Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



1648 Daily Expedition Report(s) match your criteria

  • Hood River and Beyond

    After a peaceful night anchored just off Cascade Lock, the guests and staff headed to shore for a full morning of activities. Some went to Multnomah Falls, some to climb Beacon Rock, some to Bonneville Dam, and the most adventurous headed off to do whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River. Most guests also were able to visit the wonderful fish hatchery at the dam. After returning to the ship for lunch, we were off for afternoon exploring some Hood River highlights! The Western Antique Airplane & Automobile Museum, or WAAAM, along with a tour through the many orchards above the city, near Mount Hood, were on the options this afternoon, along with a chance to spend some time in town!

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  • Columbia River and Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge

    We woke to another spectacular day on the Columbia waters. After transiting the McNary Lock and eating a hearty breakfast, we anchored off the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge where we boarded Zodiacs for our own discovery expedition. This wildlife refuge is extreme important to the spring migration of waterfowl. We saw bald eagles, great blue herons, great egrets, American white pelicans, and many, many other birds. After lunch we had a staff presentation, then entered the John Day Lock, followed by the Dalles Lock at cocktail hour. We enjoyed the changing landscape of the Columbia River as we transitioned toward temperate northwestern forest.

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  • Walla Walla, Washington

    Early in the morning National Geographic Quest whirled and stirred, and then came alive with activity as guests, staff, and crew awoke from a very peaceful night’s rest at anchor, just off the town of Pasco, Washington. Right in front of the ship was a very active train bridge over the Columbia River, with seven large freight trains passing over it before breakfast was finished! Once we got to shore, about 9 a.m., it was off in two bus groups toward the city of Walla Walla, Washington for our full day of activities! The two groups took turns going to the Fort Walla Walla Museum, the Whitman Mission and tour of the Tree Rivers Winery. We also joined up at the winery for a group lunch. Late afternoon it was back to the ship, cocktail hour and recap, dinner, and a post dinner lecture. Another full day on the Mighty Columbia!

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  • Palouse River & Cruising on the Snake River

    At 6 a.m. under clear skies, National Geographic Quest approached the lock of Little Goose Dam on the Snake River. Many of us rose early to watch the process of locking our way down the Snake toward its confluence with the Palouse River. At the Palouse we “dropped the hook” and began another day of adventures with kayaking, visiting Palouse Falls, and taking Zodiac cruises up the Palouse River into the rugged and beautiful Palouse River Canyon. In the afternoon, as we cruised downriver, Aaron our photo instructor gave a presentation on using our cell-phone cameras and showed us how to record a time-lapse record of the transit of our next lock at Lower Monumental Dam. We also learned about the Columbia River basalt province and the ice age floods from our geologist Grace. And Junius, our excellent historian, regaled us with his story of Mr. Jefferson and Captain Lewis.

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  • Pacific Northwest into Hell’s Canyon

    What an introduction to the interior northwest! With ship docked in Clarkston, we embarked on the first day of our expedition. Shortly after breakfast we boarded three jet boats to explore some 50 miles up Snake River, into Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge. After a day of world-class whitewater, spectacular mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, and ancient petroglyphs, we returned to National Geographic Quest to enjoy discussions both entertaining and informative, led by Nez Perce storyteller JR Spencer.

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  • Clarkston: Hells Canyon

    This brisk and sunny morning we boarded jet boats in Clarkston, Washington, for a thrilling ride up the Snake River into Hells Canyon. For over two million years the Snake River has been carving its way down into the continent to form this wildly beautiful and remote canyon. Known for its magnificent views and dynamic geology, Hells Canyon is deeper even than the Grand Canyon. The rugged landscape that will by dry and brown by summer is now gloriously green and sports a variety of colorful wildflowers. We traveled into Hells Canyon, to the Snake River’s confluence with the Salmon River, the legendary River of No Return.

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  • Palouse River

    We woke up to a gorgeous morning at the mouth of the Palouse River, a tributary of the Snake river. Some of us went to the spectacular Palouse Falls, which cascade 198 feet into the basalt canyon beneath. Others went on a Zodiac cruise up the Palouse River, where we saw the beautiful surrounding canyon and wildlife, including golden eagles, prairie falcons, and red-tailed hawks. Still others chose to spend the morning kayaking. In the afternoon, naturalist Grace Winer gave an immersive presentation on local birds in the area.

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  • Walla Walla, Washington

    National Geographic Quest anchored overnight on the Columbia River, just off the city of Pasco, Washington. We awoke to a beautiful morning, with massive freight trains chugging their way east to west and back over the Columbia River via the railroad bridge just ahead of our vessel. After breakfast, it was Zodiac to shore, board our luxury coaches, and spend the day exploring the Walla Walla area! Guests had the choice between visiting the Fort Walla Walla Museum and the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, then switching in the afternoon. But both groups got to go Three Rivers Winery, where we met for lunch, and had a wine tasting and tour before leaving for the other site that they did not see in the morning! Finally, back to the ship, got underway, and headed up the Snake River for our next stop!

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  • Columbia River and McNary Dam

    Today’s river exploration had a touch of excitement that came in the form of winds that brought with them sufficiently choppy waters. It was several hours before these conditions abated. This led to the cancellation of one landing, a hiking opportunity at Crow Butte. It could be said that unscripted developments such as these are part and parcel of the expedition experience. Guests nevertheless enjoyed this seafaring surprise as well as the accommodations made on board.

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  • Cascade Locks, Hood River

    If today were a movie, it would be a full-feature, 5-star, action film. By 6:45 this morning we were sailing through Bonneville Lock in the soft morning light. Soon we reached Cascade Locks for our morning activities. The short zodiac ride to shore, gave us practice in donning our life jackets and stepping in and out of the rubber boats.

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

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