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Lastest Expedition Reports

South Plazas & Santa Fe Islands

Our expedition around this magical archipelago brought us today to one of the most beautiful hidden treasures of the Galápagos archipelago, South Plaza Island. This small island, which is in fact only some few hundred yards long, was once part of the ocean floor. The amount of wildlife that inhabits this paradise is overwhelming. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Connemara, Ireland

There is a sense of permanence here, a sense that this is the only way it can be.  It seems so perfect, meandering our way through the landscapes of Ireland. We step forward and back in time at a rate that sometimes makes your head spin, every new vista hurling us back into the Mesolithic, or dragging us back to the modern world or perhaps even looking ahead to the way it might be. Time leaps to and fro in thousands of years, sometimes millions! It seems an age ago that we moved south from Dublin, through the fertile south coast and to the towns and villages of Kerry that welcomed us so warmly and to the Aran Islands and the fort of Dun Aoenghus. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

George Island

We spent the day in what may be Southeast Alaska’s richest area in terms of natural as well as cultural history. We began at George Island. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Korcula, Croatia

We had calm seas as we sailed at six knots on a starboard tack into the jewel-like harbor of Korcula. The wind was fresh and the sun bright overhead. The sails were up by 9:00 a.m. and we were breezing along at six knots. Imagine the wind alone was moving 2,500 tons of ship through the water at such speed. I sometimes wonder why in this age of ecological concern we do not harness the wind to move freight again across the seas. At 9:30 Grace Fielder gave an informative talk on the myth of maps, designed to instill the spirit of skepticism in us. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 Sea Cloud in Mediterranean

Inian Islands & Fox Cove

There is something that happens to the soul when you wake up and immediately have wildlife to view. It centers you, and allows you to remember that nature is not something to visit; it is something to experience every day. Today was one of those mornings, here on board the National Geographic Sea Lion. The ship was still when everyone awoke, it was obvious that something special was happening, and there was no need to make an announcement to head out on deck, everyone just knew it was something you should do. Close to shore, there was a humpback whale feeding, a Sitka deer meandered along the beach, and a sea otter floated gently on its back, for this moment in time, all was right with the world. After a time, breakfast was served, and we prepared ourselves for the day ahead. First on our agenda were the Inian Islands, a small group of islands at the top end of the Inside Passage. Read More>

Jun 23, 2016 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island has the largest human population of all of Galápagos. It is where the Charles Darwin Research Station is located, which is where the captive breeding program for giant tortoises and land iguanas got started. With these programs we have been able to restock the populations of giant tortoises in places where they became extinct. It is the pride of this Park to have been be able to repopulate areas that were affected by human activity. The day started overcast and with garua or drizzle as we went to the research station. Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Isle of Aran, Ireland

The Aran archipelago forms a glistening necklace across the entrance to Galway Bay midway along Ireland’s magnificent Atlantic coast. To the modern traveller it is regarded as an outpost, remote from metropolitan centres, where an old language and associated customs survive quaintly, readily marketed to a steady stream of seasonal tourists. Those tourists follow in the wake of Romantic travellers and Gaelic Revival enthusiasts who between them gave birth to a remarkable literature in English which has drawn from a deep well of insular Irish language culture reaching back for centuries. The playwright Synge, the novelist Liam Flaherty, the contemporary cultural topographer Tim Robinson all used this small archipelago as their muse. Our morning excursion on Inis Mor, the largest of the islands, saw us following local guides to make an ascent of Dun Aonghasa, one of the most magnificently situated of any of the Irish National Monuments. Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Orion in Europe aboard NG Orion

Cerro Dragon and Guy Fawkes – Santa Cruz Island

Today, the National Geographic Endeavour dropped anchor at Cerro Dragon, a place located on the north-western coast of Santa Cruz Island. On this visitor site had a closer encounter with the endemic land iguanas. Considering that the population of land iguanas was strongly affected by humans in the last century, this was a great opportunity to witness the effects of a long-term conservation program leaded by the Galapagos National Park in coordination with the Charles Darwin Research Station, this place has changed so much since the 1970s, back on those days we would have witnessed a large numbers of feral cats, cattle, goats and donkeys. Today, most of these introduced species have been eradicated, which allowed the Galapagos National Park Service to reintroduce a group of endemic land iguanas who have successful repopulate the area. However, we learnt about the constant challenges of controlling invasive species, and how local and international experts are constantly improving their techniques for such a monumental task.  To finish this exciting morning, for lunch, our experienced local chefs prepared an Ecuadorian feast with a wide variety of local delicacies. I have to admit, this is my favorite menu of the week, a combination of coastal and highlands dishes. Quite fascinating! Later on, we moved south to a scenic area of the east coast of Santa Cruz. Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Northern Spitsbergen

We spent the entire day exploring the northern region of Svalbard’s largest island…Spitsbergen. Early this morning, National Geographic Explorer entered the enormous trifurcated fjord system known as Woodfjorden. These fjords offer some of the most impressive scenery in the entire Svalbard Archipelago with heavily eroded mountains decorated with herringbone patterns of vertical snow-filled valleys, old red sandstone sedimentary rock exposures, and glaciers. This region also typically contains a good diversity of wildlife and we were not disappointed in what we saw. Our destination this morning was the long arm of Liefdefjord, which was named after the ship de Liefde (Dutch for Love). Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Glacier Bay National Park

Having picked up National Park Ranger Kaylin Werth and Tlingit Cultural Interpreter Victor Hotch from Bartlett Cove under the bright sun of 5:30a.m., National Geographic Sea Bird steamed into Glacier Bay for a day of exploration.After breakfast, we skirted the edge of South Marble Islands in search of seabirds and Steller’s sea lions. Sure enough, both tufted puffins and horned puffins with their characteristic candy-corn bills of breeding plumage bobbed about in the water surrounding the islands diving from time to time in search of fish. Steller’s sea lions clambered up the rocks or lay in cuddled masses letting off occasional croaking groans of indignation at one another. Bird enthusiasts enjoyed excellent views of marbled murrelets, common murre, and harlequin ducks gathered in the rich fishing grounds. Following in the footsteps of John Muir we continued deeper into the glacially carved fjord and were rewarded with more wildlife encounters. Read More>

Jun 22, 2016 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

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Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DER's) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours.

 

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