Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay

Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay

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Spend several extraordinary days in the company of majestic gray whales in Mexico’s Bahía Magdalena, one of the best places in the world to witness interactions between gray whale mothers and their curious calves. On this compact trip, we’ll navigate the length of the bay aboard our nimble expedition ship, and set out by Zodiac for thrilling, up-close encounters. Kayak through mangrove forests and hike desert islands, watch pelicans and ospreys soar overhead, and soak up the sun on some of the Pacific’s most pristine beaches.

Trip Name
Wild Baja Escape: The Whales of Magdalena Bay
Vessel Type: Comfortable Expedition Length: 52 metres Passenger Capacity: 62 (in twin cabins) Built: 1982 / Refurbished 2015 Twin Expedition ships, National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to their small size, yet each can comfortably accommodate 62 guests. The feeling, is often compared to that of a large private yacht, with everyone integral to the adventure. Accessibility means freedom. Our captains have decades of sailing experience in the regions we explore. They know when and where to navigate so that you feel the places we visit are all ours. Full interior renovations have been completed on these twin 62-guest ships, National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird. The extensive renovation to guest cabins, the lounge and bar, dining room, public areas and spa has transformed the ships to provide the ultimate in expedition hospitality and comfort. Nothing has been left untouched, from the sleekly framed wall photos, to the fresh paint, and new carpets throughout the ships. - The lounge and bar have been completely redesigned and reconfigured to provide an open, enhanced environment with additional seating and better flow. The modern design features new tables and chairs, upholstery of settees, overhead ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The lounge also hosts a new food & beverage area, library, and Global Market. - The dining room’s upgrade features all new tables, chairs, ceiling panels, and LED dimmable lighting. The wine bar has been replaced and features a display showcasing selections from the regions explored. - Every cabin has been completely redone and all furnishings have been replaced. Modern aged cherry bed boxes, faux leather headboards, Lindblad signature bed linens, new windows, lighting, and additional USB outlets provide a dramatic makeover for a relaxing guest experience. Bathrooms now feature new shower doors and all new hardware. - Exterior renovations include new deck furniture and outdoor awning.


Day 1 - DAY 1: Loreto/San Carlos/Embark
Upon arrival in Loreto, transfer to San Carlos and embark National Geographic Sea Lion. Tonight we’ll anchor off the coast of Isla Santa Margarita. (D)
Day 2 - DAY 2: Bahía Almejas/Rehusa Channel/Isla Magdalena
Awake in Bahía Almejas, the southernmost part of the Bay. We’ll make a special stop to view a large frigatebird colony on Isla Santa Margarita before heading out on our first whale watching trip of the voyage. The whales in Bahía Almejas tend to be very active, seemingly oblivious to our presence. As weexplore this bay and the Rehusa Channel via local panga, our team will do whatever it takes to provide you with memorable and meaningful experiences. During lunch, we’ll sail towardIsla Magdalena to explore the ever-shifting sand dunes on a cross-island walk to one of the most pristine beaches in the Pacific. Take a dip or tally the treasure found on what we affectionately call “sand dollar beach.” (B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3: Transiting the Hull Canal/Boca de Soledad
Spend the morning transiting the scenic winding Hull Canal. Within its narrow channels, bordered by mangroves and sand dunes, and filled with abundant wildlife, we’ll hang out on deck with our keen-eyed naturalists to spot species and hear expert commentary. Weather permitting, we’ll explore the vast mangrove system via kayak and expedition landing craft. Birdwatching here can be excellent. Among the species we might see are diving pelicans, wheeling cormorants, terns, great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels, and willets. It’s not unusual to see forty species of birds in just one day along these fertile shorelines. This afternoon, we’ll head out to explore the breeding grounds of Boca de Soledad. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 4 & 5: Boca de Soledad
Each winter, during their long migration, gray whales travel south from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and give birth to their calves in these sheltered waters. “Grand Central” for California gray whales, we’ll spend two full days observing, and with luck, interacting with these majestic creatures. Together with savvy local fishermen we’ve known for years, we’ll venture out in expedition landing craft to view the numerous mother-calf pairs that thrive in this region. We’ll also have an opportunity to explore the beaches, and if you’re feeling upto it, grab one of our fat-tire bikes to roam the seemingly endless beaches. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 6: Lopez Mateos/Disembark/Loreto
After breakfast, disembark our ship and transfer to Loreto’s city center. 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. (B,L)
Day 6 - Please note:
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Trip Dates

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    • Get up close to California gray whale mothers and calves in their winter breeding grounds in Bahía Magdalena.
    • Hike through diverse island landscapes with our naturalists, from windswept sand dunes to cactus groves.
    • Kayak and paddleboard on the glassy waters of the bay and into mangrove forests teeming with wildlife.
    • Grab a fat tire bike from our onboard fleet and ride over desert terrain.
    • Learn about desert ecosystems, seabird migrations, and whale behavior from our experienced naturalists.