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Photos of the Week, February 18, 2022

We often say that no two expeditions are alike when you travel with us. It's true of two expeditions to the same place, and obviously it's true of expeditions to different places. Even so, sometimes the week's photos rhyme in interesting ways. In both Baja California and the Galápagos, for instance, a spontaneous rainbow provided incredible photo ops for field staff and guests; you'll find those photos bookending this week's post. 

For more dispatches from the field, check out our Daily Expedition Reports

Have you recently traveled aboard one of our ships? Send us your favorite photo! We'd love to feature your favorite memory of your expedition. 

Boca de Soledad, Baja California

Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales, February 10, 2022

boat, whale, rainbow

A gray whale approached two pangas, repeatedly swimming between them. Occasionally, the whale blew so close to the small boats that we were covered in the salty droplets of the whale’s exhaled breath. In this image, a miniature ‘rainblow’ is visible! —Berit Solstad, Naturalist


Weddell Sea, Antarctica

Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands, February 10, 2022

fur seal in front of large iceberg

Antarctic fur seal on an iceberg near Devil Island in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. —Al Trujillo, Naturalist


West Snake Caye, Belize

Wild Belize Escape: Wildlife, Reefs, and Rivers, February 10, 2022

aerial view of island

Perhaps the most important of all underwater animals, millions and millions of coral polyps collectively create the coral reefs, building the low-lying islands we find in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef east of Belize. —Jeff Litton, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor


Genovesa Island, Galápagos

Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, February 11, 2022

baby sea lion

A baby Galápagos sea lion entertains itself while its mum supervises. The babies stay on the beach by themselves for a few days when their mums are fishing. —Walter Perez, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor


Paulet Island, Antarctica

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands, February 12, 2022

penguin chick with fuzzy brown feathers on its head

The last of the down to moult is on those hard-to-reach places, such as the top of the head. Most of the Adelie penguin chicks are sporting comical ‘hair styles’ at this time of year. —Conor Ryan, Naturalist


Pléneau Island, Antarctica

Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent, February 12, 2022

National Geographic Explorer anchored close to Pléneau Island. —Carl Erik Kilander, Naturalist


Heroina Island, Antarctica

Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent, February 13, 2022

thousands of penguins and one leopard seal

We had one of the most memorable Zodiac cruises, circumnavigating Heroina Island, home to 300,000 pairs of Adelie penguins. It was penguin soup with penguins coming and going, launching their bodies onto the slippery rocks, trying to get up and out of the surf zone, only to be swept back into the swell. It truly felt like a penguin circus, complete with leopard seals snoozing on ice with small groups of Adelie chicks on the same ice floe. Either the penguins were young and dumb, or the leopard seals had such a big food coma that they didn’t even notice the tasty snacks standing right behind them. —Karen Velas, Naturalist


Drake's Bay, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, February 14, 2022


We boarded Zodiacs to explore the Agujitas River and the water’s edge by taking a two-hour hike from Caletas to Drake’s Bay. We returned from sightings of scarlet macaws, swarms of army ants, leafcutter ant trails, riverside wrens, dot-winged antwrens, common black hawks eating fish, trogons, chestnut-backed antwrens and three species of non-human primates in the same spot at the same time. —Isabel Salas Vindas, Naturalist (photo by Frank Simms)


Fernandina Island, Galápagos

Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, February 14, 2022

marine iguana

Once we landed in Punta Suarez, we found several marine iguanas endemic to the islands. It was low tide, and the iguanas fed on algae, their main food source. In Fernandina, we found the largest population of marine iguanas. —Charles Wittmer, Naturalist


North Seymour Island, Galápagos

Wild Galápagos Escape, February 14, 2022

land iguana

Colorful land iguanas and lizards stood out against the dry rocky landscape. Cacti along the trail attracted iguanas, offering amazing opportunities for close up pictures. —Ramiro Adrian, Naturalist


Tagus Cove, Galápagos

Wild Galápagos Escape, February 16, 2022

sea lion eating a fish

A sea lion with a freshly caught parrotfish. —Ramiro Adrian, Naturalist


Espumilla Beach, Galápagos

Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, February 16, 2022

rainbow and beach

We kicked the day off with a pre-breakfast beach walk on Espumilla Beach. It was spectacular. Guests enjoyed a beautiful rainbow that perfectly framed the beach from arch to arch. —Alexandra Widman, Naturalist (Photo by Walter Perez and Juan Pablo Hinojosa)