Meet Gentle Gray Whales Up Close & Explore the Marine & Desert Ecosystems of Baja
Each winter, gray whales migrate from their Arctic feeding grounds to breed and birth their young in the sheltered lagoons of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula, making it one of the world's premier whale-watching destinations. The annual journey is the longest mammal migration on Earth, covering more than 10,000 miles. In the protected waters of Magdalena Bay, cruise among the whales in motorized expedition rafts, offering the rare privilege of a close-up, water-level perspective. We're positioned perfectly for heartwarming encounters with these friendly mammals, which sometimes approach our boats directly. We also enjoy naturalist-guided walks on uninhabited islands, plus swimming, snorkeling and kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. Discover the natural attractions Baja California is famous for, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, huge cardon cacti, mangroves and sand dunes.
Intimate Whale EncountersExperience magical encounters with Pacific gray whales—one of the world's largest and most charismatic mammals—and witness the start of the whale calves' life journey
A Wildlife ImmersionAccompanied by expert naturalists, swim, snorkel and hike in the islands of the Sea of Cortez as we look for blue whales, bottlenose dolphins and endemic black jackrabbits
Explore Diverse HabitatsDiscover the varied ecosystems of Baja California—explore desert, dunes and mangroves rich with birdlife, including 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.
Travel with a Top Naturalist Expedition Team
Gain a deep understanding of the natural history of Baja California as you sail with a veteran 6-person expedition team. Each sailing includes an Expedition Leader and five 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. With just 62 guests aboard this small ship, that's a ratio of approximately one guide for every 10 guests.
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. Plus, this is the only itinerary that explores both the lagoons on the Pacific Ocean side plus the Sea of Cortez in 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.
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 baitfish and 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.
Be a Part of Citizen Science
Witness research on board our ship, led by Dr. William Gilly, chief scientist at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University and supported by National Geographic. Watch our crew lower scientific instruments that measure oxygen levels in the Sea of Cortez, with the goal of revealing changes in an ecologically important zone.
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.
Flexibility Keeps You Closer to Wildlife
Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions in Baja California, and our small ship is what makes that possible. Expedition landing craft are dropped to get close to whales, and the captain will change course to keep the ship among a pod of dolphins. Hike through forests of towering cacti or cruise by expedition landing craft along the shore to get close-up photos of plunge-diving pelicans and blue-footed boobies.
We’re Committed to the Planet
Natural Habitat Adventure is a standard-setter in eco-conscious travel. We were the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company. 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.
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.