Daily Expedition Reports

Browse photos & daily reports sent from the field every day



Lastest Expedition Reports

  • Petersburg

    We woke to an absolutely bluebird sky this morning as we sailed through Frederick Sound. The water was calm, and the journey was tranquil. We spotted one humpback whale in the distance, a few marbled murrelets, and two red-throated loons floating in the water. As we were sitting down to breakfast, we passed a channel marker with sea lions hauled out on it, warming in the morning sun as we entered the harbor of Petersburg.

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  • Halleck Harbor & Red Bluff Bay

    Today really highlighted the geology of Southeast Alaska. Starting in Halleck Harbor, the huge limestone cliffs preserved fossils millions of years old. Heading up Chatham Strait on this clear day showed off the mountainous Baranof Island. Red Bluff Bay highlighted red-weathering peridotite rock, which was something I learned today about this area.

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  • Misty Fiords National Monument

    We began our first day aboard National Geographic Sea Bird exploring the wilderness in Misty Fiords National Monument. The morning brought incredible reflections on the glassy water, showing old-growth forests that towered above the ship. Woodland passerines created a symphony of sounds before breakfast. Upper Rudyerd Bay graced us with an abundance of birds—glaucous-winged gulls, pigeon guillemots, common loons, marbled murrelets, belted kingfishers, rufous hummingbirds, and many more. While kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and cruising for wildlife in expedition landing crafts, we encountered harbor seals and an incredibly cooperative coastal brown bear. As we left Misty Fiords, we sailed through Owl Pass, an area that exhibits the dynamic geology of Southeast Alaska in its exposed exfoliation joints and largely granitic landscapes. We capped off the day with a marvelous feast and an entertaining bear presentation in the lounge as we sailed through the calm waters of Behm Canal.

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  • Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

    Today aboard National Geographic Endeavor II, we had the opportunity to start the day with our morning walk at Urbina Bay, a black sandy beach located on the rim of Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island. As we walked along the trail, we had close encounters with yellow land iguanas and giant Alcedo tortoises! After the hike, some guests returned to the ship by Zodiac ride, and others had a refreshing swim at Urbina Bay, sharing the space with penguins and pelicans that were feeding at the coast. Today we had a delicious and traditional Ecuadorian buffet lunch, where we learned the proper way to eat ceviche.

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  • Tracy Arm & South Sawyer Glacier

    We awoke just south of the entrance to Holkham Bay, the entrance to the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area, which is approximately 40 miles south of Juneau. The area, carved by glaciers flowing west from the Stikine Icefield, is located in the Coast Range along the Canadian border. We cruised south scanning the shoreline for bears, the sky for birds, and the water for whatever it might reveal. A distant splash of water signaled the arrival of a pod of Dall’s porpoise. These marine mammals are sometimes mistaken for killer whales but are smaller in stature. They are considered one of the fastest animals in the water. As they approached the boat, several joined us and rode our bow’s waves for quite a while. We had clear views of their acrobatic and playful behavior as we hung out heads and our cameras over the bow.

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  • At Sea towards Kiska

    We sailed alongside two Aleutian Islands this morning.

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  • Bartolome and Rabida Islands

    It’s our first day into our expedition in the Encantadas, and we begin on Bartolome Island, one of the jewels of the archipelago. This island is like a field guide of volcanic features: cindery slopes, tuff and spatter cones, lava pipes, and pahoehoe lava. In order to reach its summit, one must climb nearly 400 wooden steps, but the view is certainly worth it! After breakfast we enjoyed the water world of Bartolome, either from its beautiful golden beach or deep-water snorkeling.

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  • From Spitsbergen to Magdalenafjorden

    Our last full day in the Arctic was full of surprises, beginning with a phenomenally rare pack of morning visitors. As we headed west of Spitsbergen toward the sea ice to investigate wildlife, to our deep disbelief, we spotted whale blows in among the pack ice. And below the blows bobbed huge, rotund, dark backs with no dorsal fin—the unmistakable shape of bowhead whales.

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  • Fernandina and Isabela Island

    Today we woke up at sunrise to search for cetaceans from the sky deck of National Geographic Endeavour II. We were lucky to observe a group of common dolphins hunting for fish. After a delicious breakfast, we went for a natural history hike at Punta Espinoza in Fernandina Island, where we had the opportunity to observe an endless number of marine iguanas. Before lunch, we went snorkeling, where we observed plenty of green sea turtles and a few flightless cormorants searching for algae to build a nest.

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  • Kargamil Island

    The day began with National Geographic Orion creeping closer to Kargamil Island, one within the Four Mountains island group comprising the Aleutian island chain. Raising straight out from the ocean, the green of Kargamil’s mountainsides was in stark, scenic contrast to the woolly gray of the sky behind it.

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


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