Much more than whale watching—exploring expedition-style
Unique, immersive style of travel
Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the birthing lagoons on the Pacific side of Baja California. Our ship becomes your mobile basecamp and you’re immersed in the life-cycle of these gentle giants, making daily excursions in local boats for up-close observations, before heading out on an itinerary that features these opportunities:
Special access to Baja’s gray whale lagoons
As late summer fades into autumn, pregnant gray whales depart the Chukchi and Bering seas, hugging the nearshore Pacific coast for some 6,000 miles to Baja, to Bahia Magdalena, the end of this long and arduous journey. It is here, in the warm, sheltered and nutrient-rich waters of Boca de Soledad, the northern extension of Bahia Magdalena, that female grays birth and instruct their young, before departing again, back north. From the fishing village of Lopez Mateos, we set out in local pangas, with our naturalists aboard, for opportunities to observe the whales at water level. Occasionally, we are rewarded with a close encounter of calves and watchful mothers. These rare moments are incredibly special, particularly as we consider that these gentle giants were so recently hunted by humans almost to extinction. There is so much magic here, so much life in skeins of pelicans skimming the surface, then rising on a thermal followed by a whale blow or a whale surface nearby.
And, this is just the start of our marine mammal adventure, only one element of our comprehensive Baja journey as we dip into the southern extension of the bay system, at Bahia Almejas where we are fortunate to be observers of another life cycle of grays as males and females amorously eye each other. Here, we may see fascinating courtship behavior such as the occasional breach, spy-hop or tail slap. As we round the southern cape, humpbacks start to appear, sometimes in large numbers. And, still, the Sea of Cortez awaits with its sea lions, dolphins and other whale species.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll be able to hike through 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. See more of what you’ll do.
Travel in excellent company
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. Meet the team.
And culture, too!
Experience Baja in full with visits to lively La Paz and lovely Loreto. La Paz invites you to follow your curiosity into a maze of quaint streets and sun-drenched promenades, promising discoveries of all kinds. Loreto, a charming coastal town spectacularly backed by the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, is where our expedition now begins and ends. Explore downtown Loreto and find intriguing sites including the region’s first mission built in the late 17th/early 18th century and a museum filled with colonial artifacts. And don’t forget to sample the local favorite—Mexican ice cream!
*Exclusive Baja Family Savings: Save 25% on kids 22 and under when traveling with two full paying adults on select 2020 and 2021 Baja departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
NOTE: This itinerary runs in "reverse" on some departures.
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