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Take to the sea aboard one of the six ships of the National Geographic–Lindblad fleet and explore the Galápagos, Alaska, and more with a team of experts.
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Experience fascinating places as far-flung as Easter Island and Marrakech on one epic journey, traveling with a team of experts in the comfort of a VIP-configured jet.
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Explore by foot, by camel or kayak, or even by dogsled on an active adventure that combines spectacular places, physical challenge, and cultural interaction.
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Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices, all for an unbeatable value.
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Improve your photography skills with the guidance of a National Geographic photographer— whether you’re traveling through Japan or heading out on shoots during an intensive weekend workshop in New York City.
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Private Expeditions

Private Expeditions

Explore independently—with all the benefits of traveling with National Geographic—on a private trip with the travel companions and dates of your choosing.
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Wind through dramatic mountain scenery or observe scenes of everyday life, experiencing the world through the nostalgic lens of train travel.
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Introduce your family to the magic of travel on trips designed for travelers of all ages that combine learning, discovery, and fun.
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Student Expeditions

Send your high school or middle school student on assignment with National Geographic to explore inspiring destinations in depth alongside our experts and trip leaders.
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Expedition Details


Journey to Baja California in the spring, a season that welcomes multiple species of whales—including blue, sperm, pilot, fin, humpback, and Bryde’s—to the Sea of Cortez. Search for these majestic creatures onboard the National Geographic Sea Bird or National Geographic Sea Lion, and at water level from nimble Zodiacs. Don snorkeling gear and plunge below the surface to swim with frolicking sea lions, and explore pristine islands inhabited by myriad bird species on kayaking and hiking excursions.

Trip Highlights

  • Spring in the Sea of Cortez is the best time to see large pods of dolphins and various species of whales—blue, sperm, pilot, fin, humpback and Bryde’s—all in the same week.
  • Explore water-level caves by kayak, hike uninhabited beaches, snorkel among fish and acrobatic sea lions, and see colorful cactus blossoms.
  • Visit the old mining town of Santa Rosalia, with its wooden homes and historic steel church, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
  • Experience a voyage of pure discovery in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a flexible itinerary and sites chosen by the region’s most knowledgeable staff, based on conditions and to maximize wildlife sightings.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Day 1 — Los Angeles/La Paz, Mexico

Fly into La Paz, then embark the ship and set sail on the Sea of Cortez.

Days 2 through 7 — Exploring the Sea of Cortez

Our routing is designed with flexibility in mind to maximize opportunities for wildlife sightings. It will most likely include the islands and activities listed below, although the order may vary (B,L,D daily)

ISLAS SAN ESTEBAN AND SAN PEDRO MÁRTIR: Walk up a desert wash to search for desert birds and the endemic pinto chuckwalla—a harmless desert lizard. Later visit Isla San Pedro Mártir, a 1,000-foot-high guano-covered island that is home to thousands of seabirds. Blue-footed boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, pelicans and frigate birds are all found here.

ISLA RASA: In the spring one of the great wildlife spectacles of the Sea of Cortez is in full swing at Isla Rasa —the nesting of thousands of Heermann’s gulls and elegant and royal terns. We will go ashore to meet researchers and observe the behavior of these three species.

ISLA SAN MARCOS: At Isla San Marcos there is a beautiful cove for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. In the afternoon we are again in rich whale waters near the mouth of Bahía Concepcion where we stand a good chance of sighting several species of whales, particularly fin or sperm.

ISLA SANTA CATALINA: This morning we’ll search for whales in the waters south of Isla Carmen, an area that has proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, and often bottlenose and common dolphins. In the afternoon we visit Isla Santa Catalina, famous for its giant barrel cactus and lovely cardon cactus forest. The protected bay of our anchorage is also an excellent site for snorkeling. With a full afternoon here, there is time for swimming, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking.

LOS ISLOTES AND ISLA ESPÍRITU SANTO: At Isla Los Islotes, snorkelers have one of life’s great opportunities—swimming with graceful and curious sea lions. With a deeply indented shoreline and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Isla Espíritu Santo is perhaps the most beautiful island in the Sea of Cortez. We have a leisurely afternoon for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and in the evening, a beach barbecue under the desert stars.

Day 8 — La Paz, Mexico/Los Angeles

This morning after breakfast we disembark in La Paz and transfer to the airport for flights home.

Related Trips

Special Offer

Airfare Credit and Savings for Kids

Book the April 10, 15, or 22, 2017 departures and receive an air credit of $500 per person, plus $1,000 off the expedition cost for each child under the age of 18. Please call for details.

Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Mar 31 - Apr 07, 2018 [SB]
  • Apr 02 - 09, 2018 [SL]
  • Apr 07 - 14, 2018 [SB]
  • Apr 09 - 16, 2018 [SL]
  • Apr 14 - 21, 2018 [SB]

[SB] National Geographic Sea Bird
[SL] National Geographic Sea Lion

Please note: The April 1, 8, and 10, 2017 departures are dedicated photography expeditions.

Learn more about photo expeditions here >>

Expedition Cost

Category 1 $6,190
Category 2 $7,190
Category 3 $7,990

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single cabin in 2017, add $3,100 in Category 1 and $3,600 in Category 2.

International airfare to/from La Paz is not included in the expedition cost.

Please note: the pricing above is valid for 2018 departures booked by June 1, 2017.

View Ship/Deck Plan