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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Sea of Cortez

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Board on the L'Austral in San Diego, at the far south of California, renowned for its pleasant climate. Your ship sails along the Baja California peninsula before entering the Gulf of California, known since 1539 as the Sea of Cortez in tribute to the conquistador Hernan Cortés. Spend your time observing the incredibly rich marine wildlife, a veritable Eden which has rightly earned the region a listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Playful sea lions, dolphins, whale sharks, tortoises, dozens of different species of fish: the teeming wildlife is quite simply fascinating. L'Austral drops anchor on a number of occasions near the different islands of the Sea of Cortezand outings in Zodiac dinghies offer the chance for some unforgettable snorkeling and hiking tours. Your final destination is Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : San Diego, California | Embark
Days 2-3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Cabo San Lucas
Day 5 : Monserrat Island | Agua Verde
Day 6 : Punta Colorada | Bahia Amortajada, San Jose Island
Day 7 : Los Islotes | Partida Island | Espiritu Santo Island
Day 8 : Cerralvo Island
Days 9-10 : At Sea
Day 11 : Huatulco
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : Puerto Quetzal | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover the fabulous biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez
  • Visit the protected zones of the Gulf of California listed as UNESCO sites
  • Explore wildlife such as sea lions, dolphins, hammerhead & whale sharks
  • Swim and play around with sea lions at beautiful Los Islotes

Ship

L'Austral

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico San Diego, California Downtown San Diego Gray Whale up close Mexico. In Cabo San Lucas

Day 1 San Diego, California | Embark

To the south of California, close to the border with Mexico, San Diego enjoys a privileged natural environment on the shores of the Pacific. One of the largest fleets of US Navy vessels is stationed in this strategic port. The sunny climate and the beautiful sandy beaches compete for visitors’ attention with the picturesque historic districts such as the Gaslamp Quarter, always lit up at dusk by gas lamps, a real journey back in time. Do not miss Balboa Park and its museums as well as San Diego Zoo, one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, home to a large number of endangered species. But the show also continues on the surrounding beaches where it is not uncommon to come across sea lions!

Day 2-3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 4 Cabo San Lucas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A seaside resort located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean come together, Cabo San Lucas has much to offer. Famous for its rock formation emerging from the ocean and its magnificent white sand beaches, the small town also has a lively nightlife. Surrounded by charming landscapes, between arid deserts dotted with cacti and spectacular rocky pinnacles, this very popular destination will certainly win you over.

Day 5 Monserrat Island | Agua Verde

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Off the coast of Baja California, land on Zodiac® dinghies on Monserrat, one of the islands that form the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park. Created in 1996 and covering more than 2,000 km2 in the heart of the Sea of Cortez, this park offers many panoramas: rocky shorelines, underwater canyons, mangroves, sea cliffs… On Monserrat, you will discover an enormous white sand beach: this will also be your departure point for a snorkeling trip accompanied by your expedition team to discover the wonders of a preserved underwater world.

To the south of the Bahía de Loreto Maritime National Park, the largest protected area in the Gulf of California, discover Puerto Agua Verde, with its superb rocky formations and its almost surreally colored waters. Off the coast, Bahia Agua Verde, a small island with lush vegetation and rugged relief, will offer you an idyllic natural setting that you’ll be able to admire and explore during an excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy, a simple swim, and a snorkeling trip.

Day 6 Punta Colorada | Bahia Amortajada, San Jose Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North of the Bay of La Paz, discover San José Island and its exceptional landscapes. To the west, Punta Colorada will reveal its majestic beauty. Here, huge red and ochre-colored cliffs stand opposite the sea: you’ll be able to appreciate every detail of this spectacular setting as you approach the coast aboard your Zodiac® dinghy. Inland, you’ll be able to admire giant cacti, whereas the underwater world has an unforgettable show in store for you, with angelfish, butterflyfish, and damselfish. Further south, in Bahia Amortajada, your expedition team will lead you into the heart of the mangrove forests to discover completely unspoiled nature.

Day 7 Los Islotes | Partida Island | Espiritu Santo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Los Islotes are rocky islets located to the southwest of the California Bay: the site is famous for sheltering a large colony of California sea lions. Used to humans, these sea lions are not shy and can be easily approached. An excursion on a Zodiac® dinghy will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to admire these playful animals, and you will have the possibility of swimming alongside them: a moving experience.

Jewels of the Sea of Cortez, the twin islands of Isla Partida and Espíritu Santo will reveal the splendor of landscape that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Only accessible by boat, they will reveal to you the beauty of their sheer cliffs, turquoise bays, and stunning beaches. Isla Partida is particularly rich in secret viewpoints from which you’ll be able to admire exceptional panoramas. As for the island of Espíritu Santo, it has an exceptionally well-preserved ecosystem that enables the observation of exceptional fauna and flora. With a little luck, you may have the opportunity to admire the fascinating and emblematic Mobula ray.

Day 8 Cerralvo Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Also called Jacques Cousteau Island in honor of the famous French oceanographer who undertook several expeditions in the region, Cerralvo Island is a real nature sanctuary. Located at the entrance of the Gulf of California, this land of intact beauty is home to superb jagged cliffs and many sandy beaches. The underwater reliefs and surrounding ocean currents have fostered the development of extremely rich marine life. During a snorkeling trip, you may thus perhaps meet golden groupers, sailfish or marlins. Your expedition team will also take you to explore inland during a walk along a dry river bed.

Day 9-10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 11 Huatulco

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A seaside resort on the Mexican Pacific coast in the southern State of Oaxaca, the Huatulco region is made up of nine turquoise bays. You'll be spoilt for choice with no less than 36 beaches, four of which are ecological preserves. In addition to the beautiful bays and beaches, you can explore and shop in the small communities of the Huatulco area, such as La Crucecita, Santa Cruz or old Santa Maria Huatulco (the district's municipality).

Optional excursions such as a visit to the Copalita archaeological site and museum and tour to the Five Bays of Catamaran are available for additional fees.

Day 12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 13 Puerto Quetzal | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located on the Pacific coast, 100 kilometers south of the capital, the city of Puerto Quetzal is the largest port in the country. Close to the city, the ravishing little old city of Antigua is a former colonial capital listed as World Heritage by UNESCO. You’ll admire the wealth of its historical monuments.

L'Austral

Deals

No Single Supplement
Book now and pay no supplement on single occupancy rates. Select departures only. Valid for all cabin types. For new bookings after January 10, 2020. Contact us for details.
Applies to Oct 7, 2020 departure

Capacity-Controlled Rates
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may fluctuate at any time and subject to change without notice.
Please contact us for more details and current pricing.

Per person starting at
$6,030
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands… list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • Room service 24h (special selection)
  • Highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team on all cruises identified by “Expedition” logo
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Optional pre and post cruise programs, overlands, and excursions
  • Visa expenses (which may include additional administrative charges imposed by the authorities of a country) and/or immigration reciprocity taxes, if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure; please ask for more information
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations, and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.

Due to the exceptional nature of this itinerary, the calls/sites listed are only a guide. The final route will be confirmed by the ship’s Captain with priority being given to passenger safety. Pack ice may also force the Captain to change course at the last minute. Zodiac® landings or outings accompanied by your expedition team offer plenty of opportunities to discover and experience what Antarctica and/or South Georgia have to offer at close range. These will, of course, depend on the weather conditions, the ice, the wind, and the sea state.
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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