- Early Booking Savings: 2023 Dates for 2022 Rates
2022 prices guaranteed for select 2023 departures if booked by Jan. 31, 2022. Valid on the cabin fare only. Does not include rate protection on offers that may have been promoted for 2023 departures, extensions or land-only programs. This promotion is valid only on itineraries that repeat in 2023 from 2022. If a product is offered in 2023 and was not available in 2022, there is no special rate for it. This offer excludes expeditions on the Sea Cloud and Lord of the Glens.
- Air Credit on Select Expedition Cruises
Book by February 28, 2022 to receive a $350 air credit per person on select departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Credit will be deducted from cabin fare, prior to any additional applicable savings. Call for details.
- Special Offer for Solo Travelers
Book by February 28, 2022 and we will waive the solo premium on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
- Aboard the National Geographic Venture, voyage to Bahía Magdalena to observe California 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 on our hydrophone.
- Explore diverse landscapes with our naturalists, discovering sand dunes, a cactus forest, and deserted islands.
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 operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.
Arrive in Loreto, then transfer to San Carlos and board our ship.
National Geographic Venture for the remainder of the trip
Awake anchored in Bahía Almejas, the southernmost part of Bahía Magdalena, where gray whales gather to breed and nurse their young. Glide past a crowded frigatebird colony and keep your binoculars at hand to spot whales surfacing and spouting around our ship. Go ashore on Isla Magdalena, a vast sandy wilderness surrounded by mangrove channels. 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.
Bahía Magdalena is one of the main breeding and calving areas for gray whales. Every year, 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. Transfer via motorcoach to Lopez Mateos, Boca de Soledad into this vast water nursery and spend a full day observing these gentle giants at water level from our local pangas. Our extensive experience navigating these waters, and the in-depth knowledge of our local guides, maximize the likelihood of up-close encounters with gray whales and their calves.
Enjoy an optional morning stretching session on deck with our wellness specialist, then set out by kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or Zodiac to explore the vast coastal mangroves of the Bahía Magdalena. As we glide through a vibrant green maze, learn from our naturalists about how this resilient ecosystem protects the coastline and supports a range of species. In the afternoon, cruise through “La Entrada” and leave Bahía Magdalena behind. Find a spot on deck to watch for marine life, head to the ship lounge to listen to talks by our experts, or pick up photography tips and tricks from our National Geographic–Lindblad photo instructor as we travel south along the peninsula’s Pacific coast.
This morning, we cruise past the iconic Friars rocks at Land’s End and arrive at the Gorda Banks seamount, a gathering place 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. After lunch, snorkel pristine coral reefs in Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, and learn about local initiatives to protect this rich underwater sanctuary.
In the waters off Los Islotes, we’ll have the opportunity to snorkel and swim among curious sea lions. Later, anchor in the port of La Paz and go ashore to gain insight into the history and culture of this colorful coastal city. Stroll the lively waterfront malecón, spot vibrant street art, and savor the aroma of delicious street food. This evening, enjoy a dinner of local cuisine and a performance by a local dancers and musicians.
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.
Disembark in Loreto after breakfast and spend the morning exploring this seaside town. Visit the Loreto Mission—the first Jesuit mission in Baja California—and learn about local history at a nearby museum. Meander quiet, tree-lined streets and explore quaint shops and cafés. After lunch, transfer to the airport to connect with your flight home.