Tailor-Made Holiday

Baja California - Among the Great Whales

10 days

from £7,495pp (excluding flights)

Explore the heart of the grey whale breeding grounds and experience the striking Baja scenery on this week long voyage through the Sea of Cortez.

  • Observe closely the California grey whales
  • Spend three days in the Bay of Magdalena one of the main breeding grounds for grey whales
  • Hike desert islands
  • Snorkel with sea lions
  • Travel with experts

This itinerary spends eight days exploring both the east and west coasts of the Baja Peninsula, spending a considerable amount of time in Magdalena Bay; a key area for the calving grey whales.

Navigate the blue waters by skiff or kayak, watching frigate birds, pelicans and blue-footed boobies. There will be an opportunity to visit the historic centre of San Jose del Cabo before setting sail for Gorda Banks where whales, dolphins and other sea life congregate.  Los Islotes and Espiritu are two of the most scenic islands in the Sea of Cortez and great locations for snorkelling with the curious sea lions.   

Look out for bottlenose dolphins and even blue whales whilst navigating the southern region of the Sea of Cortez.  Explore the many uninhabited islands such as Isla San Jose or Santa Catalina and walk through arroyos dotted with huge cacti before taking a refreshing snorkel amongst the angel fish.

2018 Departures

January: 13th; 20th; 27th

February: 3rd; 10th; 17th; 24th

March: 3rd

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 7495 £ 800

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Los Angeles

Fly Los Angeles to La Paz, Mexico

La Paz is the commercial and political capital of Baja California Sur although, as its name suggests, this is a peaceful Mexican port city with a provincial atmosphere. Hernan Cortes visited in 1535 but the region remained largely unpopulated until the 19th century. Pearl diving was the main industry here until the 1930s. Today, La Paz is the starting point for exploring a wealth of marine life within the sea of Cortez

You will be staying at Posada de las Flores, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Today you will be met by the crew and driven across the Baja Peninsula to San Carlos (approximately 3 hours) to board the ship.

This unique region is one of the most interesting and diverse geographical areas of the world and is still very much a frontier. 760 miles long and as narrow as 30m in some places, the Baja Peninsula is home to some of the earth's most beautiful deserts, along with semi-tropical and mountainous regions, pine forests, and hundreds of miles of untouched beaches and coastline. The waters off Baja are one of the world's finest marine destinations and during the months of January to April they offer the best opportunity for whale watching.

You will be staying at National Geographic Seabird, Full board

Day 3

Bahia Magdalena whale watching
Bahia Magdalena is one of the main breeding and calving grounds for the California grey whale. Each winter these whales make the longest migration of any mammal; from their Arctic feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to breed and raise their calves in Baja’s sheltered waters. During your days here you will have extended opportunity to not only observe these incredible animals from the ship, but also close up at water level from small launches.

In zodiacs and kayaks (optional) explore the canals of the rich coastal mangrove swamps. Bird watching here can be excellent including frigate birds, pelicans, cormorants, terns and great blue herons.

Please note the Mexican authorities strictly govern the number of vessels allowed in Bahia Magdalena and the time spent with each whale group. You will be split into small groups to make the most of each of your whale watching opportunities.

Day 4

Whale Watching and Excursions

Day 5

Whale Watching and Excursions

Day 6

Los Cabos and Gorda Banks
Today, cruise past the spectacular Friars Rocks at Land's End. For those who wish, visit the historic town centre of San Jose del Cabo. The afternoon is spent at the Gorda Banks seamount or La Fortuna - gathering places for whales, dolphins and other sea life. Humpback whales are often sighted here at this time of the year. See tail lobbing, flipper slapping and breaching. Marine biologists and naturalists are always available to inform and enlighten you with their knowledge and their experience. Not only do they know where best to look for wildlife, their passion and respect for the area is infectious — whether you ask a question or two or spend entire afternoons or evenings in their company.

Day 7

Islas Los Islotes & Espiritu Santo
With deeply indented shorelines and dramatically eroded cliff faces, Islas Los Islotes and Espiritu Santo are two of the most beautiful islands in the Sea of Cortez. Plenty of opportunity to explore by kayak, zodiac or don a snorkel and mask. Brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, great blue herons and boobies are all part of the landscape. It is also home to the endemic black jack rabbit. Beach barbecue this evening.

Day 8

Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Today you have the luxury to make the most of opportunities that present themselves. You may spend the morning whale watching in the waters around Islas San Jose or Santa Cataline, an area proven to be one of the best for finding blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and common dolphins. Rich in nutrients, the Sea of Cortez is home to a huge variety of fish: king angelfish, surgeonfish, butterfly fish, damselfish and the beautifully coloured parrotfish.

Explore one of the many lovely, uninhabited islands, famous for the 12-foot wavy barrel cactus. Whether walking, kayaking or watching from the Bridge, you’ll observe the great diversity of bird life; ladder-backed woodpeckers, Costa’s hummingbirds, Gila woodpeckers and verdin.

Day 9

Disembark after breakfast in La Paz and drive to the airport for your flight home.

Fly Baja California to Los Angeles

Fly Los Angeles to London overnight

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Baja California

John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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