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Baja California: Among the Great Whales - Venture

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People have described these gray whale encounters as a "spiritual" experience. Why not go yourself and find out what they meant?

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Baja: Drink It In

Each year California gray whales pause during their migrations to birth and nurse their calves in the lagoons on the Pacific side of Baja California. In the morning, head out in local pangas with naturalists and local guides for rare opportunities to observe them at water level. Not only are we often rewarded with a 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. 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. Discover some of the wild Sea of Cortez islands this operator's been exploring for 30+ years, mapping out biodiverse hotspots that teem with life on land and under the sea.
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Travel Curator’s Insights:

    • You'll be amazed by the whales' startlingly friendly behavior including mothers introducing you to their babies! Experts say this is learned behavior due to Baja's special regulations protecting the whales.
    • Your marine experiences are complimented by exploring the charming, mazelike streets of La Paz and old Loreto.
    • This operator knows the ins and outs of this area and where to find mama whales. Highly recommended!


From $6,930 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.

Jan 13-20, 2024
Jan 20-27, 2024
Jan 27-Feb 3, 2024
Feb 3-10, 2024
Feb 10-17, 2024
Feb 17-March 2, 2024
Ask us for later dates.

Jan - March
Hover here for specific dates


Trip Sustainability Awards 



Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.



On the East African Energy Renewal Board



Runs local educational facilities for children.


Day 1: Loreto / San Carlos / Embark

Upon arrival in Loreto, transfer to San Carlos and embark National Geographic Venture. Tonight, we’ll anchor off the coast of Isla Santa Margarita.

Day 2: Bahia Almejas / Rehusa Channel / Isla Magdalena

Awake anchored in Bahia Almejas, the southernmost part of the bay. We’ll observe a large frigatebird colony en route to the spectacular whale grounds of Bahía Almejas. Whales in this part of the bay tend to be very active, seemingly oblivious to our presence, so settle in for some great experiences. During lunch, the ship will reposition to Isla Magdalena, where we’ll head to shore to explore the ever-shifting sand dunes on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Bird watching can be excellent here with abundant seabirds in action and shorebirds patrolling the beaches as they fatten up and prepare for long journeys to Arctic breeding grounds.

Day 3: Boca de Soledad

Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth and raise their calves in these sheltered waters. We’ll transfer by motorcoach to López Mateos and spend the full day observing, and with luck, interacting with these majestic creatures. Together with savvy local Mexican fishermen we’ve known for years, we’ll board local boats to view the numerous mother-calf pairs that thrive in this sheltering region. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading back to the ship in late afternoon.


Day 4: Magdalena Bay / Cruising

Kickstart your day with morning stretch hosted by our onboard wellness specialist on the sun deck. After breakfast, if conditions permit, we’ll explore the bay's vast mangrove system via kayak, standup paddleboard, and Zodiac, and learn how these ecosystems support their surroundings. This afternoon, we’ll sail out through “La Entrada” as we leave Magdalena Bay behind. Traveling south along the coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale. Hear naturalist talks and learn photography basics.

Day 5: Gorda Banks and Cabo Pulmo

Ease into the day with a majestic sunrise over the iconic Friars Rocks at Land’s End. We’ll spend the rest of the morning searching the seas of Gorda Banks seamount, a renowned gathering place for whales, especially humpbacks, dolphins, and other sea life. Following lunch, we’ll set out to snorkel the pristine reefs of Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, one of the most successful national marine parks in the world, and chat with locals about their advocacy to protect this unique place.

Day 6: Los Islotes and La Paz

Awake this morning off the rocky island of Los Islotes, where we’ll don flippers, a mask, and snorkel (which we provide) and swim with curious sea lions. Then we’ll reposition to the colorful city of La Paz to garner insight into the culture of Mexico, soak in the vibrant street art, and stroll the lively "Malecon." Dinner will be an unforgettable cultural experience, complete with local cuisine, dancing, and folklore.


Day 7: Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Our plan is flexible as we explore some of the Sea’s many uninhabited islands. Our captain and Expedition Leader will choose the perfect combination of activities for the day. We may go ashore at Isla San Francisco, where a sweeping arc of white sand beach beckons you to kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Or hike with your naturalist to the nearby ridge for unparalleled views over Isla Danzante. You may also visit the abandoned salt works on Isla Carmen. You’ll get a chance to see the great diversity offered in the Sea of Cortez, and with some luck, spot the amazing wildlife.

Day 8: Loreto / Disembark

Disembark in Loreto after breakfast and transfer to the city center. Here you can choose to visit the first mission in Baja California, as well as the nearby museum to learn more about what makes this town so special. Enjoy free time to explore the quaint shops and vibrant side streets. After lunch, transfer to Loreto Airport for flights home.




Image by David Maunsell


#301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


Cat 4 #207-229 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


Solo traveler. #307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


#307-315 Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


#101-108 (Suite) Two lower bed or queen, convertible sofa bed, large view windows, expanded bathroom, writing desk.

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Image by David Maunsell


3-day/2-night post-voyage extension to explore the Sea of Cortez and Bahia Loreto National Park with the possibility of encountering blue or fin whales.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


#201-206 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and a large view window.

From in USD:


Image by David Maunsell


Solo traveler. #301-306 Cabins feature two lower single beds or queen, a writing desk and two portholes plus botanically-inspired toiletries.

From in USD:


My clients always come back raving about their whale encounters. There's nothing quite like being in the presence of these new mothers who are trusting you to pet their babies. What an experience!

Joy Martinello, Founder



What’s Included & Cancellation Policy:

Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of expedition leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; snorkel
gear; all port charges and service taxes.

Air transportation; voyage DVD; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, etc.; discretionary tips to ship’s crew.

For Expeditions on the National Geographic Quest and the National geographic


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