As National Geographic Orion cruised down the west coast of New Zealand from Milford Sound to Dusky Sound, guests were kept busy with two presentations in the lounge entitled, ‘Biodiversity of New Zealand,’ and, ‘Customary Practice of the Maori.’

After lunch, we anchored in Dusky Sound – probably the most complex and beautiful of all the fiords in this region. Guests boarded Zodiacs with two expedition staff for a tour around this majestic area. Rain fell yesterday and we had a few light sprinkles today, so numerous waterfalls cascaded down the slopes into the sound. Occasionally, the sun appeared from behind the cloudy curtain, adding a further dimension to this stunning area.

We spotted a few of the local bird species, including kelp gulls, pied shags, bellbirds, and tuis. As it was low tide, we also spotted several variable oystercatchers feeding on black mussels from the exposed banks.

Back on the ship, it was time for a special Thanksgiving dinner.