$500 Air Credit: Receive $500 per person credit, deducted from cabin fare prior to any additional applicable savings with the purchase of cabin fare.
Extend Your Stay: Enjoy a complimentary pre- or post-voyage hotel stay in Loreto, Mexico or 50% off a 2-night Loreto Blue and Fin Whale extension with the purchase of cabin fare for eligible departures. Valid on select departures, for new bookings only, subject to availability, may not be combined with other offers, and is not applicable on airfare. Call for details.
Waive Solo Premium: Waive the solo premium on solo cabins on select departures.
4th Guest Travels Free: Bookings of three full-paying guests may bring a fourth person for free. Offer applicable only on bookings of two double-occupancy cabins, and second cabin must be in same category or lower as first cabin.
Vivid with life, Baja California is one of the planet’s best places to see whales. Witness an unforgettable marine spectacle, as we enter the birthing lagoons of the California Gray Whales and observe these majestic creatures and their newborn calves up close. With more than a third of the world’s marine mammal species at home in Mexico's biodiverse Gulf of California, we’ll also search out pods of dolphins, flying mobula rays, boisterous sea lions, and much more.
Join us this winter to discover a magical region—blissfully remote, yet close to home. Now with exceptional savings opportunities on air, extensions, solo travel and more.
Wake up among the gray whales on our 5-night Wild Baja California Escape aboard National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, the only ships small enough to enter and anchor in the birthing lagoons.
Baja California Holiday Voyage: A Living Sea and Desert Isles
Search for large pods of dolphins and a variety of marine wildlife including sea lions and, with luck, leaping mobula rays, which flap for a moment before belly-flopping back in the water
Explore water-level caves by kayak, hike uninhabited beaches, and snorkel among fish and acrobatic sea lions
Photograph the landscape as the light changes and the golden hour approaches, with its deep red hues that seem to engulf the desert environment
Conditions permitting, visit Isla Rasa. Composed of Pleistocene and Holocene basalt lava flows, this is where 90 percent of the world’s Heermann’s gulls and a large population of elegant terns come to breed
Visit the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden homes and historic steel church, designed by Gustave Eiffel
Get up-close views of gray whale mothers and their growing calves as they prepare for their journey back to Arctic feeding grounds.
Kayak clear blue waters to search for wildlife, including magnificent frigatebirds, and investigate the intricacies of the shoreline.
Snorkel the living sea: observe large schools of vibrantly colored fish, swim among playful sea lions, and much more.
With more time for adventure, rely on your expedition leader to take you where wildlife will be at its best—including the remote oceanic island of San Pedro Mártir with clouds of nesting seabirds and crowds of sea lions onshore, and expanses of sea where huge pods of dolphins gather.
Sail among pristine islands in search of rare endemic creatures. Encounter whales, possibly up close, for an experience that will never leave you. Snorkel with playful sea lions. Hike up arroyos blooming with life and discover medicinal plants. Get a slice of life in rural Baja towns. Kayak, hike, stand-up paddleboard, snorkel, and actively explore this incredible playground of wildness.
One of the most rewarding sights on an expedition is witnessing the gleam of discovery in a child’s eyes, whether they’re hiking desert islands or snorkeling with sea lions. Moments like these are abundant in Baja California—and they’re especially meaningful when complemented with the learning opportunities offered through our exclusive National Geographic Global Explorers Program for kids and teens 18 and under.
Henry David Thoreau called it the "tonic of wildness." It’s what Baja California, with its beauty and wildness intact, gives you—a spirit lift. To compound this healthful effect, add the luxury of comfort to the privilege of being here—with a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.
This Epic Baja Cruise Includes Ocean Kayaking, Beach Biking, and Whale Watching
Watching grey whales is an experience of a lifetime—and one of the best places to see them is off the coast of Baja California Sur. Read Travel + Leisure magazine's report from National Geographic Sea Bird in Baja California.
The planet’s largest creatures, whales spend the better part of their lives deeply submersed in their private watery world. But in Baja California, it’s a different story. There, in the warm protected lagoons, gray whales are equally curious about us as we are of them.
Thrilling Encounters: Wild Life in the Sea of Cortez
Lindblad has been taking guests to Baja California, a UNESCO World Heritage Marine Site that Jacques Cousteau called “the world’s aquarium,” for 40 years. Naturalists have deep knowledge of wildlife habits and ship captains have the freedom to position vessels to maximize wildlife viewing.
As one whale spouts in the distance, another spyhops up to take a look around, and yet another might breathe right behind you. You are afraid to turn in another direction because you might miss something. It is immensely exciting because there is so much going on!
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades. Go with an expedition leader, naturalists, and more.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our naturalists, passionate about the geographies they explore (and return to regularly), illuminate each facet through their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Undersea specialists are your eyes on the world that lies beneath the waves. Using an array of tools, including a high-definition camera, our Cousteau-like undersea specialist dives frequently during the voyage to show you strikingly clear images of the seldom-seen world beneath the ship.
Certified Photo Instructor
Every expedition aboard a ship in our National Geographic-flagged fleet offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, and more tools and tips to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
The whale sightings were fantastic. Touching the gray whales was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Making a Difference
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund in Baja California currently support the Gulf of California Conservation Fund in its efforts to facilitate conservation and research projects across the region.
We sailed to the northernmost area of our voyage, the Espiritu Santo Archipelago, home of one of the most important California sea lion reproduction colonies in the south of the Gulf of California. It was declared a National Park by presidential decree in 2007, and it is more than 48,000 square hectares long. Guests and staff snorkeled in crystal clear waters with dozens of juvenile sea lions. We admired diverse schools of tropical fish and cruised around fascinating rock formations. Once back aboard, we encountered a few blue whales on our way to Puerto Escondido, Loreto as we prepared for a farewell dinner and for disembarkation tomorrow morning.
National Geographic Venture cruised south throughout the night, reaching the vicinity of Isla del Carmen by sunrise. It was another beautiful morning as we searched for marine life from the decks and enjoyed a nice brunch on board. We were delighted by great views of a humpback whale. In the afternoon, there was much activity at Puerto Los Gatos on the Baja California peninsula. Guests had opportunities for snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddleboarding, exploring the landscape, and/or relaxing on the beach. A delicious beach barbecue ensued, followed by s’mores, stargazing, night photography, searching for scorpions, and gathering around the bonfire.
We began our day with a stretch class in the early morning light, followed by a delicious breakfast. We then grabbed our backpacks and cameras and headed to beautiful Isla San Marcos. The landing is a picturesque beach covered in shells and surrounded by mountains carved by an arroyo. We split into aerobic, moderate, and casual hiking groups and headed into the arroyo canyon. As we moved farther up the arroyo, the walls grew steeper and closer together, creating a beautiful, shady slot canyon. We got plenty of exercise as we observed several types of cacti, lizards, nests, and birds under a canopy of many desert legumes. We returned to National Geographic Venture for lunch and cruised over to the town of Santa Rosalia on the Baja peninsula. Vestiges of the past strew this historic copper mining town, making for a very interesting landscape of colorful Mexican village life and rusty industrial equipment. We walked through town to visit the church built by Frenchman Gustave Eiffel and an old bakery that has been operating for many decades. We made our way to the Hotel Frances for happy hour with local music group Los Coyotes. We enjoyed cocktails, snacks, and sweeping views of the Sea of Cortez. We returned to the ship for Mexican fiesta night and more music and dancing with Los Coyotes. It was an unforgettable day on National Geographic Venture .
During our expeditions, we go to some of the most remote and unique places on the planet. Today we visited Isla San Pedro Martir, the most remote island in the Gulf of California. This is one of the jewels of the remarkably productive Midriff Island region; it is home to the largest colonies of blue-footed and brown boobies known to the world. Upon our morning approach, the pre-dawn light showed swirling shadows of birds on the wing as they came to and from the looming island ahead of us. We have looked forward to this day with excitement and anticipation, which only grew as we drew nearer. For the morning, we took to our Zodiacs to circumnavigate the island and surrounding islets. The cliffs of the island stood far overhead, capped with a forest of Cardon cactus and painted white from accumulated guano. Seemingly endless seabirds circled about, dotting every available surface of the island. Many flew close overhead, and others gave us up-close views of their roosts and perches. Getting such intimate looks at these wandering seabirds is truly a special experience. Not to be outdone by the birds, California sea lions vocalized loudly as they displayed on the rocks. The young ones set off in our wake, swimming quickly alongside us and jumping into the air. As if it was a competition, soon thereafter we happened upon a large pod of bottlenose dolphins. These streamlined cetaceans put on an amazing show, porpoising far out of the sea and riding the bow of our Zodiacs. When we thought the wildlife couldn’t possibly get better, a single gray whale showed up, spouting and cruising near the island’s shore. Diving multiple times in our view, it showed its mottled flukes to the delight of all. During the afternoon, we searched for wildlife at sea and listened to presentations about the region. A pair of very active humpback whales put on quite the show for us before dinner. Another gorgeous sunset capped off this phenomenal day and cemented San Pedro Martir in our memories. Tomorrow awaits, and we are prepared to receive it.
National Geographic Venture made it to the narrowest section of the Gulf of California today. The Midriff region is characterized by the presence of two large, two medium, and several small islands that form a barrier to the ocean water. Seawater is squirted in both directions – north and south – creating treacherous currents, swirls, gyres, and intense upwelling. This promotes high productivity. We visited two fantastic islands, San Esteban and Rasa. San Esteban is famous for its endemic reptiles, including the piebald chuckwalla and the spiny-tailed iguana. During our explorations, we sighted many individuals of both species as well as sea lions, lizards, diverse plants with flowers, and small invertebrates. In Rasa, our guests and staff observed thousands of terns and Heermann’s gulls in the breeding process, as well as ospreys, ravens, great blue herons, and playful sea lions.
Baja California is arguably the best place in the world to see whales in good conditions—humpback, gray, fin, blue, pilot—to name the most likely.