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Gray Whale tail splashing

Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Venture
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Experience up-close viewing of California gray whales and other marine mammals on National Geographic Venture's 9-day expedition which is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Baja California possible. Start every morning whale-watching while you sip your morning coffee on your balcony or on deck. The Zodiacs with naturalists and local guides will take you to have close encounters with marine mammals. Encounters with these marvelous creatures don't end there as we head into the Sea of Cortez where magical moments continue with possible sightings of other whale species and dolphins. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : La Paz | San Carlos | Embark
Day 2 : Bahia Magdalena
Days 3-4 : Laguna San Ignacio
Day 5 : At Sea
Day 6 : Los Cabos and Gorda Banks
Day 7 : Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo
Day 8 : Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Day 9 : La Paz | Disembark | San José Del Cabo

Highlights

  • See California gray whales up close
  • Spend three days at Bahía Magdalena, whales’ main breeding grounds
  • Hike desert islands and see wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals

Ship

National Geographic Venture

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Gray Whale up close Making tortillas Snorkeling among the coral reef system Gray Whale tail splashing Colorful souvenirs in the market

Day 1 La Paz | San Carlos | Embark

This morning is on your own to relax and take advantage of the resort and spa amenities. Check-out in the late morning and depart for lunch at a local restaurant in La Paz. After lunch, transfer to San Carlos and embark the National Geographic Venture.

Day 2 Bahia Magdalena

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Navigate through an immense system of protected coves and channels, surrounded by a fringe of mangrove channels at one edge of a vast, windswept plain. Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. Observe migrating whales from the ship and up close from our expedition landing craft. Watch for magnificent frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis and willets

Day 3-4 Laguna San Ignacio

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Protected since 1993 as part of UNESCO’s Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino, Laguna San Ignacio is one of the world’s most important breeding sites for California gray whales. Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. Observe migrating whales from the ship and up close from local pangas and our Zodiacs. Watch for osprey, Brant geese and countless other breeding and migratory bird species, as well as bottlenose dolphins, during our explorations

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you travel south along the Pacific coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Hear naturalist talks, and learn photography basics during a day at sea

Day 6 Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning cruise past Friars Rocks at Land’ End. For those who wish, we will visit the historic town center of San José del Cabo. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, especially humpbacks, dolphins and other sea life.

Day 7 Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Los Islotes, don flippers, a mask and snorkel (which we’ll gladly provide) and swim with curious sea lions. We have a leisurely afternoon to swim, kayak or hike at Isla Espíritu Santo. Brown pelicans, gulls and boobies are all part of the landscape. Finish the day with a relaxing beach barbecue complete with a bonfire and a star-filled sky. 

Day 8 Exploring the Sea of Cortez

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 9 La Paz | Disembark | San José Del Cabo

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home 

National Geographic Venture

Per person starting at
$7,530
Select a Date
Category 1
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 2
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 3
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 4
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
Select a Date
Category 5
Located on the observation deck. Approximately 185 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability. 

This fare includes:
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages**
  • Your bar tab and all crew gratuities are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion voyages. Please call for details.
  • Cappuccinos, lattes & filtered water
  • 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand (soda not included on Lord of the Glens)
  • Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during Recap
  • Fitness center or exercise equipment, depending on the ship
  • Fully stocked library, and other gracious public spaces
  • The guidance and company of our expedition staff
  • The services of a physician on certain ships/destinations
  • Hotels ashore as indicated in itinerary
  • Meals on land, as indicated in itinerary
  • Sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Special access permits, park fees, port taxes
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • The expertise of our expedition staff
  • All excursions
  • Zodiac & kayak explorations
  • Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
  • Presentations and guest speakers in the lounge
This fare excludes:
  • International and internal airfare
  • Additional hotel nights
  • Private transfers
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Expedition extensions
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages; certain super-premium brands not included
  • Spa treatments
  • Gratuities (except aboard Sea Cloud, National Geographic Orion, & National Geographic Explorer)
  • Scuba diving
  • Laundry
  • Internet and phone
  • Gift shop items and any other items of personal nature
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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