2021-22 Season

  • Will you be operating voyages for the 2021-2022 Baja California Season?

    We will be operating the following expeditions in Baja California for the 2021-22 season, beginning in December:

  • When do I need to take my PCR test to travel to Baja California?

    In accordance with Lindblad Expeditions' protocol, you must have a PCR test administered no more than 120 hours and no less than 72 hours (3-5 days) prior to embarkation. You must submit your test results to Lindblad Expeditions. There is no test requirement for entry into Mexico.

  • Can I travel to Baja California prior to my expedition?

    With the global increase in the Delta variant and breakthrough cases, it is strongly recommended you avoid arriving to the embarkation port early. This is in line with the requirement that all guests take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of exposure and follow all CDC guidelines five days prior to the voyage. Until further notice, opportunities to explore on your own during an expedition have also been put on hold—all guests will need to remain with Lindblad Expeditions-organized outings that take place ashore.

     

    We will have a limited number of pre-voyage hotels available if guests must arrive early due to flight schedules. We will have post-voyage hotels and extensions available for most voyages.

  • Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Baja California?

    Lindblad Expeditions requires all travelers to be vaccinated for travel to Level 3 international destinations as listed on the CDC Covid-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination webpage. For all voyages departing February 1, 2022 or later, all guests, regardless of age must be fully-vaccinated.

Planning Your Trip

  • When do you travel to Baja California?

    The Baja season is December-April. Departure dates vary depending on the itinerary:

  • Which ships travel to Baja California?

    We currently have two ships sailing in Baja California:

    All cabins on both ships face outside with windows, private facilities, and climate controls.

  • When is the best time to travel to Baja California?

    The Baja California season is December-April. Departure dates vary depending on the itinerary:

    • Baja California & the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales operates from late January through mid-March. This is during the time that gray whales migrate south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and rear their young in Baja California’s and Mexico's sheltered lagoons. Our itinerary operates when these whales are most likely to be in the region. This is the best time to travel if you’re hoping to see whales up close.
    • April in the Sea of Cortez is arguably the best time and place in the world to see a great variety of whales including humpbacks, blue, fin, minke, sperm, Bryde’s, and pilot, plus huge aggregations of mobula rays and super-pods of dolphins.
    • Whales are less active in December, though there is a chance you’ll see migrating humpback whales. December is an ideal time to enjoy the region’s pristine desert islands and often pleasant climate.

  • What type of weather can I expect during a Baja California expedition?

    The weather is generally warm and sunny, with daytime temperatures in the 60-70° F range. The spring can reach highs in the 80s, while winter winds and cold fronts can cause drops into the 50s. At night, temperatures can drop into the windy 50s, so sweaters and jackets will be necessary.

  • What are the water conditions in the Sea of Cortez?

    During winter the water temperatures are often 65°F to 70°. The Sea of Cortez is generally calm, though the water can get rough on itineraries that extend out to the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula. Shorty wetsuits are provided to adults at no additional cost. Due to size constraints we are unable to provide child-size wetsuits.

  • When is the best time to see whales in Baja California?

    January to March is the time you are most likely to have a close encounter with a California gray whale, but there are never any guarantees regarding wildlife behavior. In April, you are very likely to see a great variety of whales. On our Among the Great Whales itinerary, we are the only non-local company allowed to bring our own expedition landing craft into the gray whale birthing lagoons, meaning you’ll have more chances for up-close encounters with these gentle giants. Plus, we’re the only company that explores both the lagoons in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez in the same voyage, offering more chances for whale sightings. Every expedition explores the Sea of Cortez, which in spring is one of the best places in the world to see a wide variety of marine mammals in great abundance.

  • Do I need any vaccinations? Is a medical form necessary?

    All guests must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all guests 12 years of age and above. On voyages embarking February 1, 2022, or later, Lindblad Expeditions will require all guests 5 years of age and over to have an FDA or WHO-authorized vaccination with proof of such vaccination issued to the guest at least 14 days prior to their embarkation date.

     

    At the present time, no other immunizations are required for this expedition, although the CDC recommends that the normal routine vaccines should be up to date: measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine); diphtheria, tetanus, perturssia (DTP vaccine); and polio vaccine.

  • Do I need a valid passport to travel to Baja California?

    You will need a valid passport. Passports must be valid for up to six months after the return date to the United States.

  • Is a visa necessary?

    No.

  • Is there a time difference in Baja California?

    Yes. (-2:00 EST) When it’s 3:00 p.m. in Baja California, it’s 2:00 p.m. in Los Angeles, 4:00 p.m. in Chicago, and 5:00 p.m. in New York.

  • What are the airport transfers like?

    If your expedition requires a transfer, it will be managed by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as long as you take the recommended flight. Depending on the Baja itinerary you choose, you will likely either fly round-trip to La Paz or Loreto, Mexico. If your voyage embarks or disembarks in San Carlos, you will be transfered to/from Loreto, Mexico.

  • Can I book additional nights with you if I wish to extend my stay in La Paz?

    Pre- and post-voyage nights in Loreto, Mexico are available for voyages embarking February 1, 2022, or later. While we don’t book additional nights in La Paz, we can give you some recommendations and you can book directly with the hotels. 

  • Can I bring my children or grandchildren to Baja California?

    Families and children of any age are welcome aboard. Additionally, kids and teens under 18 will benefit from our exclusive National Geographic Global Explorers Program. Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, this unique program helps kids and teens under 18 get more out of exploring and have more fun, too. We believe sharing an expedition with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience, and we offer $500 off the double occupancy rate for each person under 18 on all departures.

  • What are the requirements of minors under age 18 traveling with one parent/or legal guardian?

    A minor consent form must be signed by the parents or parent not traveling with the child. It is also suggested that the legal guardian of the child sign and have notarized a letter of consent to travel with their knowledge.

  • What is included in my trip cost?

    We include just about everything you have the opportunity to do as part of your expedition aboard the ship and ashore. The only items not included are those of a personal nature such as alcohol, internet usage, tips to the crew, wellness treatments, and specialized arrangements.

    • All ship accommodations
    • All meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard the ship
    • Tips, taxes, port charges, and service charges (gratuities to ship’s crew at your own discretion)
    • All shore excursions and sightseeing, entrance fees, and special access permits
    • Transfers to and from group flights
    • Use of kayaks, snorkeling gear, and Zodiac excursions
    • Morning stretch classes with our wellness specialist
    • The expertise of our expedition team, including talks and presentations
    • Hors d’oeuvres and snacks during nightly Recap in the lounge
    • 24-hour coffee, tea, and soda on demand
    • Complete pre-journey information, including what to bring and a reading list

    We don’t want you to miss out on anything. With Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, all activities and sightseeing are included—from guided walks to museum entrance fees to water activities like kayaking and snorkeling—and you won’t be locked in to a pre-booked excursion. You’ll always have the freedom to pick and choose activities as your day unfolds. After all, these are not scheduled tours, these are expeditions. Everyone is different; every day is different.

  • Is there an upper age limit for Baja expedition guests?

    There is no upper age limit, though guests should be comfortable with their ability to get in and out of Zodiacs, wade to shore in knee-deep water, and hike over uneven terrain.

  • What is the cost of the voyage video created by the video chronicler?

    Prices vary depending on the length of your voyage.

Packing and Preparation

  • What footwear is a necessity in Baja California?

    You will need hiking boots or sneakers, as well as waterproof shoes for the wet landings. Sturdy sandals, such as Tevas, might double as both. You may want closed-toe shoes for aboard the ship, as it can get chillier at night on deck, especially when we’re under way.

  • Will I get seasick? Will I need Dramamine or seasickness patches?

    The Sea of Cortez is generally calm, though it can get rough. The water can get rough on itineraries that extend out to the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula. If you are prone to seasickness, you might want to discuss some medication options with your doctor.

  • What kind of clothes do I need for a Baja California expedition?

    Our style is always informal. The relaxed atmosphere of every journey, a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic hallmark, is something our travelers tell us they particularly enjoy. There is never a need for fancy clothing, so our recommendations on your travel wardrobe are all about comfort, practicality, and likely conditions in the region you're exploring. Our suggested Baja California packing list includes:

    • Short- and long-sleeved T-shirts
    • Lightweight jacket or fleece
    • Pants, jeans, etc.
    • Hiking boots or sneakers, plus waterproof shoes for wet expedition landing craft landings
    • Sun hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses

    Ship to Shore Traveler is our online store, which specializes in the kind of clothing, footwear, and accessory items suited to expedition travel.

  • Should I bring Mexican currency?

    You will not need Mexican currency onboard the ship. While most places accept USD, if your itinerary stops in town and you wish to make any purchases, you can also change your money into pesos.

  • How much cash should we bring per person?

    That’s a personal choice. You can use a credit card for most purchases. Personal checks are accepted on the ships.

Life Aboard

  • What are the ships’ amenities?

    Public areas

    The ships feature a library; global market; lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; observation deck; and a partially covered sun deck with chairs and tables. And our open bridge policy offers the opportunity to learn about navigation and share the captain’s view.


    Heating & air-conditioning

    The ships are air-conditioned and heated throughout.


    Windows

    There are large view windows in the dining room and lounge.


    Library

    The ships feature a library with a selection of books pertaining to your destination.


    Photo kiosk

    For those interested in downloading or transferring digital photos aboard any of our ships, there is a digital photo kiosk where you can move your photos from your memory card to various types of digital media. It is best to determine how you are going to store your images in advance and then pack thumb drives, an external hard drive, or extra memory cards in advance.


    Email/internet access

    Email and internet access are available on all ships. Your personal e-mail and internet may be accessed from your own personal laptop or at the internet kiosk on board. Charges apply.


    Laundry

    No, we do not offer laundry services on board.


    Telephone & fax

    Telephone calls and fax transmissions are available at an additional charge.


    Elevator

    National Geographic Sea Bird is not wheelchair accessible. National Geographic Venture does have an elevator.


    Open bridge policy

    We have an open bridge policy that provides guests with an opportunity to learn about navigation and share the captain’s view.


    Smoking

    For the comfort of all our guests, smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas.

  • What are the cabin amenities?

    Climate controls

    Each cabin has its own thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature level in your cabin.


    Portholes/windows

    Some cabin windows can be opened, although most are secured for safety reasons. Some portholes may be covered during portions of voyages if the sea becomes rough.


    Shower amenities

    We supply botanically inspired conditioning shampoo, body wash, and body lotion. If you choose to bring your own shampoo and/or conditioner, we recommend that you bring biodegradable products.


    Hairdryers

    Hairdryers are available in each cabin.


    Electrical appliances

    Each cabin is equipped with at least one 110v (American) electrical outlet, which can be used for electric razors, laptop computers, and other small devices.


    Valuables

    While our ship is not equipped with safety deposit boxes in the cabins, most have small locking drawers with a key where you can keep your valuables. As our vessel safes are quite small, our normal policy is that the ships cannot accept custody or responsibility for guests’ valuables while on board.

  • Are the ships wheelchair accessible?

    National Geographic Sea Bird is not wheelchair accessible. National Geographic Venture does have an elevator.

  • Does the ship have a pool?

    There is no pool onboard the vessel.

  • Is there a gym or fitness center on board?

    National Geographic Sea Bird carries exercise equipment on the covered portions of its sundeck, including two exercise bikes and an elliptical machine. The indoor gym of National Geographic Venture includes two treadmills, two stationary bikes, and an elliptical machine. All vessels have resistance bands, small hand weights, yoga mats, blocks, and foam rollers for your use at any time. In addition, and as part of our wellness program, our wellness specialist leads light exercise or stretching classes each morning on the sundeck before breakfast. Off-board fitness options include hiking, kayaking, and biking. Massage therapy is available aboard for an additional fee.

  • Is there a spa? What kind of treatments?

    The ships are staffed with a wellness specialist and feature services that will help you fully recharge. Choose from relaxing full-body, deep-tissue, and focused therapeutic massages; each session is tailored for your needs and preferences. National Geographic Venture also offers body treatments. Spa services are available for an additional fee, and you will have the opportunity to sign up once on board.

  • When does the ship travel from location to location?

    The ship travels at various times depending on the day’s activities.

  • Is there a doctor on board?

    Yes, there is a doctor on board, and his or her services are provided free of charge. The doctor is available at any time in case of emergency.

  • Can my family and friends contact me in case of emergency at home?

    Prior to your departure date, we will provide you with a list of port contacts and phone numbers indicating how you can be reached in case of emergency.

  • Will I be able to access the internet while on board?

    Yes, our ships are equipped with satellite communications for email and internet access, and telephone and fax, for which charges apply. You may access Wi-Fi on your laptop, tablet, or phone to check email or social media, but you may find that the internet connection is not strong or stable enough to support Skype or video chat. If you choose not to travel with a computer, there are internet kiosks available.

  • What is the food like on board?

    Meals are served in one open seating, with an informal atmosphere and unassigned tables to encourage meeting new guests. The meal hours will be posted in the Daily Program you receive in your cabin each day. Full buffet breakfasts, casual lunches, and leisurely dinners with plenty of choices are served in our comfortable dining rooms, or on deck or even ashore on a remote beach. Every destination has a “flavor” and we believe our guests should have every opportunity to “taste” the destination. A great deal of thought goes into what we serve. We make an effort to bring regional flavors to your table with fresh local fruits, vegetables, and spices. And we serve sustainable, locally caught or harvested fresh seafood whenever possible.

  • What types of special meal requests can be accommodated on board?

    We can provide vegetarian and vegan meals, and we can accommodate many food allergies. If you have allergies, restrictions, or special dietary requirements, please let us know in advance. Unfortunately, we cannot provide kosher meals.

  • Is alcohol available on the boat and on shore?

    Alcohol is available on the ship for purchase and, depending on the itinerary, you may have the opportunity to stop in at a local bar for a cerveza.

  • Is the water safe to drink in Mexico, and are water bottles provided on board?

    The water provided on board is safe to drink. You will be given a reusable water bottle, which you can refill at our water machine.

  • Are snacks available during the day and in between meals?

    In addition to mealtimes, we offer snacks, which are included.

  • Do I need to dress up for dinner?

    Throughout your expedition, there is no need to wear formal clothing unless you’re inspired to do so. The onboard atmosphere is casual and comfortable, and so is the dress code.

  • Are gratuities included in the cost of the expedition?

    Gratuities to crew aboard ship are at your own discretion. Many guests choose to give $25 per person in their group per day. For example, a couple would leave $400 for an 8-day voyage. All gratuities ashore are included in your expedition cost.

  • How will I pay my bill for personal items on board?

    All services and products purchased on board the ship and tips may be paid for by cash, check, or charge (American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover). In foreign ports, a small amount of local currency will be available for exchange aboard ship.

  • Will there be talks or presentations on board?

    Your expedition team is key to your experience. They not only accompany all your explorations off the ship, they also give engaging talks and informal presentations on board. The state-of-the art lounge is equipped with facilities for films, slideshows, and presentations. Naturalists will share their knowledge and add insight to all you see and do. Our undersea specialist shoots undersea footage and then shows images on flat screens in the comfort of the ship’s lounge, giving you a rare view of the undersea world. Our Certified Photo Instructor shares their images and offers one-to-one critiques for those who are interested in participating.

  • What is Recap?

    Each evening at cocktail hour the entire expedition community gathers in the lounge for an expedition ritual we call Recap. As you enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the house, various naturalists give talks, the undersea specialist may show video, and your expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule.

Activities

  • Lindblad Expeditions often refers to the value of flexible schedules. What does this mean to me?

    Often the most memorable events are those that are unplanned. That’s why every itinerary has flexibility built into the schedule. So if we happen to encounter a blue whale or a school of dolphins, for example, we’ll be afforded the luxury of taking the time to stop and watch rather than having to rush off somewhere else. To get a sense of what these adventurous, open-ended days are like, spend some time reading our Daily Expedition Reports, which are reports from our staff on the highlights of each day. These are archived on our website for your reference.

  • How will I explore Baja California?

    Zodiacs

    Key to our operation is our fleet of Zodiacs, which we use to land on remote islands that would otherwise be inaccessible. They are partially inflatable craft with a sturdy bottom and outboard engines. They are very stable and safe. The Zodiacs we use are 19 feet long and capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.


    Kayaks

    Kayaking provides one of the best means for personal exploration in Baja. Therefore, we’ve outfitted our ships with a fleet of them; enough for everyone who wants to participate. They are very stable and easy to master for novices and experts alike. There is something special about being alone in a solo kayak, or with your travel companion in our double kayaks, paddling along a remote coastline.


    Undersea tools for exploring

    Our vessel is outfitted with a panoply of underwater exploration equipment. Bow cams, splash cams, and hydrophones bring to life the sights and sounds beneath the sea. Our undersea specialists dive for a look at marine life below the surface, capture their findings on video, and share them with guests on the TV screen in the lounge. These tools allow us to go further and get closer to nature’s wonders.


    Snorkeling

    Our goal is to ease packing restrictions and provide added comfort in the water, and we provide snorkels, masks, fins, shorty wetsuits, and beach towels on board. To ensure a perfect fit, you may want to bring your own mask and snorkel. The shorty wetsuits are available in a range of adult sizes: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL. Unfortunately, due to storage constraints, we are unable to provide children’s wetsuits, as they often require special fitting and to provide a sufficient range of sizes is beyond our capacity. We advocate the buddy system for everyone, at all times. It is highly recommended that children 14 years of age and under be accompanied by an adult and wear an inflatable snorkel vest while snorkeling.

  • What activities are included?

    All activities are included: kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, and hiking.

  • Are there activities that can be done on our own while on the voyage, and will we have free time?

    You can enjoy personal discoveries on a solo kayak excursion, or while you snorkel.

  • What wildlife will I see on a Baja expedition?

    The type of wildlife you see will depend on when you travel. In December you may see migrating humpback whales; January through March, you are likely to be able to get close to California gray whales, which birth and rear their young in the lagoons on the Pacific side of the Baja peninsula; and in April you are likely to see a great variety of whales in the Sea of Cortez.


    Year-round, you will find that the islands in the Sea of Cortez thrive with birdlife, including pelicans, cormorants, Frigatebirds, egrets, herons, sandpipers, plus brown- and blue-footed boobies. The islands—a UNESCO World Heritage site—are famous for their wildlife. You’ll likely see strange lizards, rattleless rattlesnakes, and oddly beautiful plant life.

  • What whales will I see in the Sea of Cortez?

    It depends on when you go. In winter, you may see migrating humpback whales in the Sea of Cortez. (It is on the other side of the Baja peninsula, in the Pacific Ocean, that you are likely to see California gray whales during winter.) During springtime in the Sea of Cortez you’re likely to see a great variety of whales including blue whales, fin whales, Bryde’s whales, humpbacks, and sperm whales, plus orcas, false killer whales, pilot whales, and many more.

  • Are your Baja California expeditions physically challenging? Will I be able to walk unassisted, or is the terrain difficult?

    The terrain in Baja California is generally sandy or rocky. There will be several activity options available for every excursion, including different difficulty levels of hikes based on length and terrain. The naturalists will describe the hikes ahead of time so that you will be prepared, and we have walking sticks on board.

  • Are there short hikes and long hikes?

    Yes. We will always have a few varieties of hikes, from leisurely paced to medium to fast. Options will be outlined and described by the expedition leader before your excursions begin. We will also offer Zodiac cruises if none of the hiking options appeal to you.

  • Would hiking sticks be helpful or just get in the way? Are they even permitted?

    Hiking sticks are permitted and could be helpful. We have non-adjustable walking sticks onboard; however, you may wish to bring adjustable hiking sticks.

  • What is a wet landing?

    A wet landing is when you disembark the Zodiac into shallow water.

  • Is snorkeling equipment available on board?

    Yes. Our goal is to ease packing restrictions and provide added comfort in the water, and we provide snorkels, masks, fins, shorty wetsuits, and beach towels on board. To ensure a perfect fit, you may want to bring your own mask and snorkel. The shorty wetsuits are available in a range of adult sizes: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL. Unfortunately, due to storage constraints, we are unable to provide children’s wetsuits, as they often require special fitting and to provide a sufficient range of sizes is beyond our capacity. We advocate the buddy system for everyone, at all times. It is highly recommended that children 14 years of age and under be accompanied by an adult and wear an inflatable snorkel vest while snorkeling.

  • How often will snorkeling will be offered?

    We will have one or two snorkeling opportunities per expedition. Snorkeling is not available on our Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay itinerary.

  • What activities are available for children?

    Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, our National Geographic Global Explorers program is for kids and teens. Our kids’ program is learning disguised as fun. You’ll see kids discover hidden talents and gain confidence while having the time of their lives. 

    • Photo workshops with a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor using smartphones or point-and-shoots.
    • Hands-on science using the video microscope and learning about conservation projects, plus hands-on nature lessons with our naturalists, who are trained to work with kids and are excellent role models.
    • Zodiac driving lessons
    • Journals and journaling time.
    • Scavenger hunts.
    • “Certificates of achievement” for various accomplishments. 
    • Kid-friendly menus and movie night with pizza are always a hit, too

  • What is the difference between photo expeditions and other expeditions?

    Designed to accommodate all levels of photographers from beginners to pros, our photo expeditions offer 360º photo ops, the instruction of a robust photo team giving you the tips you need when you need them, and all the time you need to get your shots right. They feature outings timed to take advantage of the best light—aboard expedition landing craft for up-close encounters with marine mammals or on trail hikes. Plus, unique “share and learn” opportunities like onboard photo clinics, one-to-one critiques, and inclusive “laptop gallery” events to see each other's shots. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot with and learn from the best in the world—a National Geographic photographer joins every photo expedition, in addition to two Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructors. They’re engaging presenters and interesting travel companions, too—with good stories to share about their assignments, from the podium and over drinks or dinner.

Expedition Team

  • What can you tell me about the expedition staff on board?

    The 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird hosts five naturalists plus an expedition leader—one expert per 10 guests. The National Geographic Venture hosts nine naturalists plus an expedition leader—one expert per 10 guests. One of the most important aspects of every expedition is the knowledge of our terrific staff of naturalists, biologists, undersea specialists, photo instructors, and other specialists who provide talks, guidance ashore and daily camaraderie. The staff will greatly enhance your experience, sharing special insights into areas of the world they know intimately.

  • What is the role of the video chronicler?

    A video chronicler accompanies every expedition. We send our video chroniclers “on assignment” to remote corners of the globe 365 days a year. With cameras at the ready 24 hours a day and seven days a week, these talented professionals have just one goal: to capture the essence of each expedition for you. A documentary of your voyage will be available for purchase at the end of your expedition—proof of your intrepid spirit!

  • What is a certified photo instructor?

    Every expedition aboard a ship in our 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 to help you become a better, more confident photographer. You'll go home with the best shots ever. The photo instructor is there to help every level of photographer, so remember to pack your camera.

Talk to an Expedition Specialist

Call now

Make a reservation

RESERVE

Sign up for our newsletter & special offers

Sign up

Talk to an Expedition Specialist

Call now

Make a reservation

RESERVE

Sign up for our newsletter & special offers

Sign up