Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Supay Caño & Puerto Miguel/Yarapa Caño

    Our last full day of exploration of the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve in the Upper Amazon in Peru was filled with all the required ingredients that have made this expedition a successful one with great animal sightings, intercultural experiences with the local inhabitants of the area, wonderful company and excellent meals with regional flavors.  In the morning while exploring Supay Caño we had several great sightings.  Wildlife is usually very active in this location, we were very lucky for we saw many bird species like flycatchers, nighthawks, herons, kites, tanagers, parrots, etc.

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  • Drake Passage

    The early hours of this morning aboard the National Geographic Explorer were animated as we experienced a rendition of the ‘Drake Shake”. Undeterred, we pressed South bound for the Antarctic Circle. As the day progressed and our sea legs began to grow the seas mercifully subsided. Some brave souls ventured to the back deck with our year of the bird ambassadors and were rewarded with amazing views of soaring sea birds who were seemingly playing in the wind and waves. Prions, giant petrels and the majestic wandering albatross were all sighted. These interactions were documented using ebird and iNaturalist apps as we continue to harness citizen scientists to describe the distribution patterns of sea birds on our Drake Passage crossings.

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  • Genovesa Island

    Today we are visiting the northern most visitor site in the Galapagos. An extraordinary island known as Genovesa. Some of us woke up early to a pre breakfast kayaking outing along the cliffs on this island. Birds of all sorts were spotted while kayaking; some of us got to spot a few red footed boobies and red billed tropic birds flying around the area.

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  • Atun Poza and Pacaya River

    We started the morning with some drizzle but that didn’t stop us from going exploring, we protected all our camera gear and wore some ponchos to immediately start our morning skiff ride in the flooded forest of Atun Poza.

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  • Genovesa Island

    The golden finale of this expedition around the Galapagos Island, on board the National Geographic Islander was to visit the famous Genovesa Island. Here there are several species of seabirds with thousands of individuals of each. Both in the morning and afternoon we landed on two places to find boobies, frigates, petrels just to name a few of the unique species of Genovesa.

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  • Sombrero Chino, Sullivan Bay

    Today the National Geographic Islander is anchored near Sombrero Chino Islet, located southwest of Santiago Island. Between these islands, we have a very nice shallow channel with crystal water where our guests could enjoy the beach, zodiac ride, kayaking, paddle board and snorkeling! During those activities, our guest watched sea lions, penguins, marine Iguanas, brown pelicans, frigate birds, sharks and many types of fish! Later on, during our navigation, the National Geographic Islander got close to Bainbridge Islet and we could see the Galapagos flamingo feeding on a brackish lagoon inside the crater.

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  • Angkor Ban and Wat Nokor, Cambodia

    Today we awoke to an unexpected sight, a thick blanket of fog laid across the river which restricted visibility to around 100 feet. As the sun came up this started to clear but we were fortunate that the morning was largely overcast and (relatively) cool. A multitude of barn swallows is buzzing around Jahan as they are feasting on the swarm of flying insects which are attracted to the ship’s lights overnight. After our own hearty breakfast, we headed to shore. Our morning excursion took us to the small village of Angkor Ban, situated on the banks of the Mekong in Kampong Cham province. Kampong Cham is one of the wealthier and more developed parts of Cambodia, but Angkor Ban remains relatively undeveloped. They only had electricity connected in the last decade. Winding our way around houses and farming equipment, through laneways and backyards, we encounter all manner of domesticated animals. A village elder even lets us check out their stilt house.

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  • Drake Passage, Beagle Channel

    Our final day at sea is bittersweet. The crackling call of the chinstrap penguins is so fresh in our minds. The leopard seals who seem to be in every harbor and inlet should be showing up anytime now. However, today is not the same as so many recent days. Today the sun shines brightly. Today the wind has a comforting warmth. The views from the decks hold the landforms of Tiera Del Fuego. Today we see green leaves again.

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  • South Water Caye

    Hello from South Water Caye, Belize! We woke up to calm seas and a day full of promise. Our base was at the southern end, under the shade of coconut palms and buttonwood trees.  As the divers headed out, the snorkelers were already being matched up with the Splash snorkel guides and today’s adventure was underway. Kayaks and stand up paddleboards, quickly set out to explore the crystal-clear waters surrounding this island paradise. Spotted eagle rays gracefully glided through as the snorkelers made their way across the sandy bay to the turtle grass meadows and the coral reefs beyond. From the pelican’s pouch dock, we could see an osprey nest with two chicks and one of the parents, secured to the top of the thatched roof of a seaside palapa. As we watched, the other parent arrived with breakfast gripped tightly in its talons – a queen parrotfish! As the day wore on, sightings of loggerhead turtles, barracuda, Caribbean spiny lobster, numerous colorful reef fish and beautiful hard and soft corals were reported by returning snorkelers and divers. On land, palm warblers, yellow throated warblers, yellow-crowned night heron, green heron and belted kingfisher were seen by some and a school of over 200 bonefish swirled and entertained in the shallow calm seas alongside the dock. South Water Caye sits smack atop the Belize Barrier Reef and is in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, part of the Belize Barrier Reef System World Heritage Site. After a sudden and short shower, guests enjoyed some beers and punch as the awaited the sunset. It did not disappoint and settled into the distant mountains in a blaze of orange, purple and various shades of pink, surrounded by scalloped white wispy clouds.

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  • Los Titeres, Magdalena Coastal Lagoon

    This our second day of whale watching in the calm waters of the Magdalena Coastal Lagoon was extraordinary: guests and naturalists went out on the expedition landing crafts and found Olivia, a very experienced mother gray whale that has been well known by her friendly behavior in past seasons. She and her baby were just outstanding because allowed us to stay around while they were resting and possibly sleeping, just logging at the surface with no interactions at all. Maybe they are enjoying our company, so confident, so tolerant. Eventually, the slow current drifted them next to our boats and all guests experienced the magic moments of touching a whale! Later on, we left Olivia and her calf for navigation southwards in the canal (flanked by wonderful mangroves, birds and moon-looking sand dunes) to reach our afternoon destination at Sand Dollar Beach. In the hikes across the dunes of this section of Magdalena Island, we encountered two jackrabbits that rapidly ran away from us, as well as the interesting vegetation that covered them in small carpets. Hundreds of seabirds, shells of snail and bivalve mollusks, polychaete worms (marine cousins of earthworms and leeches) and other beings, dead and alive, were also present in this fascinating environment.

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


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