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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 six days with majestic gray whales and their curious calves in Mexico's Bahia Almejas, one of the best locations in the world to observe gray whale mother-calf interactions. From the luxury of National Geographic Sea Bird, take in the sights and sounds of the bay before embarking on an expedition landing craft to get up close and personal with wildlife. Enjoy some of the world's most stunning beaches while kayaking through mangrove forests, hiking to desert islands, and watching pelicans and osprey fly overhead.
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
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Loreto, Mexico/San Carlos | Embark

Arrive in Loreto by early afternoon for transfer to San Carlos. Embark the ship in the evening, anchored off the coast of Isla Santa Margarita.

Day 2: Bahía Almejas | Rehusa Channel | Isla Magdalena

You start your day in the southernmost waters of Bahía Almejas. You can make a special stop at Isla Santa Margarita to view a large frigatebird colony if you're lucky before heading out on your first whale-watching trip. The whales in this bay are usually very active and seemingly oblivious to your presence, so settle in for some great experiences. You'll explore the area and the Rehusa Channel on local pangas. During lunch, the ship will relocate to Isla Magdalena, and later you'll head to shore to explore the ever-shifting sand dunes on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Take a stroll and tally the treasure found on what you affectionately call “sand dollar beach.”

Day 3: Hull Canal | Boca de Soledad

Spend the morning transiting the scenic, winding Hull Canal. Within its narrow channels, bordered by mangroves and sand dunes and filled with abundant wildlife, you join your keen-eyed naturalists on deck to spot species and hear expert commentary. Weather permitting, you explore the vast mangrove system via kayak and Zodiac. Bird-watching can be excellent here with abundant seabirds in action and shorebirds patrolling the beaches as they fatten up and prepare for long journeys to Arctic breeding grounds. Among the species you might see are diving pelicans, wheeling cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels, and willets. This afternoon, you set out to explore the whale-rich waters of Boca de Soledad.

Day 4-5: Boca de Soledad

Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth to their calves in these sheltered waters, often called “Grand Central” for California gray whales. You spend two full days observing and, with luck, interacting with these majestic creatures. Together with savvy local fishermen you have known for years, you venture out in local pangas to view the numerous mother-calf pairs that thrive in this sheltering region. You also have an opportunity to explore the beaches, and if you feel up to it, pedal across the sands riding fat-tire bikes.

Day 6: San Carlos | Disembark Ship | Loreto

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
After breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to Loreto’s city center. Schedules permitting, you can choose to visit the first mission in Baja California, as well as the nearby museum, to learn more about what makes this town so special. After lunch, transfer to the Loreto International Airport for your flights home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Sea Bird

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Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,677 2-3 travelers
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
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

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

Rubber boots are not included on your cruise; please supply your own. Rubber, waterproof boots that are mid-calf or higher, with a strong, ridged non-skid sole (essential for wet landings) are highly recommended.  Click  here for information about rubber boots rental.
Included
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
  • 5 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Assistance by the onboard National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits aboard the ship. We are also pleased to offer a selection of super premium wines and liquors that are available for purchase.
  • Complimentary Starlink-enabled Wi-Fi internet is available to all guests aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, enabling email, messaging, and social media.
  • Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
  • Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
  • Guidance and company of leading expedition staff
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
  • Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic  where available
  • Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
  • 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces 
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Crew gratuities
  • Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)
  • We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels
  • Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers (except when indicated as included)
  • Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees 
  • Enhanced and premium Wi-Fi plans, which may enable video chat, web browsing, and streaming (connectivity permitting)

Map

When to Go

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

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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