Summary : Almost every national park in the U.S. is easy to get to, but the Channel Islands are separated from the mainland by miles of ocean. This is a unique adventure providing effortless access—to wild beauty and pristine nature—for 5 days/4 nights, using the ship as a floating base camp. Everything you want is aboard—paddleboards, kayaks and Zodiacs, a welcoming crew, smart naturalists, a wellness specialist, Exhale fitness instructors, and even a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor to help you up your photo game and capture all the unbelievable ops.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Embark in the early evening—where you'll meet the team and settle in for the days ahead!
Wake to the ship at anchor off the rocky outcropping of East Anacapa Island. Join your Exhale instructor on the sundeck for morning yoga, before heeding the call of the breakfast buffet. After breakfast, join naturalists aboard your expedition landing craft to go ashore on East Anacapa.The goal is the Anacapa Lighthouse, built in 1912, the last major light station to be built on the west coast. Soak in the views from Inspiration Point or, for a more relaxing option, explore Arch Rock via Zodiac.
Head to Santa Cruz after lunch for hiking and exploring. At over 96 square miles in size, it’s the largest island in California, with more than 600 plant species, 140 birds, including large colonies of nesting seabirds, and 11 land mammal species, including pinnipeds. Isolation has led to adaptation—there are 60 endemic species found nowhere else in the world. So, test your skills by trying to spot the Santa Cruz Island fox, one of the smallest in the world.
Spend the day your way: there are many trails covering the eastern end of the island offering the opportunity for leisurely walking, birding, or working with your certified photo instructor to capture the natural beauty. Or opt for a strenuous hike and make your Fitbit proud. Grab a kayak and explore the shoreline, or go beachcombing.
Head back to the ship to refresh for cocktail hour and Recap, a presentation or two, and dinner.
Chances are you slept like a baby, sustained fresh air and comfy duvets will do that! So when the landing craft load to go ashore, you’ll want to be on it. Spend the day kayaking, hiking one of the many trails, or simply relaxing ashore. Join your naturalists for a more strenuous hike out to the base of the Torrey Pines, considered one of the world’s rarest pines, and one of only two naturally occurring groves in the world.
The day ends with a pre-dinner Exhale Chill Yoga session on deck, followed by a cocktail party as you cruise, weather permitting, around San Miguel Island at sunset to see the spectacle: over 30,000 pinnipeds, and up to five different species, haul out on the beaches at various times of the year.
Spend the day discovering the colorful history and natural wonders of Catalina Island. Once a haunt of smugglers and gold-diggers, the island was transformed into a resort destination by chewing gum tycoon William Wrigley, Jr. in the 1920s. Some 50 years later, William’s heirs, Philip K. Wrigley and Dorothy Wrigley Offield, established the Catalina Island Conservancy, protecting nearly 90 percent of the island. After a morning workout on deck followed by breakfast, enjoy a session with a Conservancy member to learn about their work on the island before heading out on the trail for spectacular views of the coastline and the Catalina backcountry. With luck, catch a glimpse—or a photo—of the elusive fox species endemic to the island. Head for the water to kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
After lunch, the ship arrives in Avalon Harbor, for a free-ranging afternoon on your own. Explore downtown Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city, population a little under 5,000. Take the 30-minute (mostly uphill) stroll up Avalon Canyon to visit the Wrigley Monument and The Botanic Garden. Or visit an architectural gem: the famous Catalina Casino, built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929. Scuba-certified? The team can arrange diving and gear rental for you with a top local operator. Return to the ship for sunset yoga on deck, a farewell dinner, and a last evening at sea, under the stars.
Awake dockside in the bustling Port of Los Angeles. (Early risers can catch the action in one of the world’s largest ports.) Enjoy a final breakfast on board before disembarking.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will 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.
Shipboard accommodations; kayaking, stand up paddleboarding; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; non-alcoholic beverages onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; optional scuba diving; transfers to/from ship; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, Internet, etc.; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Lindblad Expeditions, Michael S. Nolan (sea lion)