Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • Bernal Glacier and the White Narrows

    Our morning was somewhat relaxed, in that the distance we were due to cover meant some necessary time onboard. During our time at sea, we had the opportunity to enjoy a presentation by Krista Rossow, our National Geographic photographer, about her work on assignment. Our time onboard, however, was due to be short lived.

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  • Jackson Bay, Almirante Sound, Karukinka

    After a night of swift navigation through the channels and fjords, National Geographic Orion arrived at anchor at the head of the long Almirante Sound. It was a serene morning, windless to start, with stunning views of mountain tops under fresh snowfall and alpenglow at sunrise. The calm weather convinced Lucho, our expedition leader, that we could offer both a landing for half the group while the others pursued a Zodiac cruise in Jackson Bay, with a switch between the groups later in the morning.

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  • Garibaldi Fiord

    We started this morning navigating the narrow Garibaldi Fiord. The berg bits scattered in the water were giving us clues of what lay ahead at the end of this deep valley: the Garibaldi Glacier!

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  • Beagle Channel and Cape Horn

    Today we sail! As we meander our way through the Beagle Channel where we were initially blessed with the warmth of sunshine on our catamaran cruise, we again got our dosage of vitamin D as we headed through towards Cape Horn. This was an unexpected delight, as the hotel staff hosted a late morning meal of delicious Bavarian bratwurst and Bloody Mary’s, which we were able to enjoy while warming our bones in the sun.

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  • Staten Island, Day Two

    It dawned upon the naturalist staff that we had beaten the sun to rise as we arrived at the silhouette of Puerto Cook’s peaks. Equipped with fresh coffee and our Zodiacs mounted with lights, we braved the wind and rain to reach the looming remains of Staten Island’s prison and cemetery left from the early twentieth century. A blue light washed over the early hikers’ path, traversing across Staten Island – a whopping half mile, each way. After drying off and a quick repositioning, we reached our next outing at the recreation of author Jules Verne’s iconic Lighthouse at the End of the World. Once the hikers had set out from the landing towards the lighthouse, the undersea team went for a dive in the thriving kelp forest nearby.

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  • West Point & Carcass Island, West Falklands

    What a start to the trip—penguins, albatross, and sunshine! Guests were just getting up as the ship navigated into her anchorage off West Point Island, home to thousands of albatross and rockhopper penguins. After stretching their legs, guests were treated to amazing views of both at the main colony.

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  • Staten Island, Argentina

    It’s our final day here on Staten Island, and oh how glorious. In this land known for wind and bad weather, we had calm seas and pure sunshine for the entire day.  Great wildlife and amazing scenery were our themes for today.

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  • Cape Horn & the Beagle Channel

    By now we have run out of superlatives to describe the splendor of the Chilean Fjords. Even less words come to mind when thinking about the luck we have had with the weather at these latitudes famed by the horrendous winds that usually prevail. Today we spent an exceptional sunny morning at Cape Horn, hiking to the monument, meeting the Chilean family that lives in the lighthouse, and looking for elusive birds.  In the afternoon we experienced glassy calm waters and Sei whales calmly feeding by the ship while sailing the legendary Beagle Channel into Ushuaia.

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  • Seno Garibaldi, Chilean Fjords

    The Beagle Channel stretched out before National Geographic Orion as the breakfast bells rang. We spent the first part of the day cruising through the waterway, taking in the finest scenery Patagonia has to offer, with incredible weather. After lunch we moved up Seno Garibaldi Fjord to make a landing on a small island in the midst of floating glacial ice. Here we took hikes and paddled kayaks, for those so inclined. Back aboard we enjoyed cocktails on the bow and the ship moved close to the glacier for an epic view of calving and ice-gazing.

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  • Karukinka Reserve, Chile

    The landscape told us of the windswept nature of this fjord. The trees wore a botanical comb-over, their branches bent and trained by blusterous winds. But this was not to be our experience at Karukinka Reserve in Chile. The winds were calm to non-existent, the skies were blue, and the snowcapped mountains and their sagging glaciers were stunningly beautiful.  Wildlife and a harsh yet magnificent landscape, two elements that combine and create the magic of Patagonia.  

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