this amazing day.

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  • Siglufjodur, Akureyri

    Overnight there was a dramatic change in the weather, from a sunny and warm day, to a very rainy one! This however did not affect our plans or participation in the morning’s activities.

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

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