Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Kelp Bay and Lake Eva

    Today we explored different areas along the northeastern shore of Baranof Island. We started the day leaving our anchorage at Warm Spring Bay where we spent a quiet and restful night and slowly made our way north along the eastern coast of Baranof Island. 

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  • William’s Cove & Tracy Arm

    Today has been another excellent day exploring our protected natural heritage. We began with an immersion into the coastal temperate rain forest, followed by Zodiac rides through glacial ice in Tracy Arm Fjord.

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  • Fredrick Sound, Petersburg

    Glassy seas and sunshine welcomed us to another beautiful morning of our voyage. Dall’s porpoises joined us as we slid through Fredrick Sound, riding on our bow wave and giving us quite the show. As one of the fastest cetaceans, they had no problem keeping up with National Geographic Quest. Not to be outdone, humpback whales surfaced around us as sea lions swam about. One of the many wonders of Alaska is just how much you can see in one place at one time, and this morning highlighted that. As an added surprise, we had wonderful sightings of several moose as they walked along the beach. This was an exciting find; even our expedition leader commented on how it was her first time seeing them with guests from a ship. 

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  • Rangiroa, Tuamotu, French Polynesia

    At 7:00 a.m. National Geographic Orion entered the lagoon of the second largest atoll in the world, Rangiroa, which means “wide sky” in the local language. 

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  • Santiago Island

    We arrived today to one of the largest islands of the archipelago: Santiago, or San Salvador Island. This central spot in the Galapagos was a common stop for buccaneers, pirates, whalers, and other visitors of the Islands, including the famous scientist, Charles Darwin. The island has good anchorage sites, as well as some fresh water on the highlands, and giant tortoises for the hungry visitors. It even had some economic activity, as a salt mine operated here until 1965. 

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  • Krossfjorden, Spitsbergen Island

    Early this morning we entered Krossfjorden on the northwest side of Spitsbergen Island. The sky was gray, but the scenery was spectacular. The cliffs that surround the fjord had a sprinkling of fresh snow from last night and the air temperature was also relatively mild, an almost balmy 35°F! 

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    Today we visited the most populated island in the Galapagos Archipelago: Santa Cruz. The morning was spent at the giant tortoise-breeding center, where our guests learned about the most successful program of restoration of endangered populations ran by the Galapagos national park. It was a day with plenty of activities, including time in town, an optional visit to a local school, a visit to a farm, all this happening before lunch, which was served in the highlands. Then we boarded the buses and went to the giant tortoise natural reserve. We saw the gentle giant tortoises in their natural environment and walked through a lava tube. It was very important for our guests to learn about the conservation efforts in order to keep this paradise for the future generations. Galapagos is a perfect example of conservation in action!

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  • Fort Augustus, Corpach & Glenfinnan

    Morning found us on the shores of Loch Ness with glorious views up the Great Glen. Over breakfast we set off to continue our journey through the Caledonian Canal, climbing up a series of locks surrounded by the quiet village of Fort Augustus. Sailing southwest, we passed through Loch Oich, crossing the highest point of the canal at 106 feet above sea level. 

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  • Durres to Kruje, Albania

    We began our visit to Albania in the industrial port of Durres, an important port along the Via Egnatia leading to Constantinople. We headed by bus up into the highlands to Kruje, the old capital and stronghold of the 15th-century national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg. As we drove through the countryside, where cows and sheep grazed in pastures alongside new residential and commercial construction, our guides, Ols and Adrian, provided us with an overview of the long and complex history of the Albanians, who claim ancestry from the ancient Illyrians. A former communist country isolated for nearly 50 years, Albania has been steadily working towards building a new democracy and meeting the requirements of joining the European Union. 

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    Our days in “Las Encantadas”, as the Spanish called these islands keep bringing us adventures. We woke up near the shore of Santiago or James Island at 6am to walk at Espumilla beach. Blue-footed boobies were plunge diving right next to us, allowing us to photograph all their graceful movements, and a juvenile Galapagos hawk stared at us with curiosity. Kayakers and paddle boarders also took advantage of the early morning, and afterwards we were all ready for a big breakfast back on board. 

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

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