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Wild California Escape: Channel Islands National Park

Wild California Escape: Channel Islands National Park

At a glance

Duration: 5 Days, 4 Nights

Coverage: Roundtrip Los Angeles, CA

From: $2,620

Season: April, September - December

Activities: Birding, Culture, History, Nature, Wildlife

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

Lindblad Expeditions in Partnership with National Geographic

Lindblad Expeditions has teamed up with Exhale to create a 5-day Wildness + Wellness adventure in the remote and remarkable Channel Islands. Board one of four expeditions ships, your floating base camp, in Los Angeles, and head for three of the five wildlife-rich islands which make up Channel Islands National Park, plus Catalina Island. Here, you'll actively explore unmarred landscapes, revel in pure nature, and rejuvenate mind, body, and soul with Exhale's award-winning wellbeing programs.

Escape the ordinary with revitalizing opportunities:

  • Exult in the pristine beauty of the islands and roam free in wide-open spaces
  • Take a leisurely trail walk with a naturalist, looking out for the astonishing number of endemic flora & fauna
  • Explore fascinating sea caves by kayak or paddleboard 
  • Find your center with daily guided Exhale meditation sessions
  • Challenge body and mind with Exhale fitness classes including Core Fusion Bootcamp, Barre + Cardio, & restorative Chill Yoga
  • Stroll white-sand beaches or spend time exploring bustling tide pools
  • Take in panoramic views & spectacular landscapes on Exhale mindfulness hikes + post-hike assisted stretching sessions
  • Enjoy a sunset cocktail party on deck, then end the day with stargazing

Almost every national park in the U.S. is easy to get to, but the Channel Islands are separated from the mainland by miles of ocean. What Lindblad Expeditions offers you is unique and effortless access—to wild beauty and pristine nature— for 5 days/4 nights, using their ship as a base camp.

And you can freely roam. Their ship is akin to a safari camp in Africa—comfortable, in the heart of things, yet mobile. Everything you want is aboard—paddleboards, kayaks and Zodiacs, a welcoming crew, smart naturalists, a wellness specialist, Exhale fitness instructors, and even a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor to help you up your photo game and capture all the unbelievable ops.

Lindbald's itinerary is a plan, but flexibility and spontaneity are a big part of it. Our ace spotters are always 'on it,' and if they sight a blue whale, they'll let you know—so you won’t miss a thing nature has to offer. If conditions cancel one option, a landing for example, our nimble team will have another. They might surprise you with a BBQ on deck or a dance party under stars. Your getaway might be compact, but it's a genuine expedition, so there's always room for magic. And choice—enjoy your getaway your way.

The itinerary is a plan, but flexibility and spontaneity are a big part of it. Our ace spotters are always ‘on it,’ and if they sight a blue whale, they’ll let you know—so you won’t miss a thing nature has to offer. If conditions cancel one option, a landing for example, our nimble team will have another. They might surprise you with a BBQ on deck or a dance party under stars. Your getaway might be compact, but it’s a genuine expedition, so there’s always room for magic. And choice—enjoy your getaway your way.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Days 1: Los Angeles, CA - Embark

Arrive in Los Angeles, or toss your bag in your car if you live there, and head to the Port of Los Angeles in the afternoon to be welcomed aboard. Familiarize yourself with the ship, stow your stuff, and take in the sights on the ship’s deck. We’ll embark in the early evening—where you'll meet the team and settle in for the days ahead! (D)

Day 2: Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands, Channel Islands National Park

Wake to the ship at anchor off the rocky outcropping of East Anacapa Island. Join your Exhale instructor on the sundeck for morning yoga, before heeding the call of the breakfast buffet. After breakfast, join naturalists aboard our expedition landing craft to go ashore on East Anacapa. The goal is the Anacapa Lighthouse, built in 1912, the last major light station to be built on the west coast. Soak in the views from Inspiration Point or, for a more relaxing option, explore Arch Rock via zodiac.

And get ready to really geek out on Santa Cruz when we head there after lunch for hiking and exploring. At over 96 square miles in size, it’s the largest island in California, with more than 600 plant species, 140 birds, including large colonies of nesting seabirds, and 11 land mammal species, including pinnipeds. Isolation has led to adaptation—there are 60 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. So, test your skills by trying to spot the Santa Cruz Island fox, one of the smallest in the world.

Spend the day your way: there are many trails covering the eastern end of the island offering the opportunity for leisurely walking, birding, or working with your certified photo instructor to capture the natural beauty. Or opt for a strenuous hike and make your Fitbit proud. Grab a kayak and explore the shoreline. Go beachcombing.

Head back to the ship to refresh for cocktail hour and Recap, a presentation or two, and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Park

Chances are you slept like a baby, sustained fresh air and our signature duvets will do that! So when the landing craft load to go ashore, you’ll want to be on it. Spend the day kayaking, hiking one of the many trails, or simply relaxing ashore. Join our naturalists for a more strenuous hike out to the base of the Torrey Pines, considered one of the world’s rarest pines, and one of only two naturally occurring groves in the world.

The day ends with a pre-dinner Exhale Chill Yoga session on deck, followed by a cocktail party as we cruise, weather permitting, around San Miguel Island at sunset to see the spectacle: over 30,000 pinnipeds, and up to five different species, haul out on the beaches at various times of the year. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Catalina Island

Spend the day discovering the colorful history and natural wonders of Catalina Island. Once a haunt of smugglers and gold-diggers, the island was transformed into a resort destination by chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. in the 1920s. Some 50 years later, William’s heirs, Philip K. Wrigley and Dorothy Wrigley Offield, established the Catalina Island Conservancy, protecting nearly 90 percent of the island. After a morning workout on deck followed by breakfast, enjoy a session with a Conservancy member to learn about their work on the island before heading out on the trail for spectacular views of the coastline and the Catalina backcountry. With luck, we may catch a glimpse—or a photo—of the elusive fox species endemic to the island. Head for the water to kayak or stand-up paddleboard.

After lunch, the ship arrives in Avalon Harbor, for a free-ranging afternoon on your own. Explore downtown Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city, population a little under 5,000. Take the 30-minute (mostly uphill) stroll up Avalon Canyon to visit the Wrigley Monument and The Botanic Garden. Or visit an architectural gem: the famous Catalina Casino, built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929. Scuba-certified? Our team will arrange diving and gear rental for you with a top local operator. Return to the ship for sunset yoga on deck, a farewell dinner, and a last evening at sea, under the stars. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Los Angeles/Disembark

Awake dockside in the bustling Port of Los Angeles. (Early risers can catch the action in one of the world’s largest ports.) Enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking and either transferring to the airport or heading to your car or Uber—refreshed by your getaway—to the clang and clamor of contemporary life. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Wild California Escape Itinerary Map

Dates & Rates

Dates Ships 1 2 3 4 5 1 Single 2 Single
Sep 25, 2019 NG Sea Bird $2,620 $3,200 $3,670 $3,930 $4,820
Sep 28, 2019 NG Sea Lion $2,620 $3,200 $3,670 $3,930 $4,820
Oct 2, 2019 NG Sea Bird $2,620 $3,200 $3,670 $3,930 $4,820
Dec 3, 2019 NG Venture $3,010 $3,680 $4,220 $4,770 $5,310 $4,520 $5,540
Apr 11, 2020 NG Quest $3,100 $3,790 $4,350 $4,910 $5,470 $4,660 $5,710
Apr 15, 2020 NG Quest $3,100 $3,790 $4,350 $4,910 $5,470 $4,660 $5,710
Nov 17, 2020 NG Quest $3,100 $3,790 $4,350 $4,910 $5,470 $4,660 $5,710
Nov 21, 2020 NG Quest $3,100 $3,790 $4,350 $4,910 $5,470 $4,660 $5,710

Ships

National Geographic Sea Bird

National Geographic Sea Bird

The National Geographic Sea Bird 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...


National Geographic Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Lion

Our expedition ships National Geographic Sea Lion can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to its 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...


National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest

The 100-guest National Geographic Quest is the perfect ship to explore from the northern reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, the National Geographic Quest is the first expedition ship of its kind to be made entirely in the U.S. View ship details...


National Geographic Venture

National Geographic Venture

The 100-guest National Geographic Venture is the perfect ship to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage and beyond. Designed with over 50 years of expedition heritage, National Geographic Venture is able to explore the same remote locations we’ve sought out for decades while setting a new standard in comfort and style. She features step-out balconies (available in 22 of the 50 spacious cabins), plus 6 sets of connecting cabins for families and groups; a Sun Deck bar, and a designated mudroom for expedition gear. View ship details...

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