What It's Like/What You'll Do

How you’ll experience the living sea

Your platform for pure discovery, the 50-cabin expedition ship, National Geographic Venture, will be your base for exploring the California Coast, Baja California and the Sea of Cortez. The lounge is a moving window on the world outside, the bow the perfect place for photography, and the expedition landing craft and kayaks are a means to connect you up close to the wild world.  Zodiacs are dropped to get close to marine mammals and the shoreline, and the captain will change course to keep the ship among a pod of dolphins. The National Geographic Venture will feel like home in no time as you discover all the nooks and crannies—and very welcoming, as the community camaraderie kindles. 

Choice of daily activities
Walk, kayak, paddleboard or snorkel. Head off for closer looks at pods of dolphins and whales aboard our expedition landing craft. Take a long hike with the wellness specialist if you crave exercise, or choose a short, slower walk with time for your naturalist to share the local medicinal uses of each plant you see. Stay aboard and read if you prefer. Or enjoy a massage from our wellness specialist. There’s no one-size-fits-all scheduling here: you can choose your activities, activity levels, and staff members to join every day.

The best place in the world to see marine mammals
In the Sea of Cortez and along the Pacific Coast you’ll discover massive numbers and a variety of marine mammals, including dolphins, sea lions, and whales, from bBue to Fin to Bryde’s and many others. Just when you think these animals would feel vulnerable or shun our presence, they often approach us for a closer look, as curious of us, as we are of them.

Explore the undersea, too
The National Geographic Venture carries complete snorkel gear, including wetsuits, so no need to tote gear from home. You’ll have the chance to snorkel several times. You’ll swim with balletic sea lions and see schools of baitfish and colorful reef fish. And everyone can visit the undersea, via video shot by our specialist and shared on the lounge’s HD screens during the evening Recap.

Kayak and expedition landing craft cruise scenic shorelines
The National Geographic Venture is outfitted with tandem and single kayaks that allow for personal, water-level exploration of the scenic coastlines. Kayak past nesting birds and lounging sea lions, or just enjoy the silence and pleasure of a leisurely paddle. Shoreline cruises aboard Zodiacs are perfect for relaxed exploration with a naturalist’s narration, and the ideal platform for photography.

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

Savor time aboard ship
Wildlife talks and photography instruction will be offered. When the ship is underway, it’s a wonderful time to stand on the bow with a naturalist or photo instructor and scan the horizon for whale spouts, visit the bridge to share the captain’s view, or go to the sun deck at night for a bit of stargazing.


The whale sightings were fantastic. Touching the gray whales, a once in a lifetime experience.
Connie C.

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