Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Friday Harbor and Sucia Island

    Back in the U.S. of A! After a far-too-short amount of time in British Colombia we cleared back into the United States as we docked in Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, Washington. A bitter-sweet feeling as our trip coasted down towards the finish, but a fine day of adventure we had before us. Visiting the iconic Whale Museum of Friday Harbor is always a treat and learning about the legends, facts, and plights of the resident Killer Whales in Washington was great. As the lunch announcement was made, we cast off the lines and sailed for Sucia Island. Translating to “dirty” island, the small group of islets is a navigational trick as many rocky reefs extend offshore. This is due to the unique and beautiful geology there. Many new birds and a few mammals were seen from shore walks and kayaks as we spent the last few daylight hours of our epic trip through the Inside Passage, basking in autumnal sun.

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  • Victoria, Vancouver Island | British Columbia

    Arriving in Victoria during sunrise was a special treat this morning. Guests were able to choose from a wide variety of activities to enjoy the city. Since pictures speak more than words, I have chosen to provide some snapshots of some of the possibilities.

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  • Green Inlet and Inside Passage, Canada

    It was calm and artistically misty as National Geographic Venture turned from Graham Reach into Green Inlet this morning. We anchored toward the back of the bay and commenced our activities after breakfast. Bushwackers trodded through boot-sucking mud, lush mosses, muskeg, and enjoyed everything from tracking bear signs to beautiful views of Green Lagoon. Others explored by kayak and Zodiac. Harbor seals, several species of birds, and mink were observed. The remainder of the day was spent enjoying life on board National Geographic Venture as we transited south through the scenic waterways of the Inside Passage of British Columbia.

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  • Prince Rupert, British Columbia

    Today was our first day in Canada, in the seaport town of Prince Rupert. Strolls and walks ashore took us to forest trails and an excellent museum, with time for browsing the shops of Cow Bay or appreciating the local catch over a bowl of chowder. 

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  • Wallace Island & Friday Harbor

    We entered the Straits of Georgia and made our way to our landing at Wallace Island, where we enjoyed a leisurely hike through Madrone and spruce forest along the length of the island. A pleasant and nourishing rain fell as we passed the old caretaker’s cottage, which served several small cottages at a resort for vacationers to the Gulf Islands. We visited a makeshift shrine to various boats, ships, and sailing vessels that had passed through this special place, and we observed the remains of a lone vehicle that hauled wood and supplies for people overnighting on the island. Later in the afternoon, we re-entered U.S. waters in order to pass through customs at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands, and we took advantage of our mooring by spending several hours perusing the shops and cafés during our last night on this voyage.

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  • Misty Fjords National Monument

    With a pen and his signature, President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed over 2 million acres of protected wilderness, which remains to this day the largest wilderness area of the Tongass National Forest. Misty Fjords offers the ultimate Southeast Alaska experience and ranks high on the list of Alaskan sights, and today was our day to explore it.

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  • Desolation Sound Marine Park | B.C.

    We experienced the quintessential temperate rainforest in Desolation Sound Marine Park in British Columbia. With a few good days of rain, the rivers were flowing and the mushrooms were sprouting out of the forest floor. On our morning walks to Unwin Lake, we were treated to views of a lush forest filled with green ferns and cedar covered in moss and lichens.

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  • Petersburg, Wrangell Narrows and Snow Pass

    This morning we docked in Petersburg and spent the morning exploring this charming town with its distinct Norwegian flavor. The rain didn’t dampen our spirits – while some us went flightseeing over LeConte Glacier, others strolled through town taking photos, walked the docks lined with commercial fishing boats, or visited an Alaskan bog (muskeg). We bicycled through town, and perused Petersburg’s wonderful bookstore. In the afternoon, our journey continued as we transited Wrangell Narrows, a narrow waterway marked by an inordinate number of red and green channel markers. In Snow Pass, we had fantastic views of humpback whales engaging in cooperative bubble-net feeding.

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  • Alert Bay, Canada

    In the morning, we were met with warm, glorious weather as we cruised into Alert Bay. Alert Bay is the home and cultural center of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations. We first visited the U’mista Cultural Center where we learned how they people had been forced to abandon their traditions throughout much of their history. However, over time, they held steadfast, practicing their culture and language behind closed doors. Now they are able to showcase their way of life, and we saw an amazing collection of traditional masks and artifacts. The First Nations people invited us into their longhouse for a colorful dance performance and an opportunity to taste test local foods.

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  • Williams Cove & Tracy Arm Wilderness Area

    Our day on board National Geographic Venture started inside of Williams Cove as guests had the chance to stretch their legs on a variety of hikes, including a bushwhacking hike that got up to a peat bog, or muskeg. After lunch, we cruised up Tracy Arm to the South Sawyer Glacier, where we deployed our Zodiacs for an up-close look at the glacier and bergs in the arm. Harbor seals, mountain goats, and glacier calving were some of the amazing things we got to witness.

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