Summary : The Sea of Cortez harbors a large variety of whales, seabirds, desert vegetation and some of the world’s most memorable sunsets. Your expedition team will bring you up close to the gray whales and marine life that makes this unspoiled region so special. Explore the azure waters and pristine islands of the Sea of Cortez on a flexible itinerary designed to maximize the moments that make for great photographs. Delight in the searching for wildlife, hiking and kayaking on this comprehensive exploration of Baja California.
This is a special Photo Expedition, see end of page for details.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$10,900 to $14,520
Fly to La Paz and transfer to San Carlos to embark the ship.
In kayaks and Zodiacs you’ll explore the winding canals of the dense mangrove swamps of Bahia Magdalena. Bird watching here can be excellent — magnificent frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns and great blue herons, ibis, whimbrels and willets are among the species you might see. It's not unusual to see forty species of birds in just one day along these fertile shorelines where they refuel for their destinations ahead.
Laguna San Ignacio is a large bay and another favored haunt of the gray whales in Baja. The ship will linger in this remote and important locale, while you observe the mother and calf pairs — from the ship, and from water level in your Zodiacs. For some reason, the whales here seem to be friendlier than they are elsewhere. It’s not unusual for mothers and calves to approach your boats, the calves often playing hide and seek — even wanting to be petted and scratched.
As you travel south along the Pacific coast of the peninsula, there is a chance of seeing a wide variety of marine life, including the largest animal on earth, the blue whale.
Cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land's End. For those who wish, a visit can be arranged to the historic town center of San Jose del Cabo.
Espiritu Santo. Los Islotes. Santa Catalina. Rasa. These are some of the melodious names of these islands scattered throughout this beautiful sea. After years of exploration here, exciting events are still experienced: bottlenose dolphins leaping over sperm whales near the ship; a pod of fin whales feeding around a convergence zone; thousands of Heermann’s gulls and royal terns arriving on the shores of Isla Rasa to begin incubating their eggs; the vision of hundreds of Humboldt squid illuminated in the ship’s bow lights. The best areas for whale watching remain consistent — the waters south of Isla Carmen, Canal de Ballenas up north, and near the mouth of Bahia Concepcion. Whether on the bridge of the ship, on Zodiacs or kayaks, you will be in prime position to observe them all.
After a visit of La Paz, have lunch and transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Special Photo Expedition: National Geographic photographer, Ralph Lee Hopkins
This special photo expedition is one of the most exciting and comprehensive voyages to Baja and offers the unique opportunity to explore — and photograph — the gray whale lagoons along Baja’s Pacific Coast and the richness of the vast Sea of Cortez. Linger with the grays up close at water level from your Zodiacs, then with the luxury of a flexible itinerary you’ll island hop across the Sea of Cortez. Baja’s wild shores and desert islands are a photographer’s paradise — a place where awesome wildlife and scenic landscapes meet. A certified photo instructor will also be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
All accommodations aboard ship; all meals and nonalcoholic beverages onboard the ship; shore excursions; sightseeing and entrance fees; special access permits; transfers to and from group flights; use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits; use of kayaks (where available); tips (except to ship's crew), taxes and service charges; services of a ship physician on most voyages; services of your expedition staff. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport, visa, immigration fees; meals not indicated; baggage/accident/travel protection plan; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, laundry; gratuities to ship's crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Ralph Lee Hopkins (Sunset, Photographer, Cactus, Zodiac); Michael S. Nolan (Whale, Sea Lion)