Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Lorino village, Chukotka, Russia

    A leisurely morning was welcomed by all after the excitement of whales with dinner and the crew show for dessert. After lunch, we headed to the small Inuit village of Lorino. We were treated not only with a sunny calm afternoon, but dances, tug-of-war with the locals, canoe races, and a sampling of local foods. All ashore enjoyed mingling with the locals, bird watching, and strolling through the village overlooking the Bering Sea.

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  • Wrangel Island and Bering Strait

    Today was spent transiting the Chukchi Sea between Wrangel Island and the Bering Strait. After several busy and eventful days spent exploring the island, many people welcomed the opportunity to relax for a day and spent the time in a variety of ways.

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  • Westman Islands, Iceland

    Our last day circumnavigating Iceland found us in the Westman Islands, where we headed toward the largest of 15 islands that make up the archipelago and the southernmost town in Iceland, Heimaey. In windy conditions, our captain and the local pilot skillfully navigated one of Iceland’s narrowest harbors, re-sculptured by a major volcanic eruption in 1973.

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  • Djupivogur

    We awoke to blue skies and sunshine! After a windy, rocky sail from Grimsey, everyone was excited for a day of land-based adventure as we split up into a few different groups.

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  • Ranger Station, Wrangel Island

    Today was our final day in Wrangel Island. After the rangers gave a presentation yesterday, about living in an isolated area with musk ox and polar bears as neighbours, we had a chance to visit their home at the ranger station. Luckily, the bay gave us some rest from the strong wind, and we could do a safe landing on the beach. The scenery was stunning, and we got to see the old hunter homes and the remains of what had once been an old Inuit community. Salmon was moving upstream in the braided river, and a Pomarine Jaeger caught an easy meal. The tundra vegetation on Wrangel Island is vast and very diverse, with around 400 distinct plant species. On the flat plateau south of the east to west trending Wrangel Island mountain range, the vegetation easily grows on the fluvial deposits around the ranger station. It has been an interesting and eventful visit to the rarely visited Wrangel Island, and we are now heading back towards the more civilized mainland again.

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  • West Coast of Wrangel Island

    The vibrant tangerine orb of the rising Arctic sun announced that our day would be clear and cloudless, affording us views of the wild landscape of Wrangel Island. National Geographic Orion had made a calm passage overnight, shifting to the western coast of the island where we hoped to Zodiac beneath nesting bird cliff citadels.

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  • Grimsey Island

    After a rocky transit in the early hours of this morning, we were treated to a beautifully calm anchorage for our morning landing at Grimsey Island, located 25 miles off the north coast of Iceland and straddling the Arctic Circle.

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  • Exploring the Mývatn Region

    After a calm night at the dock in Akureyri, we set out for full-day excursions in the volcanic wonderland of Mývatn, located at the edge of Iceland’s interior highlands. Everyone received excellent firsthand glimpses into the island’s geologic story, while also focusing on the unique opportunities of the region.

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  • 180° Meridian and Cape Blossom, Wrangel Island

    To arrive at Wrangel Island aboard National Geographic Orion for the first time was an accomplishment that words fail to describe. Such a northerly Russian outpost of polar bears and birds stands as legend in the minds of explorers since it was first discovered, and today’s activities did not disappoint in the slightest. Our first landing ashore was accompanied by musk ox and polar bears while harlequin ducks bobbed in the water. And the afternoon brought still more white bears to observe along the shoreline: a day to be remembered as we explore further this mighty island.

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  • Siglufjordur & Akureyri, Iceland

    Early this morning, a low ceiling of gray cloud hung above National Geographic Explorer as we approached our berth in the picturesque town of Siglufjordur on the northern coast of Iceland. With appetites satiated in the wake of a wonderful breakfast, we made our way to the local museum dedicated to the erstwhile booming herring fishing industry. At its height in the 1940s and ’50s, the importance of this fish to the town and its hinterland gave the region its nickname—Sildarbaerinn—which translates as “herring town.” The massive quantities landed led to a boom, which saw Siglufjordur expand rapidly as workers by the hundreds flocked here, eager to benefit from employment.

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