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.
Experience awe-inspiring encounters with gray whales as you explore with a team of naturalists.
Go snorkeling among acrobatic sea lions, brilliant blue damselfish, and schools of king angelfish.
Kayak through thick mangroves on the lookout for a variety of bird species including magnificent frigatebirds.
Hike pristine, wind-sculpted sand dunes and an other-worldly forest of gigantic cacti.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — Los Angeles/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
We’ll follow the currents and the wildlife today, exploring pristine, uninhabited islands such as Isla
San José or Isla Santa Catalina; and snorkeling
among colorful parrotfish and flashing schools of
surgeonfish. Search for whales among the islands
of the southern Sea of Cortez, one of the best
areas for spotting blue whales and bottlenose
dolphins. Walk among huge cacti and observe
the great diversity of birdlife, including verdins,
ladder-backed woodpeckers, and Costa’s hummingbirds. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Los Islotes and Isla Espiritu Santo
At Los Islotes, snorkel and swim among curious
sea lions. With its rugged cliffs and coves carved
deeply into the coastline, Espíritu Santo is one of
the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez.
This afternoon, examine the island’s volcanic
landscapes on a kayak excursion. Go beachcombing or take a hike along the rocky coast, keeping your eye out for brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, great blue herons, and boobies. Tonight, gather for a barbecue around a campfire on the beach and take in a splendid display of stars. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Gorda Banks and Los Cabos
The morning is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount,
a gathering place for whales—especially humpbacks—as well as dolphins and other sea life.
Learn about whale behavior with our on-board
marine biologist, then cruise past Friars
Rocks at Land’s End and dock at Los Cabos. If you
choose, take an excursion to the lively town of
San Jose del Cabo. (B,L,D)
Days 5, 6, & 7 — Bahía Magdalena
Bahía Magdalena—a vast wilderness of sand
dunes, mangrove channels, and protected
waters—is one of the main breeding and calving
areas for California gray whales. Every year, gray
whales migrate here from the Arctic waters of
Alaska to breed and raise their calves.
In this vast aquatic nursery, observe these enormous yet gentle animals from the ship and at
water level from our motorized landing crafts. Venture into dense
mangroves by kayak and watch for magnificent
frigatebirds, pelicans, and great blue herons on
the mudflats. (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 photographer and marine biologist Flip Nicklin is one of the world's leading photographers of whales. His majestic photos and amazing audio tracks of humpbacks and killer whales have appeared in numerous National Geographic publications and television specials. The North American Nature Photography Association has named him Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year. Between his frequent visits to the Sea of Cortez, Flip migrates with the humpbacks, spending summers in the Pacific Northwest and the Gulf of Alaska and winters off Maui, Hawaii.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2014, add $2,920 in Category 1 and $3,360 in Category 2. For a single cabin in 2015, add $3,000 in Category 1 and $3,450 in Category 2. Airfare is not included in the expedition cost. Round-trip economy airfare between Los Angeles and La Paz is $650 (subject to change).