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Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure

Unique, immersive style of travel
Among the Great Whales offers the rare privilege of entering the California gray whale birthing lagoons in search of up close encounters. Exploring Baja California on an expedition is an unrivaled experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with its whales and wildness.

Special access in the California gray whale lagoons
Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the same lagoons. We are the only foreign company permitted to enter the whale birthing lagoons with our own expedition landing craft, meaning you get more up close encounters with these gentle and curious creatures when you travel with us. We are also the only company that visits lagoons in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, ensuring more opportunities to see whales.

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 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.

Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1: Arrive San Jose del Cabo/La Paz
BE OUR GUEST IN 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DAY 9: La Paz/Disembark/San José Del Cabo
Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home.
Please Note:
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please Note: *
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
DAY 9: La Paz/Disembark/San José Del Cabo *
Disembark in La Paz after breakfast and transfer to Los Cabos airport for flights home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DAY 1: Arrive San Jose del Cabo/La Paz *
BE OUR GUEST IN 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.
* = Indicative
Map for Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure
National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion, the ship servicing Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure

National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion

Vessel Type: Comfortable Expedition

Length: 52 metres

Passenger Capacity: 62 (in twin cabins)

Built: 1982 / 2002

Twin Expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each can comfortably accommodate 62 guests. The feeling, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours.


Thanks to our sturdy fleet of Zodiacs and virtually untippable kayaks, you can be off the ship and out exploring within a moment’s notice. Launch your kayak from a picturesque beach, hike with our naturalists into the rain forest or walk easily along a sandy dune. During your time with us, our expedition staff likes nothing better than to surprise and delight you by directing the ship toward breaching whales, bow-riding dolphins or into an alluring cove.

Our seasoned crew consists of expert Zodiac drivers and considerate service providers. Their energy, enthusiasm and field expertise are sure to enhance your experience. This is what expedition travel is all about: not just seeing wildness, but being out there, in it.

Public Areas: Our ships feature a Library; Lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slide shows and presentations; Observation Deck; partially covered Sun Deck with chairs and tables, and LEXspa. Our "Open Bridge" policy provides guests and opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.

Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Breakfast is a wide selection buffet and lunch is often served family style. Menu emphasizes local flair.

Cabins: All face outside with windows, private facilities, and climate controls.

Expedition Equipment: Bow Camera, hydrophone, kayaks, snorkeling gear, Splash-Cam, underwater video camera, video microscope and Zodiac landing craft.

Special Features: Guest internet access, Wellness Program. A Video Chronicler and a ship's doctor will be onboard all voyages.


Cabin layout for National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion
• See California gray whales up close

• Spend three days at Bahia 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
Enquire now about Baja California and the Sea of Cortez Adventure

Travel on the National Geographic SeaBird & SeaLion

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