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Glacier Bay

National Geographic Sea Lion continued her northerly passage in Tarr Inlet throughout the night and very early this morning. Just before sunrise she was at the northern end of Composite Island and the first views of Mount Fairweather, at over 15,000 feet in height, glowed in the first hint of sunrise light. A healthy portion of our fellow travelers arrived on the bow by 5:30am, in hopes of a spectacular sunrise, and it was beginning wonderfully. A common occurrence in Glacier Bay is the pushing of clouds away from the outer coast Fairweather Mountain Range, opening up clear skies and phenomenal views of some of the most glorious mountain and glacier viewing in North America. This was our luck this morning.   Slowly, the crowd on the bow increased as we made our way around Jaw Point and the first looks of Johns Hopkins Inlet and Glacier came into view. Read More>

Aug 27, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Chatham Straight, Saook Bay

In nature, there are no bad guys, everything serves its purpose and eventually, at the end of their life, they become the sustenance for something else. This morning our wake-up call came early. We had arrived at the carcass of a humpback whale killed in a collision with a ship. The authorities had towed it to the beach on Admiralty Island and there it has been feeding many bears for the last few weeks. This morning, as we arrived, seven brown bears were feeding. Fortunately, time and the process of decay spared us from seeing the whale as anything but a mass of unrecognizable flesh, which afforded us incredible views of so many bears feeding together on the edge of the forest. When we first came on deck, many of us were still half asleep; now, it was hard to believe that the day had only just begun.   After breakfast we began a long sail through the Chatham Straits. Read More>

Aug 27, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska


The largest island of the Galapagos is made up of five and a half volcanos, most of them still active. In the morning we set out for a hike at a place called Urbina Bay. A black sand beach where sea turtles nest is our landing place. We put our shoes on and we are ready to follow a loop trail heading inland and then along the shore.  Many land birds are usually the first to welcome us here.  Other reptiles of the area are the beautiful yellow land iguanas and the lava lizards. Read More>

Aug 27, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Santiago Island

Santiago Island is an island that brings us hope for the success of the Galapagos archipelago. This island is probably one of the largest areas to be restored on our planet. The story was not the same just two decades ago. Thousands of goats and feral pigs were completely eradicated from the whole Island. Read More>

Aug 27, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Nares Strait, between Ellesmere Island and Greenland

The morning wake-up call came earlier than expected, but a call that includes the words "polar bear" and "ice floe" will rouse us from our slumber. We groped for our warm clothing. We had moved northward during the night, along the east coast of Ellesmere Island. In the early morning we encountered a patch of "polar bear ice," the mixture of first-year and multi-year sea ice the is the preferred habitat of the ice bears. Our binoculars seek out any small ivory-colored dot on an otherwise white ice surface. We strain to see the dot move. Yes, it is a bear, spotted at a considerable distance. We approach, ever so slowly, stalking the polar bear much as the bear stalks seals on the ice.   As the strange, dark object that is our ship approaches, the bear rises but it does not flee. Read More>

Aug 26, 2014 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Port Althorp and the Inian Islands

The light rain eased, bits of blue began to dot the sky and the sun threatened to make an appearance as National Geographic Sea Lion edged into Port Althorp. Low clouds lurked between the hills as we boarded our inflatable boats and headed for shore. We walked along the shore, examining the intertidal zone and looking for bear tracks in the soft mud. Derelict barges decorated the shore while eagles serenaded us from above. The long walkers explored the deep forest beyond the shore, and kayakers enjoyed the bay from sea level. While we feasted on another wonderful lunch, the ship sailed towards our afternoon anchorage in the Hobbit Hole. Read More>

Aug 26, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

Glacier Bay

National Geographic Sea Bird ventured into Glacier Bay National Park later in the evening of August 25th. We picked up our Ranger, Mary Lou, and Cultural Interpreter, Bertha, in the small town of Gustavus, Alaska and navigated deeper into the national park as the night went on. We awoke in the early morning hours approaching Russel Cut and the Lamplugh Glacier, which appeared very blue on this misty day. It was a sight to behold, but the real treasure was to witness the beautiful dark brown bears that were nestled in the bushes on the hillside. The seals lounged on the icebergs as we passed slowly, moving on in hopes of viewing calving from the John Hopkins Glacier.   Our ranger and cultural interpreter for the day presented us with knowledge of the geological formations of the bay, cultural history, and information about the Tlingit nation whom inhabited this area for thousands of years. Read More>

Aug 26, 2014 National Geographic Sea Bird in Alaska

Isabela and Fernandina Islands

We started our day early on a pre-breakfast activity in the morning, in search of cetaceans. We got lucky when our naturalist Pato spotted a small pod of common dolphins leaping and splashing off our starboard bow. Our first officer Ivan was at the ship’s helm, so he turned east and we followed these beautiful marine mammals for a short distance as they leapt towards the sunrise. We had amazing opportunities to photograph these magical creatures with beautiful sunrise light. Along our navigational route, viewing as we went, storm petrels, dark-rumped petrels and other sea birds were flying on the surface of the ocean searching for planktonic species.   After breakfast we all crowded into the bridge and crossed the Equator and did our celebration, dancing limbo across our yellow, red and blue ribbon as the “endemic Equator. Read More>

Aug 26, 2014 National Geographic Islander in Galápagos

Isabela Island

Today we continued our trip around the western islands of this beautiful archipelago. Isabela is the biggest island by far, home of five active shield volcanoes that formed it. Read More>

Aug 26, 2014 National Geographic Endeavour in Galápagos

Morris Reef and Pavlof Harbor

National Geographic Sea Lion departed Sitka last evening and cruised north and east through Peril Strait between Baranof and Chichagof islands. Entering Chatham Strait we turned south and entered Kelp Bay, where guests on board awoke to a lovely mist draping the trees of the Tongass National Forest. It was a good place for our first photo opportunity of the day.  Presently we were called out on deck to view a couple humpback whales that were spouting and surfacing in the area. Read More>

Aug 25, 2014 National Geographic Sea Lion in Alaska

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