Day-By-Day

Our itinerary & experience make the most of your time & curiosity


Each expedition is crafted to offer you the most in-depth experience of Baja California possible and maximize your time in the company of California gray whales. Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and we will change course to take advantage of a sighting of blue or sperm whales, or linger in our expedition landing craft to watch blue-footed boobies plunge dive into a massive school of bait fish. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.


Embark: San Carlos

Disembark: La Paz


The ship travels from San Carlos to La Paz on the itinerary below.

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  • DAY 1: Depart US/San Jose del Cabo/La Paz

    Upon arrival in San Jose del Cabo, transfer to La Paz and check in to the CostaBaja Resort & Spa, located on the shore of the Sea of Cortez, just south of Espiritu Island. (D)

  • DAY 2: La Paz/San Carlos/Embark

    This morning is on your own to relax and take advantage of the resort and spa amenities. Check-out in the late morning and depart for lunch at a local restaurant in La Paz. After lunch, transfer to San Carlos and embark the National Geographic Venture. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 3: Bahia Magdalena

    Explore the ever-shifting sand dunes of Isla Magdalena, on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Bird watching here can be excellent—magnificent frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, terns and great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels and willets are among the species we might see. It’s not unusual to see forty species of birds in just one day along these fertile shorelines where they refuel for their destinations ahead. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4-5: Laguna San Ignacio

    Protected since 1993 as part of UNESCO’s Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino, Laguna San Ignacio is one of the world’s most important breeding sites for California gray whales. Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. Observe migrating whales from the ship and up close from local pangas and our Zodiacs. Watch for osprey, Brant geese and countless other breeding and migratory bird species, as well as bottlenose dolphins, during our explorations. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: At Sea

    As we travel south along the Pacific coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Hear naturalist talks, and learn photography basics during a day at sea. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Los Cabos and Gorda Banks

    This morning cruise past Friars Rocks at Land’s End. This morning, choose to visit the historic town center of San José del Cabo, or join a birdwatching walk along the local estero. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna, gathering places for whales, especially humpbacks, dolphins and other sea life. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo

    At Los Islotes, don flippers, a mask and snorkel (which we’ll gladly provide) and swim with curious sea lions. We have a leisurely afternoon to swim, kayak or hike at Isla Espíritu Santo. Brown pelicans, gulls and boobies are all part of the landscape. Finish the day with a relaxing beach barbecue complete with a bonfire and a star-filled sky. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 9: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

    Our plan is flexible today, as we explore some of the Sea’s many uninhabited islands. Go ashore at Isla San Francisco, where a sweeping arc of white sand beach beckons you to try out our fleet of kayaks and standup paddleboards. Hike to the nearby ridge for unparalleled views, or explore nearby tide pools with your Naturalists. One of the larger islands in the Sea of Cortez, San Jose offers several landing possibilities depending on conditions and the whim of the moment. Photograph the ochre cliffs of the island's eastern shore, hike an "enchanted" arroyo, or visit the abandoned salt works to the west. Search for whales, dolphins and other marine life this afternoon among the islands of the southern Sea of Cortez. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 10: La Paz/Disembark/San Jose del Cabo/Home

    Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home (B)

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

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