Among the Great Whales of Baja California Cruise

Michael S. Nolan
The incredible California Gray Whale emerges from the water.
Sea Lions wrestling on shore
Stewart Cohen
Take a walk on the beach
Sven-Olof Lindblad
Following dolphins across the ocean in a zodiac.
Scenic Landscape
David Vargas
Guest getting reading for a zodiac trip.
Guests viewing off the bow of the Sea Bird & Sea Lion.


  • Get up close with California gray whales, sperm, blue and fin whales
  • Hike the islands of the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel among playful sea lions and explore several idyllic sea gardens
  • Search for a variety of plant and bird species

Among the Great Whales offers the rare privilege of entering the California gray whale birthing lagoons in search of up-close encounters. Explore Baja California, Mexico on this 8-day small ship cruise: an expedition of unrivaled experience. You are guaranteed an in-depth encounter with the beautiful region's whales and wildness.

Day 1

Arrive in La Paz / Embark in San Carlos

Arrive in La Paz and drive across the Baja Peninsula to San Carlos to board the ship. Embark the Sea Bird and settle in for your upcoming Mexico cruise.

Days 2-4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bahia Magdalena

Bahia Magdalena is one of the main breeding and calving areas for the California gray whale. Each winter, the whales make the longest migration of any mammal — south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. During your days in this otherworldly place, you have the opportunity to not only observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship, but also at water level from your Zodiacs. Because of your crew's experience and knowledge of Baja's waters, expect success in achieving "friendly encounters" with gray mother and calf pairs. While it is never good to presume to predict Nature's behavior, it is highly likely that the privilege of an up-close and personal sighting will be yours.

In kayaks and Zodiacs explore the canals of the mangrove swamps. Bird watching here can be excellent — magnificent frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, and great blue herons are among the species you might see.

Day 5

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

Today cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land's End. For those who wish, a visit to the historic town center of San Jose del Cabo can be arranged.

The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks sea mount, a gathering place for whales and dolphins. Humpback whales are often sighted here at this time of the year. See tail lobbing, flipper slapping and breaching. Marine biologists and Naturalists are always available to inform and enlighten you with their knowledge and their experience. Not only do they know where best to look for wildlife, their passion and respect for the area is infectious — whether you ask a question or two or spend entire afternoons or evenings in their company.

Day 6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Islas Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo

With deeply indented shorelines and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo are two of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez you encounter on your Mexican expedition. Swim and snorkel here. Don mask, flippers and snorkel (which are provided with as much guidance as you need) and experience the thrill of swimming with the curious sea lions. Observe the impressive geological past of these islands from a kayak: see tons of compacted volcanic ash covered with solidified lava floods just yards from the shore. Brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, great blue herons and boobies are all part of the landscape. It is also home to the endemic black jack rabbit — with any luck, you may spot one.

There are also possibilities for long walks or lazy beachcombing. Finish the day with a beach barbecue complete with campfire and a star-filled sky.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. Search for whales among the islands of the southern Sea of Cortez, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often common and bottlenose dolphins. Explore the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San José or Isla Santa Catalina to walk among huge cacti and observe the diverse bird life. Swim or snorkel with king angelfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and the beautiful parrotfish.

Day 8

  • Breakfast

Disembark in La Paz / Return Home

Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and drive to the airport for your flights home.

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* Itinerary operates in reverse.
Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.
Kids under age 18 save $500 per person

Each expedition is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Baja California possible and maximize your time in the company of California gray whales. Flexibility is a hallmark of these expeditions, and course may be changed to take advantage of a sighting of blue or sperm whales, or linger in your Zodiacs to watch blue-footed boobies plunge dive into a massive school of bait fish. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.

Included in cruise fare:
Aboard ship
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks
- Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
- Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
- Snorkeling equipment and guidance
- The guidance and company of expedition staff

- Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
- Sightseeing & entrance fees
- Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
- The expertise of expedition staff

- All excursions
- Zodiac & kayak explorations
- Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge