Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • At Sea to Falkland Islands and Onwards

    Late in the afternoon on March 15, the news from the rest of the world collided with our bubble of safety and happiness onboard National Geographic Explorer. We were notified that the window of opportunity for getting our guests, staff and crew home in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic was closing, and it was deemed prudent to abort our voyage and return early to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Captain Oliver and the Bridge Team turned the ship around and we started the two-and-a-half day sea voyage across the Scotia Sea.

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  • Prion Island, Fortuna Bay & Stromness

    The day started and ended with gorgeous skies, and throughout the day we experienced one of those rare and magical confluences in South Georgia of sunny weather and calm seas. We had spent the night at anchor in the Bay of Isles and awoke early for a very short reposition to Prion Island for an opportunity to view nesting wandering albatrosses.  

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  • Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

    What a fantastic way to start our exploration of the remote island of South Georgia! We found some shelter from the swell and landed in Salisbury Plains to hike to the second largest king penguin colony in the island with well over 100,000 birds present. From little chicks being fed by their parents to adults that had finished molting and were getting ready to go back to sea, we got to witness a range of milestones in the rather long breeding cycle of these penguins.

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  • At Sea towards South Georgia

    South Georgia is a beautiful, remote oasis filled to the brim with exciting wildlife and wonderful plants. But this ecosystem is fragile and needs to be protected from the introduction of invasive species. To do our part to protect this special place, today we underwent a thorough decontamination protocol. We carefully cleaned all our belongings and removed any seeds clinging to our outerwear. We are now ready for South Georgia!

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  • At Sea, Bound for South Georgia

    Day broke across an unseasonably calm Atlantic Ocean this morning as National Geographic Explorer made passage eastbound for South Georgia. The early risers were greeted with stunning conditions and a variety of wildlife. Before the wake-up call this morning from our expedition leader Russ Evans, we had already spotted a right whale, a pod of sperm whales, and joined by several wandering albatross. Weather conditions look favorable for the remainder of the passage and we will likely be within sight of South Georgia tomorrow morning.

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  • Keppel Island & Saunders Island

    We had a day of culture and history today in West Falkland. Our first stop was at the former South American Missionary Society site on Keppel Island. The site was called Cranmer Settlement and was discovered and set up in 1855 in accordance with the wishes of the society’s founder, Allen Gardiner. As Keppel Island was uninhabited and had an excellent water source, it was deemed the perfect location for the education, conversion, and “civilization” of Yámana natives from Tierra del Fuego in South America.

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  • Steeple Jason Island & West Point Island

    The Falklands Islands welcomed us today with their very best side. A beautiful sunrise over the graceful peaks of Steeple Jason Island promised us a lovely day to come and before long we were ashore, hiking over the low shrub vegetation and into the tall tussock grass on our way to visit the world’s largest breeding colony of black-browed albatross. In the afternoon we landed on West Point Island, where we were greeted by the caretakers, Jackie and Alan White. Another beautiful hike led us to another nesting site of albatross and rockhopper penguins and after hiking back we were invited into the snug farmhouse for a Falkland Islands farm tea, featuring a fantastic variety of cakes, cookies, and fresh scones.

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  • At Sea, South Atlantic Ocean

    The quiet night mostly spent sailing through the Beagle Channel was most welcome. By daybreak we were sailing between the main island of Tierra del Fuego and Isla de los Estados (Staten Island) through the Lemaire Strait.

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  • Isla San Francisco & La Paz

    Our time has come, the circle is closed. Twenty days ago, we left Ushuaia. Headed towards Antarctica, the infamous Drake Passage, and certainly some unknown. Now we return, after an incredible voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falklands, and a lot of ocean in between. Calm seas in the Beagle channel were certainly enjoyed, but it was a bit shocking to see trees and civilization. We did enjoy the sunshine, dolphins, and abundant birds. I think for many of us, we wished we were heading back out instead of into Ushuaia, but the memories we have created will last a lifetime.

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  • Leaving the Falkland Islands

    Today was a great day to stay indoors. Robust seas and high winds made for a somewhat rough ride and outside decks were closed to guests. Waves to around 5 metres and spray causing white out on the windows of the deck-6 observation lounge from time to time were the norm.

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