Thursday aboard National Geographic Endeavour II started early with pre-breakfast hikes and Zodiac tours at Bartolome – the youngest island so far on our volcanic itinerary. Hikers climbed nearly 400 steps over the otherworldly landscape to the summit, where they took in the iconic views of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding islets. Zodiac cruisers explored Bartolome’s coast, where they were fortunate enough to spot several of the world’s northernmost penguins: the elusive, endemic Galapagos penguin.

Expedition Leader Gaby designed another jam-packed day of fantastic activities, including deep-water snorkeling and outings on the glass-bottom boat. Guests were thrilled by close encounters with some large reef sharks and playful sea lions.

In the afternoon, naturalist Vanessa regaled us with the history of one of the archipelago’s most famous visitors, Charles Darwin. Our Global Explorers joined Naturalists Cindy and Pato in the library to design their own personal expedition hats. And for dinner tonight we all enjoyed a special treat: BBQ night with sangria and music on the observation deck. Dining under the stars, excited guests swapped stories and compared wildlife sightings. The evening wrapped up in the lounge with a showing of part two of David Attenborough’s documentary about Galapagos.

Tonight, we sail to the northern side of Santiago Island to prepare for tomorrow’s adventures. It has been another exceptional day in this equatorial paradise!