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Scenic Landscape

Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Sea Bird
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Spend several extraordinary days in the company of majestic gray whales in Mexico’s Bahía Magdalena, one of the best places in the world to witness interactions between gray whale mothers and their curious calves. On this compact trip, we’ll navigate the length of the bay aboard our nimble expedition ship, and set out by expedition landing craft for thrilling, up-close encounters. Kayak through mangrove forests and hike desert islands, watch pelicans and ospreys soar overhead, and soak up the sun on some of the Pacific’s most pristine beaches.
Baja SunsetCruising in the Zodiac at sunsetKayakingWalking the beach in BajaJumping down a sand dune in MexicoThe incredible California Gray Whale emerges from the water.Scenic Landscape
Highlights
  • Discover California gray whales in Magdalena Bay
  • Hike through diverse island landscapes
  • Kayak and paddleboard on the glassy waters of the bay
  • Learn about desert ecosystems and whale behavior
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Loreto, Mexico/San Carlos | Embark

Arrive in Loreto and transfer to the port town of San Carlos, where we embark the National Geographic Sea Bird. Tonight, unwind under a star-studded sky as we anchor in calm waters off the coast of Isla Magdalena.

Day 2: Las Almejas | Canal de Rehusa | Isla Magdalena

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Greet the sun as it rises over Las Almejas, the southernmost part of Magdalena Bay. Head out by expedition landing craft to visit a large frigate bird colony on Isla Santa Margarita, and watch for playful sea lions following in our wake. Further offshore we’ll seek out more gray whales, which tend to be particularly active in this area. Navigate into Canal de Rehusa, which leads to the Pacific, to spot whales coming and going between the bay and the ocean. Enjoy lunch onboard as we sail toward Isla Magdalena. Upon arrival, venture ashore to explore the island’s ever-shifting sand dunes. Walk across Isla Magdalena to one of the most pristine beaches of the Pacific, go for a swim in the turquoise shallows, or study the intricate patterns of countless sand dollars scattered on the shore.

Day 3: Hull Canal | Boca de Soledad

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, find a spot on deck and watch for wildlife with our naturalists as we navigate the narrow Canal de Soledad (Hull Canal), bordered by thick mangroves and rolling sand dunes. Weather permitting, stop along the way to explore the vast mangrove forest system by kayak and expedition landing craft. Search for pelicans, cormorants, herons, and ibis hunting among secluded pools and tangled roots, and watch for whimbrels and willets darting over the sandy shore. As our ship glides into the glassy waters of Boca de Soledad, keep an eye out for frigate birds and brown pelicans overhead. This sheltered bay provides a haven for California gray whales who travel south each winter from Arctic waters to breed and care for their newborn calves.

Day 4-5: Boca de Soledad

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend two full days exploring the bay by expedition landing craft under the guidance of our naturalists and local fishermen. With luck, we’ll witness mother whales teaching their calves to breathe, breach, and dive; and watch as youngsters roll and spy-hop. We’ll utilize our extensive experience navigating these waters, as well as our ship’s exploration tools, to maximize up-close encounters with mother whales and their calves.

Day 6: Lopez Mateos | Loreto | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Lopez Mateos this morning and transfer to Loreto to connect with your flight home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Sea Bird

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,810
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
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Cat 1 Single
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabins.
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Cat 2
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 2 Single
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 3 Cabins.
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Cat 3
Bridge Deck cabins #105, 106 - These cabins include two lower single beds. Upper Deck cabins #214, 216, 217, 219 - These cabins include two lower single beds that can convert to a double bed and a pullout single bed for a third person. All cabins include a small table, two chairs, and two windows. Cabin doors open to the outside.

Notes

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Transfers upon arrival/departure for guests booked on recommended group flights
  • Accommodation aboard the world-class expedition ships of the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet or a luxury chartered ship
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities

Map

When to Go

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Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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