Baja California Cruise: A Remarkable Journey

Baja California Cruise: A Remarkable Journey

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Board small boats and venture into the gray whale birthing lagoons on the Pacific side of the Baja California Peninsula to get up close with these gentle giants. Then, spend over a week in the Gulf of California exploring waters teeming with whales, pods of dolphins, and leaping rays. The wild islands here offer the chance to hike desert arroyos through forests of cacti to revel in the beauty of untamed nature. Revel in Mexico’s coastal waters with daily activities that immerse you in the region including Zodiac cruises, kayaking, and snorkeling.

Trip Name
Baja California Cruise: A Remarkable Journey
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Passenger Capacity: 100 Built: 2017 National Geographic Venture is the perfect ship to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage and beyond.  Cabins & Suites The luxury of comfort on expedition National Geographic Venture comfortably accommodates 100 guests in 50 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 136-square-foot category 1 to the 185-square-foot category 5 suite. Twenty-two of the 50 cabins will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light. Twelve cabins will connect via internal doorway access allowing families to combine their rooms. Plus, all category 5 suite cabins can accommodate a third person on a convertible sofa bed. Comfort & convenience in every room Every cabin has two portholes, a large window or balcony, Wi-Fi access, and temperature controls. Bathrooms are modern and stocked with botanically inspired hair products, soap, and shower gel, plus a hairdryer. Every room has outlets and USB outlets for charging your camera gear or electronics, and space for luggage storage.  Life Aboard Dining Food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share our values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the lounge deck. When weather conditions allow, lighter fare may be served on the observation deck. There is no assigned seating and our dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you. Public spaces National Geographic Venture was designed with 50 years of expedition heritage. The ship features a specially-designed, open bow and an observation deck for gathering to watch for wildlife or enjoy an evening cocktail with friends in the open air. An elevator access all decks, and public restrooms are available on every deck. Bridge: You’re invited to the ship’s bridge to see the calm business of navigation unfold. Ask the watch officer Ventureions about navigation. Or, help yourself to the ever-ready binoculars to scan the horizon for whale spouts. There may occasionally be times when the bridge must be restricted to shipboard personnel only. Lounge: The lounge is the heart of our expedition community, where we hold cocktail hour and Recap each evening. It’s also where you’ll gather for presentations, photography talks, and guest speaker presentations. Seating design takes advantage of the wraparound windows for an optimal view, and boasts multiple high-definition screens for slideshows and videos. Forward lounge doors provide direct access to the bow. There’s also a small reference library and board games and cards are also available. Bar: The bar is typically open from 11 a.m. until one hour after lunch begins and from 5 p.m. until closing. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including wine by the glass or bottle, cocktails, specialty drinks, and spirits. There is also a 24-hour self-service beverage station with coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, water, ice, and snacks. The drinking age aboard the ship is 21. Sundeck: Morning stretch classes are held in the open air of the sundeck, located aft on the observation deck. After stretch class the deck is set with tables and chairs, and lounge chairs. Bow: National Geographic Venture’s specially-designed bow observation area accommodates the entire expedition community at once for a shared wildlife viewing experience. Mud room: Located aft on the main deck where you will embark and disembark expedition landing craft, the mud room has lockers that provide convenient gear and boot storage. Wellness aboard Making daily discoveries and exploring the wild world is naturally uplifting. Add to that a variety of wellness treatments available aboard, as well as outings led by your wellness specialist, and you’ll find your expedition relaxing as well as revitalizing. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available in the LEXspa. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a treatment once on board. Fitness Center: Conveniently located on the lounge deck, the fitness center is outfitted with two treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines, exercise bands, and sets of small hand weights to use as well. The global gallery: a window on regional talent Discover the talent of local artisans in the places National Geographic Venture ventures in the ship’s global market. The global market is a collection of items made by local residents in the places we explore. It is conveniently located on the ship’s lounge deck. You may find silver jewelry crafted in Alaska, woven baskets from Panama, paintings and books by your naturalist staff, plus expedition clothing and other essentials. Every item purchased in the global market contributes to the Lindblad Artisan Fund, which supports artisans in communities around the world to develop their potential more effectively and successfully. Five percent of all National Geographic Venture’s global market sales will be earmarked for this fund, and the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund will match dollar for dollar what is raised through these earmarks. Tools for Exploration Expedition Landing Craft Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Remotely Operated Vehicle Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean. Kayaks National Geographic Venture is equipped with 24 two-person kayaks—a fleet large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch. Underwater camera Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment. Video microscope Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures. Hydrophone This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system. Electronic charts An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge. Open bridge You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers. Snorkeling gear & wetsuits On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.


Day 1 - DAY 1 Loreto / San Carlos / Embark Ship
Arrive in Loreto by early afternoon for transfer to San Carlos. Embark National Geographic Venture in the evening. Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 2 - DAY 2 Bahía Magdalena
Explore the ever-shifting sand dunes of Isla Magdalena 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. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - DAYS 3-4 Laguna San Ignacio
Laguna San Ignacio is a large bay and favored haunt of the gray whales in Baja California. The ship anchors at the mouth of this remote and important area. We explore the lagoon via local pangas with expert local guides. For some reason, the whales here seem to be friendlier than they are elsewhere. It is not unusual for mothers and calves to approach our boats, the calves often playing hide and seek–sometimes even welcoming a touch or a friendly chin scratch. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - DAY 5 At Sea
Enjoy the ship's amenities, attend expert-led talks, and watch for a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, as we travel south along the Pacific coast of the peninsula. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - DAYS 6-14 Islands of the Gulf of California
Cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land's End. For those who wish, we can arrange a visit to the historic town center of San José del Cabo. Isla San Pedro Mártir, Los Islotes, Isla San Francisco—these are some of the melodious names of islands scattered throughout this beautiful sea. After decades of exploration here, we are still discovering new places and experiencing exciting events: Bow-riding bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales near our ship, or a pod of fin whales feeding around a convergence zone. The best areas for whale watching remain consistent—the waters south of Isla del Carmen, Canal de Ballenas up north, and near the mouth of Bahía Concepción. Whether on the bridge of the ship, on Zodiacs, or kayaks, we are in prime position to observe them all. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - DAY 15 Loreto / Disembark Ship
Disembark in Loreto after breakfast and transfer to the city center. Take the opportunity 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 quaint shops and vibrant side streets. After lunch transfer to Loreto Airport for flights home. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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    • Experience pristine desert landscapes and abundant wildlife
    • Board local pangas to get up-close views of gray whale mothers and their growing calves as they prepare for their journey back to Arctic feeding grounds
    • Kayak clear blue waters to search for wildlife, including magnificent frigatebirds, and investigate the intricacies of the shoreline
    • Snorkel amid large schools of vibrantly colored fish and swim among playful sea lions
    • Visit the island of San Pedro Mártir to witness clouds of nesting seabirds, crowds of lounging sea lions, and expanses of sea where huge pods of dolphins gather