Daily Expedition Reports

Daily reports from our days in the field

  • 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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  • Agostini Fjord, Tierra del Fuego

    During much of the night and part of the morning, we sailed through the western reaches of the Strait of Magellan. We awoke in fairly exposed open water with cold wind and misty rain, but sighted a good diversity of wildlife from the ship, including Peale’s dolphins, black-browed albatrosses, giant petrels, Magellanic diving petrels, southern fulmars, white-chinned petrels, sooty shearwaters, imperial shags, kelp geese, South American terns, and Magellanic penguins. 

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  • Isla de los Estados

    Morning looks good! Yesterday, at the end of the world, it was a bit windy. That is how it is here, we work with nature, and it is not a tour. Yesterday afternoon the weather was not good for the landing we wanted. We could have skipped it, but instead we made plan “B”—wait and go the next morning. Which turned out to be a very good idea!

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  • Cánepa Bay, York Bay, Celular Port and San Juan de Salvamento Port

    A quiet night was spent at our anchorage deep in Cánepa Bay. Early in the morning the National Geographic Explorer weighed anchor and slowly headed out to sea. The rugged coastline with its many caves that work their way deep into the rock amazed those who had risen early. Lovely warm pastel shades light up the morning sky and in the distance to the south, cotton ball clouds brought a splash of color to the predominantly monochrome landscapes closer to the ship.

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  • Bahia Franklin & Bahia Capitán Cánepa, Isla De Los Estados

    Early this morning the National Geographic Explorer arrived at the the remote island of Isla De Los Estados (Staten Island). The island has been declared an “Ecological, Historic, and Tourist Provincial Reserve” by the Argentinian government and access to the island is strictly limited and only under special permit. We feel very fortunate to be able to visit this intriguing island that very few people have ever visted.

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  • Cape Horn

    Today was a special day because we were able to land in mythical Cape Horn. A place with so much history related to sailors from the past. Even today, this is an area that challenges us. Luckily, the winds were in our favor and we were able to visit and walk on the southernmost point of Tierra del Fuego.

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  • Beagle Channel

    This morning we woke up in a beautiful fjord, one of many in the Cordillera Darwin on the north side of Beagle Channel. The sky was mostly overcast, which is pretty typical in this area, but with sprinkling and a fresh powering of snow on the mountains. At the end of the fjord, Seno Garibaldi, there was the spectacular Garibaldi Glacier with the fjord completely full of icy bits, like a giant margarita!  This is a very active tidewater glacier with a snout in the water feeling the tide. 

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