Among the Great Whales

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Meet Gray Whales Up Close & Explore the Desert & Seas of Baja California
Each winter, gray whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to breed and birth their young in the sheltered lagoons of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. The annual journey is the longest mammal migration on Earth, covering more than 10,000 miles roundtrip. In the protected waters of Magdalena Bay on Baja California's Pacific coast, cruise among the whales in expedition rafts, offering the rare privilege of a close-up, water-level perspective—these friendly mammals sometimes approach our boats directly! We also enjoy naturalist-guided walks on uninhabited islands, plus swimming, snorkeling and kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. Based aboard our expedition ship, discover all the natural treasures Baja California is famous for, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, huge cardon cacti, mangroves and sand dunes.
National Geographic Venture, Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
National Geographic Venture, Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
National Geographic Sea Bird, Elephant Rock Bay, Mexico.
National Geographic Sea Bird, Elephant Rock Bay, Mexico.
Guests in Zodiac watching a California gray whale, Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
Guests in Zodiac watching a California gray whale, Magdalena Bay, Mexico.
California sea lion,  Los Islote, Mexico.
California sea lion, Los Islote, Mexico.
Guest kayaking near Isla San Marcos, Mexico.
Guest kayaking near Isla San Marcos, Mexico.
Whale tail, Baja, Mexico.
Whale tail, Baja, Mexico.
Brown pelicans, Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Brown pelicans, Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Guests in Zodiac watching dolphins, Baja California, Mexico.
Guests in Zodiac watching dolphins, Baja California, Mexico.
Birds perched on cacti and the National Geographic Venture anchored offshore, Sea of Cortez, Mexico.
Birds perched on cacti and the National Geographic Venture anchored offshore, Sea of Cortez, Mexico.

Trip Highlights

Intimate Gray Whale Encounters

Experience magical moments with gray whales—one of the world's largest mammals—and witness the start of the whale calves' life journey

An Immersion in the Marine Life of Baja

Swim, snorkel and hike among the Sea of Cortez islands as we look for blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and endemic black jackrabbits

Explore Diverse Ecosystems on Land & Sea

Discover the varied habitats of Baja California—lagoons, desert, dunes and mangroves home to frigatebirds, pelicans, cormorants and great blue herons

Sail with the World Leader in Conservation-Focused Small Ship Cruising

We’re proud to offer a worldwide slate of Adventure Cruises through our partner, Lindblad Expeditions. Nat Hab joined forces with Lindblad in 2016 to expand our mutual collection of nature adventures. Founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company pioneered eco-conscious expeditions for “citizen explorers" and today is the world leader in conservation-focused small-ship cruises. Our Adventure Specialists are intimately familiar with the ships and itineraries and are on call to answer any questions you might have.

  1. Travel with a Top Naturalist Expedition Team
    Gain a deep understanding of the natural history of Baja as you sail with a veteran expedition team. Each sailing includes an Expedition Leader and a team of naturalists, plus an undersea specialist, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and a wellness specialist. Our Baja naturalists represent a diversity of specialties, including marine biology, evolutionary biology, ornithology and more. As you choose your daily activities, flexibility lets you gravitate to the naturalists whose interests mirror your own.
  2. Gain Unmatched Access to Whales
    Enjoy the rare privilege of entering the Pacific gray whale birthing lagoons for close encounters with these gentle giants. Lindblad is the only non-local company allowed to bring its own expedition landing craft into this area of Magdalena Bay. This is also the only itinerary that explores both the lagoons on the Pacific Ocean side plus the Sea of Cortez on the same voyage, offering more chances for whale sightings. While gray whales offer the most consistent interactions, the Sea of Cortez is home to a great variety of whales and dolphins: pods of hundreds of common and bottlenose dolphins; orcas and false killer whales; blue, fin, Bryde's, humpback, pilot and sperm whales; and more. 
  3. Explore in Depth via Excursion Craft & Specialized Equipment 
    The ship’s fleet of tandem and single kayaks facilitates intimate water-level exploration of scenic coastlines with close proximity to nesting birds. Complete snorkel gear, including wetsuits, is at your disposal so you can swim with sea lions and schools of colorful reef fish. If you prefer to stay dry, observe the underwater world of the Sea of Cortez via HD video shot by our undersea specialist who shares footage from each day's dives on the plasma screens in the ship's lounge. Listen to whale communications via hydrophone, and observe the whales underwater in real time via a bow-mounted camera that sends a live feed to the onboard screens. Via expedition landing craft, explore with a naturalist's expert narration, and get great photos from this platform with tips from a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
  4. Be a Part of Citizen Science
    Witness research on board our ship that's supported by National Geographic. Watch our crew lower scientific instruments that measure various levels in the Sea of Cortez, with the goal of revealing changes in an ecologically important zone.
  5. Help Support Local Communities
    In 2004, Lindblad founded the Gulf of California Conservation Fund in partnership with the Mexican Nature Conservation Fund to raise funds for conservation projects. Lindblad’s contributions support a range of programs in Baja's local towns, from promoting lower-impact fishing to seabird research, marine conservation, sustainable tourism and social marketing for sustainable seafood.
  6. Flexibility Keeps You Closer to Wildlife
    Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and our small ship is what makes that possible. Expedition landing craft get you close to whales and follow the shoreline for close-up photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies. And the captain will change course to keep the ship among a pod of dolphins. A less-scripted voyage means more spontaneity to follow the wildlife.
  7. We’re Committed to the Planet
    Natural Habitat Adventures is a standard-setter in eco-conscious travel. We have been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007. And we continue to break innovative ground in adopting practices that help to protect our global environment. Because of our concern for the environment, we are pleased to partner with Lindblad Expeditions for our Adventure Cruises, a company that shares our values and commitment to the planet.
  8. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our environmental commitment and the outstanding quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund has chosen Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation we’re very proud of! When you book your Lindblad Expeditions cruise with us, a portion of your trip fee supports WWF.

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