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Baja California and the Sea of Cortez: Among the Great Whales

Aboard National Geographic Venture

Date: Wed, February 20, 2019 - Fri, March 1, 2019

Trip Status: Taking Reservations

Price: from $7,530

Activity Level: Active

Region: North America

Arrangements: Lindblad Expeditions

Download the brochure

Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the Bahía Magdalena lagoons. For most travelers, the only opportunity to observe the mothers and calves is to bus across the peninsula for a day trip. Fortunately, our ships, the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion, have exclusive permission to drop anchor and spend ample time inside the bay. Your ship 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
  • Spend three days at Bahía Magdalena, one of 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



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


To provide you with more flexibility, more comfortable transfer arrangements and a better overall experience, we’re offering a full day and night on us, at the lovely CostaBaja Resort & Spa. Located on the shore of the Sea of Cortez, just south of Espiritu Island, CostaBaja. Upon arrival in San Jose del Cabo, transfer to La Paz and check in to the CostaBaja Resort & Spa. (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 Sea Lion or Sea Bird. (B,L,D)

DAY 3-5: Bahia Magdalena Navigate through an immense system of protected coves and channels, surrounded by a fringe of mangrove channels at one edge of a vast, windswept plain. 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 our expedition landing craft. Watch for magnificent frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis and willets. (B,L,D daily)

DAY 6: Los Cabos and Gorda Banks This morning cruise past Friars Rocks at Land’ End. For those who wish, we will visit the historic town center of San José del Cabo. 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 7: 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 8: Exploring the Sea of Cortez Search for whales among the islands of the southern Sea of Cortez, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often common and bottlenose dolphins. Explore the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San José or Isla Santa Catalina to walk among huge cacti and observe the diverse bird life. Swim or snorkel with king angelfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and the beautiful parrotfish. (B,L,D)

DAY 9: La Paz/Disembark/San José Del Cabo Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home (B)

Reservations and Information

To reserve, complete a registration form in the brochure and fax it to (919) 660-0148 or call (919) 684-2988 to reserve conveniently over the phone.

To learn more about our travel program or any of our upcoming trips, please contact us at or 919-684-2988

Duke Leaders

Mode of Travel

Ocean Cruise

map showing route of mode of travel