Summary : Board your floating base camp, and head for three of the five wildlife-rich islands which make up Channel Islands National Park, plus Catalina Island. Here, you'll actively explore unmarred landscapes, revel in pure nature, and rejuvenate mind, body, and soul with Exhale's award-winning wellbeing programs.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
Just-Released Offer Groups of 6 or More Save 10%
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$2,620 to $4,820
Arrive in Los Angeles and make your own way to the Port of Los Angeles in the afternoon to be welcomed aboard National Geographic Sea Lion. Familiarize yourself with the ship, stow your stuff, and take in the sights on the ship’s deck. Embark in the early evening—for a short Exhale presentation on mindfulness, cocktails, and a sunset cruise (aka golden hour for photographers!)
Wake to the gentle motion of 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. Enjoy strolling through the landscape, or head out on mindfulness hikes with exhale instructors, and benefit from post-hike exhale stretch lab session.
And get ready to really geek out on Santa Cruz when you head there 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 or a paddleboard to explore the shoreline. Go beachcombing. Scuba-certified? The team can arrange diving and gear rental for you with a top local operator (extra fee applies). Maybe you’ll see the bright orange Garibaldi, native to these waters, or duet with a balletic sea lion. Head back to the ship to refresh for cocktail hour and Recap, a presentation or two, a pre-dinner neck and shoulder massage on deck (first come, first serve), and dinner.
Chances are you slept like a baby—fresh air and comfy duvets will do that! So when the landing craft load to go ashore for an Exhale Beach Boot Camp class, you’ll likely want to be on it. After yoga, head back to the ship for breakfast, then another shore landing for the day’s possibilities. Weather permitting, spend the day tide-pooling, kayaking, or hiking one of the many trails. 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 Chill Yoga session on deck, followed by a cocktail party as you cruise around San Miguel Island at sunset to see the spectacle: over 30,000 pinnipeds, and up to five different species, hauled 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, meet with a member of the Conservancy for a guided walk along the coastline and into the backcountry. With luck, you may 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 drops anchor in Avalon Harbor, where you’ll have time to explore on your own. Ride a bike through Avalon, a town of less than 5,000, or hike up to Avalon Canyon for spectacular views and a visit to the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden featuring Ada Wrigley's original desert exotica collection as well as a collection of Channel Island endemic plants, plus the spectacular tile and rockwork all from Catalina Island. Or step into an architectural gem—the art deco Catalina Casino, built by William Wrigley, Jr. in 1929.
Scuba-certified? Diving and gear rental can be arranged for you with a top local operator (extra fee applies).
Return to the ship for sunset yoga on deck, a farewell dinner, and a last evening at sea.
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 diving; individual transfers; 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)