Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

SPECIAL OFFERS

Baja California: Airfare Credit

Book by December 31, 2018 and receive a $350 air credit per person on the January 12, 19 and 28, 2019 departures. Offer is for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and is subject to availability. Please call for details.

Available Departures
  • Jan 12-21, 2019
  • Jan 19-28, 2019
  • Jan 28-Feb 6, 2019
Special Offer for Solo Travelers

Book now and waive the solo premium on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers. Solo premium waiver not applicable on pre- or post-extensions. Please call for details.

Available Departures
  • Jan 12-21, 2019
  • Aboard the National Geographic Venture, voyage to Laguna San Ignacio to observe gray whales and their calves with our naturalists.
  • Go snorkeling amid sea lions, king angelfish, and brilliant blue damselfish.
  • Glimpse the marine world through underwater video footage, and listen in on the haunting songs of whales.
  • Explore diverse landscapes with our naturalists, discovering sand dunes, a cactus forest, and deserted islands.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Discover the natural wonders of the Sea of Cortez on an expedition aboard the National Geographic Venture. In the company of marine biologists, experience encounters with gray whale mothers and their calves after they have migrated to the inlets of Bahía Magdalena. Hop into a Zodiac to encounter wildlife up close, from whales to bottlenose dolphins. Follow naturalists on hikes amid barrel cacti, and snorkel among playful sea lions.

This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

 

Days 1-2: San José del Cabo, Mexico/La Paz

Arrive in San José del Cabo, then transfer to La Paz and enjoy time to relax at our waterfront resort. The next day, travel overland to the fishing community of San Carlos, where we’ll board the National Geographic Venture.

Meals Included:Day 1 (Dinner) / Day 2 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Accommodations:

CostaBaja Resort & Spa; National Geographic Venture for the remainder of the trip

Day 3: Bahía Magdalena

Go ashore on Isla Magdalena, a vast sandy wilderness surrounded by mangrove channels and the protected waters of Bahía Magdalena. Explore the island’s ever-shifting dunes during a walk to one of the most pristine beaches on the Pacific coast. On the mud flats, spot migrating birds at rest, including frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, and great blue herons.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 4-5: Laguna San Ignacio

The Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino in Laguna San Ignacio is one of the main breeding and calving areas for California gray whales, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Every year, gray whales migrate here from the Arctic waters of Alaska; it is one of the longest known migrations of mammals and one of nature’s greatest spectacles. In this vast water nursery, observe these gentle giants at water level from our Zodiacs. Our extensive experience navigating these waters, as well as the ship’s exploration tools, maximize the likelihood of up-close encounters with gray whales and their calves.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Day 6: At Sea

As we travel south along the Pacific coast of the Baja Peninsula, spend time on deck seeking out some of the many marine species that inhabit these waters, including the blue whale—the largest animal on Earth. Attend talks given by our naturalists, and learn wildlife photography tips from our photo instructor.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: San José del Cabo and Gorda Banks

This morning, we cruise past Friars Rock at Land’s End and dock at San José del Cabo to explore its historic town center. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, dolphins, and other sea life. Humpbacks are often active here at this time of year, and we may witness them tail-lobbing, flipper-slapping, and breaching. Our onboard marine biologists and naturalists will be available to interpret the behaviors of these majestic animals.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Los Islotes and Isla Espíritu Santo

In the waters off Los Islotes, we’ll have the opportunity to snorkel and swim among curious sea lions. After lunch, examine the intriguing geological layers of Espíritu Santo from the water during a kayaking excursion, and go ashore to see compacted volcanic ash blanketed by solidified lava flows. Enjoy time to go beachcombing, or opt for a walk along rocky cliffs to spot brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, and boobies. Cap off the day with a beach barbecue, gather around a bonfire to share stories from the day’s adventures, and take in a stunning display of stars.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Today we enjoy the luxury of having no specific plan. You may spend time on the lookout for whales, as well as bottlenose and common dolphins; or explore some of the many uninhabited islands in the Sea of Cortez, such as Isla San Francisco or Isla San José, known for its sweeping beaches and arroyos. Birdlife may be plentiful, and the nutrient-rich sea is home to an incredible variety of fish, including angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish, and the beautiful parrotfish.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: La Paz and San José del Cabo

Disembark in La Paz after breakfast, and drive to the Los Cabos airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast