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Discover the natural wonders of the Sea of
Cortez on an expedition aboard the National
Geographic Sea Bird. In the company of marine
biologists, experience up-close encounters with gray whale mothers and their calves after they have migrated to the inlets of Bahía Magdalena. Hop into a motorized landing craft to encounter wildlife up close, from whales to bottlenose dolphins. Follow naturalists
on hikes amid barrel cacti, and
snorkel among playful sea lions.
Get an up-close view of gigantic gray whales and their calves in the breeding grounds of Bahía Magdalena.
Go snorkeling amid sea lions, brilliant blue damselfish, and schools of king angelfish.
Kayak clear, blue waters on the lookout for a variety of bird species such as magnificent frigate birds.
Explore diverse landscapes, including sand dunes, a cactus forest, and deserted islands.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — U.S./La Paz, Mexico
Arrive in La Paz and drive along the beautiful Malecón to meet our ship. National Geographic Sea Bird (D)
Day 2 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Today is a day with the luxury of no specific plan. You may spend time on the lookout for whales, bottlenose and common dolphin, or explore some of the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San Francisco or Isla San Jose, known for its sweeping beaches and arroyos. Birdlife may be plentiful, and the nutrient-rich sea is home to an overwhelming variety of fish: king angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish, and the beautiful parrotfish. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — 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’ll 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 campfire and a star-filled sky. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Gorda Banks and Los Cabos
This morning cruise past Friars Rocks at Land’s End and 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 humpback whales, dolphins, and other sea life. (B,L,D)
Days 5, 6, & 7 — Bahía 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 frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis, and willets. (B,L,D daily)
Day 8 — San Carlos/La Paz/Los Angeles
After breakfast, disembark in San Carlos and drive across the peninsula to La Paz for your return flights home.
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts — from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes, and local culture. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
National Geographic Fellow Greg Marshall is a marine biologist and a filmmaker. Greg invented Crittercam, a research program using animal-borne cameras to capture video to reveal the world through animals’ eyes. His work has been featured in numerous films covering more than 70 species, from emperor penguins to blue whales and house cats to grizzly bears. Greg uses media to connect audiences to wildlife with the aim of inspiring a conservation ethic and call to action.