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Baja Mexico Cruise: Among The Great Whales

Among The Great Whales

Cruise Highlights:

  • See California gray whales up close, spend 3 days at Bahia Magdalena, a main whale breeding ground
  • Hike desert islands, sculpted sand dunes and see a variety of wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals

At a glance

Duration: 8 Days, 7 Nights

Coverage: La Paz to San Carlos, Mexico

From: $6,590

Season: January - March

Activities: Wildlife

Book this Trip › or call us toll-free 1-888-815-5428

Lindblad Expeditions, in Partnership with National Geographic

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

Among the Great Whales offers the rare privilege of entering the California gray whale birthing lagoons in search of up close encounters. Exploring Baja Mexico on an expedition is an unrivaled experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with its whales and wildness. The 62-guest expedition ship is fully equipped with tools for exploration.

Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the same lagoons. We are the only foreign company permitted to enter the whale birthing lagoons with our own Zodiacs, meaning you get more up close encounters with these gentle and curious creatures when you travel with us. We are also the only company that visits lagoons in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, ensuring more opportunities to see whales.

You’ll be able to hike through forests of towering cacti and up striking desert canyons. You’ll take Zodiacs along the shore to see and shoot photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.

Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, five veteran naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for Baja California is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 — La Paz/San Carlos/Embark Ship

Arrive in La Paz and drive across the Baja Peninsula to San Carlos to board the ship. (D)

Day 2-4 — 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 our days in this otherworldly place, we'll have the opportunity to not only observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship, but also at water level from our Zodiacs. Because of our experience and knowledge of Baja's waters, we have enjoyed consistent success in achieving "friendly encounters" with gray mother and calf pairs. While we would never presume to predict Nature's behavior, it is highly likely that you will have the privilege of an up-close and personal sighting.

In kayaks and Zodiacs we’ll 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 we might see. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

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

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. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Islas Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo

With deeply indented shorelines and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Islas Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo are two of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez. Swim and snorkel here. Don mask, flippers and snorkel (which we’ll provide 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, we may spot one. There are possibilities for long walks or lazy beachcombing. Finish the day with a beach barbecue complete with campfire and a star-filled sky. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. We may spend the morning whale watching in the waters around Isla Danzante, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. Rich in nutrients, the Sea of Cortez is home to a huge variety of fish: king angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and the beautifully colored parrotfish. Explore one of the many lovely, uninhabited islands such as Isla San Jose or Isla Santa Catalina, famous for the 12-foot wavy barrel cactus. Whether walking, kayaking or watching from the Bridge, you’ll observe the great diversity of bird life — ladder-backed woodpeckers, Costa’s hummingbirds, Gila woodpeckers and verdin. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — La Paz/Disembark/Los Angeles

Disembark after breakfast in La Paz and drive to the airport for flights home. (B)

Dates & Rates

Dates Ships 1 2 3 Single 1 Single 2
Jan 13, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Jan 20, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Jan 27, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Jan 27, 2018 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 3, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 3, 2018 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 10, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 10, 2018 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 17, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 17, 2018 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 24, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Feb 24, 2018 National Geographic Sea Lion $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Mar 3, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390
Mar 10, 2018 National Geographic Sea Bird $6,590 $7,590 $8,590 $9,890 $11,390

*Reverse itinerary
† Family Sailings

Map

Baja California: Among The Great Whales

Ships

National Geographic Sea Bird / Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Bird / Sea LionOur twin expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each comfortably accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. The feeling, we’re told, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. View ship details...

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