Itinerary Overview

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 Laguna San Ignacio. For most travelers, the only opportunity to observe the mothers and calves is to bus across the peninsula for a day trip. Your ship, the National Geographic Venture, becomes your mobile base camp, as you live for three whole days among these gentle giants, making daily Zodiac forays for up-close observations, before heading out on an itinerary that features these opportunities:

  • See California gray whales up close
  • Explore the entrance of Bahía Magdalena, as well as the breeding grounds of Laguna San Ignacio, the whales’ main breeding grounds
  • Hike desert islands, sculpted sand dunes and see a variety of wildlife in the Sea of Cortez
  • Snorkel with sea lions and search for marine mammals
  • Experience the Baja California undersea
  • Benefit from our 30+ years of experience and relationships in Baja California to see all you came for and more

Special access to Baja’s gray whale lagoons

Laguna San Ignacio is well known for being the preferred nursery for gray whale females to birth and instruct their young before making the annual migratory trek to the food-rich Arctic waters. Anchored inside the bay, we’ll enjoy three days of exclusive access. Each morning wake up and whale-watch while you sip your morning coffee on your balcony or on deck. Later, head out in Zodiacs with naturalists and local guides for an afternoon observing them at water level. Not only are we often rewarded with the close encounter of calves and watchful mothers, mere feet away, but often we’ll experience heart-touching eye contact with playful calves surfacing to interact with us. In the evening, hang out on deck under the stars, or depending on the calendar, a full moon, and listen to the whales breathing and moving around the ship. Encounters with these marvelous creatures don't end there as we head into the Sea of Cortez where magical moments continue with possible sightings of other whale species and dolphins. 

Every day is active and engaging
You’ll be able to hike through forests of towering cacti and up striking desert canyons. You’ll take expedition landing craft 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.

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