Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day

Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Española Island

    As we step into the world that is Galapagos, we awaken at Gardner Bay surrounded by turquoise water. Española is one of the oldest islands in the archipelago and has developed a unique isolated environment that is found nowhere else on earth. We start our day with various encounters with Galapagos sea lions and the ever-curious Española mockingbird. As we sail into the afternoon, we start to realize that this area has no comparison in this world. Walking among the waved albatross, which is endemic to this island, we start to sense that there is an energy here, an attraction to this area because of shelter and nutrition. As the sun starts to dip into the ether, we are able to take a breath of sea air and realize that we have been accepted into this world among itself.

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  • Strait of Georgia & Wallace Island

    Wow! A terrific day! Before breakfast, as the sun was rising, we spotted a handful of humpback whales. They circled around, blithely feeding as we stealthily approached. After several minutes one of the whales split off and came close to the ship, surfacing beside the bow to great excitement. Then it dove under the bow, popping up on the opposite side. Guests dashed back and forth as it continued playing beneath the ship, exuding great plumes of fishy-smelling breath into our faces and cameras. The sun came up, casting golden light over the scene as the whale moved just below the surface, directly under the frantically snapping cameras on the bow. After rolling from side to side and launching its rostrum several feet out of the water to great delight, the whale finally swam away. We headed into breakfast, satisfied with a sunrise well spent.

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  • Amorgos, Greece

    Dawn was silhouetted by the ridges of Amorgos as Sea Cloud dropped anchor off the small port town of Katapola.  By the time the first half of the group were ready to disembark by ship’s tender, the sun had peered over the surrounding hills, and the harbor town gleamed white and inviting in the morning light. Once on land, an island bus was available to drive us into town. Along the way several guests exclaimed in wonder when we crested the ridge and saw the wild eastern coastline of Amorgos below and the deep blue expanse of sea before us. When we arrived to the tiny parking lot, many of the guests could scarcely believe their eyes as they alighted to a view of the white monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa plastered against the immense cliff-side above us. And I say that without exaggeration.

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  • San Cristobal Island, Punta Pit and Cerro Brujo

    This morning we woke up at San Cristobal Island, the oldest island in the archipelago. The tuff formation is amazing to view, and the effects of the erosion by the wind make this mountain an incredible landscape. We observed the striking olivine sediments that make up the beach, and spotted many blue-footed boobies nesting on the ground, as well as red-footed boobies nesting on the nolana vegetation. The landscape is breathtaking and the walk was invigorating. 

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  • Cruising and visit to Alert Bay, British Columbia

    As the sun rose in the eastern sky, the National Geographic Quest was making her way north through Johnstone Strait. Looking to the east we watched the sun make its way up behind the coastal range of the mainland of British Columbia. The light was shifting from bright peach to a deep golden hue as the sun moved up and over the landscape bringing light to our surroundings. To our left, Vancouver Island and its mountains were shrouded in mists which deepened as we moved north. Shortly after breakfast the National Geographic Quest was shrouded in fog. Many of us remained on the bow watching common murres darting in and out of deep fog banks.

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  • The Dalles and Cascade Cliffs Vineyard & Winery

    Another sunny day welcomes our expedition group to the Columbia River! A full itinerary awaits us, with destination and activity options including Rowena Crest, Columbia River Discovery Center, the Dalles history tour, river trail bike ride, a natural history plant walk, an art museum, and local winery. All along our journey, we admire the soft golden grasses and beautiful basalt bluffs edging the river corridor. 

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  • Delos and Naxos, Greece

    The wind picked up as we sailed out of the Santorini Caldera last night. As we left this magical place, we had one of the most lingering and glorious sunsets of the trip. However, a “rosy fingered dawn” arrived by 6 a.m. on the morrow with a fresh breeze and cool temperatures in the low 60s.

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  • Snake and Palouse Rivers

    As the six am hour approached this morning, the National Geographic Sea Lion awoke to the sounds of the bow thrusters, and the maneuvering propellers. These were the sounds of the National Geographic Sea Lion entering the first lock on the Snake River, Ice Harbor Dam! As the waters rushed in to the lock lifting our sturdy ship up to the level of Lake Sacajawea, the ship showed signs of life, opening and closings of doors, coffee being poured into mugs, and guests visiting the bow to enjoy our transit through Ice Harbor lock.

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  • San Cristóbal Island

    The first outcrop of rock spotted by the crew of the HMS Beagle on the 15th of September 1835 was Punta Pitt, located in the northeastern tip of San Cristóbal Island. Stunning tuff rock walls rise from the sea, and the little vegetation that manages to grow here hosts seabirds like the red-footed boobies and frigatebirds. Cerro Brujo, further south, is a white-coralline wide beach, the icing of the cake to a fantastic, unforgettable week in the Enchanted Isles.

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  • Santa Cruz Island

    Today we awoke at Puerto Ayora, where we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station and saw the captive breeding program of giant tortoises. Afterwards, we spent some time walking through the town before boarding buses to head up to the highlands, where we saw lava tunnels, and a coffee and sugar cane farm. For lunch we went to a giant tortoise reserve, where we saw the dome-shaped morph type of tortoise. The saddle-shaped morph type tortoises are the kind that we saw at the Station.

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

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